The parents of Michael Brown put out a public statement last night that is directly at odds with what one member of the family said on the ground in Ferguson, as the grand jury decision was being announced.
The public statement called on supporters to “keep their protests peaceful:”
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”
Michael Brown’s stepfather last night had a message that was considerably less conciliatory.
Louis Head, an ex-con who is married to Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden repeatedly urged protesters to “Burn this bitch down” after the announcement was made that no criminal charges would be filed against Officer Darren Wilson.
Reportedly, the Brown’s family attorney had received a call from McCulloch before the official announcement informing them that there would be no charges against the officer. The Attorney Benjamin Crump then delivered the news to Brown’s family in an area hotel.
Outside the Ferguson Police Department headquarters Monday evening Louis Head consoled the bawling McSpadden while McCulloch was still making the announcement. Head then stood atop a platform and began to incite the already agitated mob, hollering ‘burn this bitch down!’ He repeated the phrase at least ten times.
More than a dozen businesses were torched, last night and 61 rioters were arrested.
According to The Smoking Gun, “Head is an ex-convict whose rap sheet includes two felony narcotics convictions, according to state records.”
He pleaded guilty in 1997 to a marijuana distribution charge and was put in a shock incarceration program and placed on probation for five years. After violating probation, Head’s release was revoked and he was remanded to state prison.
In mid-2003, Head was charged with narcotics trafficking, a felony count to which he later pleaded guilty. The St. Louis native was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released in June 2008 after serving about five years in custody.
Along with McSpadden, Head is at the center of an ongoing Feguson Police Department investigation of an incident last month during which three vendors selling commemorative Michael Brown merchandise were assaulted. One of the victims, Michael Brown, Sr.’s mother-in-law, identified McSpadden and Head as among the “attackers” who ransacked her stands and stole $400 in cash and merchandise valued at $1500.