Six weeks after Michael Brown was fatally gunned down by Ferguson, Mo. Police Officer Darren Wilson, Police Chief Thomas Jackson said to the Brown family that he is “truly sorry” for the unarmed 18-year-old’s death and the way that his body was handled (i.e., left out under the hot sun bleeding out, uncovered for all the neighborhood to see for over four hours).
The apology, which is the first to be issued since Brown was killed on August 9, was released in a video statement today. In it, Jackson also apologizes to protestors who took to the streets in the community to express outrage over Brown’s death and the way the entire case has been handled. Rather, he apologizes to the peaceful protesters “who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest,” and accepts “full responsibility for any mistakes I have made.”
“The events of the past few weeks have sent shock waves not just around the community here but around the nation,” a plain clothes clad Jackson says in the beginning of the video. “Overnight I went from being a small town police chief to being a part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation. As chief of police and as a resident, I want to be a part of that conversation, I also want to be a part of the solution. But before we can engage in further discussion of the broader issues, I think it’s important that we address the central issue that brought us here today and that’s the death of Michael Brown.”
Jackson then looks down on a piece of paper, takes a deep breath, and reads an apology to Michael Brown’s family:
“I want to say this to the Brown family: no one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling. I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street. The time that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators who were trying to collect evidence and paint a true picture of what happened that day. But 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, to the African-American community, or the people of Canfield, they were simply trying to do their jobs.”
During his apology (which can be see in full in the video above), Jackson gave no statement on any actions he plans to take from here. It’s unclear what drove Jackson or the Ferguson Police Department to apologize now or in this manner, but the obvious questions are: where the hell was all this weeks ago? Brown was killed on August 9th and Jackson has had multiple opportunities to speak to his family, make things right with the investigation, “call off the dogs” ie the police who continue to go to war with Ferguson residents and treat them like war enemies rather than protect and serve the interests of a grieving, and yes, angry, community. Why does Jackson even still have a job after blatantly lying about evidence? Why has there still been no update on where Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson is or any statement or apology from him, an arrest, charges brought against him, a suspension, anything?
Jackson will sit down with CNN later today to elaborate on this statement. Tune in to see if we’ll finally get some actual answers.
What’s your take on this apology from Police Chief Thomas Jackson?