Ferguson police chief apologizes weeks after Michael Brown's death


Tom Jackson, the police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, apologized to the parents of Michael Brown, an African-American shot to death on Aug. 9 by Darren Wilson, an officer under Jackson's command.

Jackson read from a script as he spoke directly to the camera.

"I want to say this to the Brown family. No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you are feeling. I am truly sorry for the loss of your son," Jackson said.

The police chief also apologized to demonstrators, whom he labeled as "peaceful protesters." The apology was released by a public relations firm hired by the city of 22,000 people.

Since the shooting, the small city has been rocked by protests, which have occasionally turned violent. Police have responded by firing rubber bullets and tear gas into the assembled crowd. A civil rights group has filed a $40 million lawsuit against Jackson and other officers involved in the incidents.

Brown was just 18 years old when he and a friend were approached by Wilson as the pair walked down a street. After the police officer told them to move off the roadway, a conflict ensued. Before the altercation ended, Wilson shot Brown to death.

The cadaver of the victim was left in the middle of the street for several hours after the killing, a fact that outraged many people in the community. Some residents believe the corpse was left out in public to serve as a warning to other members of the African-American community. Jackson stated in the video that the body was left untouched, so that officers could collect data on the fatal incident.

"But it was just too long, and I am truly sorry for that," Jackson stated.

The video comes after weeks of calls from the public, demanding his resignation. On Sept. 23, demonstrations again turned violent as two police officers were injured in scuffles, resulting in the arrest of five people. Many residents are vowing to continue protesting until Jackson is arrested and charged for the murder of the teenager.

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the roles played by Jackson and other members of the St. Louis Police Department. A grand jury in the city is also investigating the incident, preparing for possible criminal charges against the officer.

Parents of the slain teenager went to the nation's capital on Sept. 25, calling for legislation requiring all police officers to wear video cameras on their uniforms to record encounters with the public.

Jackson's appology to the parents of Michael Brown and peaceful protesters in his city was released on Vimeo by the Devin James Group. 

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