Ferguson police chief apologizes for Michael Brown shooting -- 47 days later
By RYAN GORMAN
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has apologized to the parents of an unarmed black teen shot dead by one of his cops - 47 days after the incident.
Jackson expressed regret over the August 9 killing of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. He also bemoaned the amount of time the 18-year-old's body remained in the street until being removed.
"I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son," Jackson said during a Thursday morning press conference, according to St. Louis television station KMBC. "I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street."
The top cop explained his investigators had to secure the crime scene and collect evidence, but the four hours Brown's body was laying in the street was unacceptable.
I am truly sorry for the loss of your son," said Jackson. "I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street... it was just too long, and I am truly sorry for that."
Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, the African-American community or the people of Canfield (the neighborhood where Brown lived and was shot)
"They were simply trying to do their jobs."
The shooting quickly brought national attention to the St. Louis suburb as it descended into anarchy in the nights the followed.
Protesters clashing with increasingly militarized police resulted in Missouri State Troopers and the National Guard being brought in to stabilize the situation.
Civil rights leaders flocked to the town and marched with politicians in peaceful demonstrations during the day and at night as looters tore through the mostly-black city of 21,000 people.
Jackson also apologized for his department's failure to provide adequate protection for peaceful protesters as riots raged around them.
"The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect," said Jackson. If anyone was exercising that right and is upset or angry, I feel responsible."
Things appeared to have calmed in the weeks after Brown was laid to rest but flared up again this week after a memorial in his honor caught on fire.
Violence returned to the streets as protesters armed with guns, rocks and bottles attacked police, according to reports. Thieves vandalized and looted stores, one store was almost set on fire with gasoline.
Jackson's apology came only one day after a white South Carolina State Trooper was arrested and charged for shooting an unarmed black male. His victim survived.
Wilson has yet to face any charges.
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