Michael Brown's stepfather apologises for his comments

2014-12-04 14:03
Louis Head and Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden react as they listen to the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who fatally shot Brown. (Charlie Riedel AP)

Louis Head and Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden react as they listen to the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson who fatally shot Brown. (Charlie Riedel AP)

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Ferguson - The stepfather of a black teenager who was gunned down by a Missouri police officer apologised on Wednesday for his emotional comments during fiery protests last week, but said he did not cause the rioting.

Louis Head said his emotions "got the best of me" during protests against a grand jury's decision not to indict white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown on 9 August in the St Louis suburb.

Head was caught on video comforting Brown's mother after the 24 November decision, and then turning to a crowd of protesters and screaming repeatedly: "Burn this bitch down."

"Something came over me as I watched and listened to my wife, the mother of Michael Brown Jr, react to the gut-wrenching news that the cop who killed her son wouldn't be charged with a crime", Head said in a statement obtained by Reuters. The statement was first reported by CNN and NBC.

On Tuesday, St Louis County police said they were investigating who was responsible for setting fires, looting and destroying property during the demonstrations and named Head as a person of interest.

The findings will be presented to the St Louis County prosecuting attorney's office, police said.

Head, in his statement, said he was "angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were".

"I screamed out words that I shouldn't have screamed in the heat of the moment", he said. "It was wrong and I humbly apologise to all of those who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what I want for our community. It wasn't."

Head said he does not deserve blame for inciting riots.

The grand jury decision was wrong, and the choice to declare "a state of emergency and send a message of war, and not peace, before a grand jury decision was announced is also wrong", Head said.

"It set the stage for my outbursts", he said.

Head said he never wanted to see the destruction and violence, and that he believes "it's time to rebuild."

"In the end, I've lived in this community for a long time", he said. "The last thing I truly wanted was to see it go up in flames. In spite of my frustration, it really hurt to see that."

Read more on:    michael brown  |  us

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