World

Michael Brown shooting: Police, protesters scuffle after apology

Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson, Mo., just hours after the St. Louis suburb's police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

'We are going to make changes,' Ferguson police Chief Tom Jackson promises

Ferguson police Chief Tom Jackson appeared outside the police department in civilian clothes late Thursday to assure protesters that there would be changes in the wake of Brown's killing. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press)

Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson, Mo., just hours after the St. Louis suburb's police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

Ferguson police Chief Tom Jackson appeared outside the police department in civilian clothes late Thursday to assure protesters that there would be changes in the wake of Brown's killing, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot Aug. 9 during a confrontation with officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked numerous protests and racial unrest in the predominantly black community. Some residents and civil rights activists have said responding police officers were overly aggressive, noting their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.

"All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes," Jackson said.

The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m. local time. Soon after, a scuffle broke out behind the chief and one protester was arrested. The Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation.

The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn't immediately return call to The Associated Press early Friday.

Earlier Thursday, Jackson released a video apology to Brown's family and the community in which he acknowledged that Brown's body should have been removed from the street much sooner after he was killed. Brown's body remained on Canfield Drive, a residential street, for more than four hours while police collected evidence.

"It was just too long and I'm truly sorry for that," Jackson, dressed casually in a red polo shirt instead of his police uniform, said on the video. "Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people of Canfield (Drive). They were simply trying to do their jobs."

To the Brown family, Jackson said: "I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son."

Brown's parents declined comment when told about Jackson's video during a news conference with civil rights leaders at the National Press Club. Their attorney later said they hadn't heard about the video but would review it.

"It is clear that we have much work to do," Jackson said in the video.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now