Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Family of shot Missouri teenager, Michael Brown urges calm

2014-08-16 10:29:19


Mr Brown's family has ''condemned'' the use of the CCTV footage

The family of the black teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, has appealed for calm after police revealed he was a robbery suspect.

CCTV footage appears to show Michael Brown, 18, stealing from a convenience store and intimidating the owner.

Mr Brown's family said their son was not "perfect" but criticised what they see as a police attempt to "justify the execution-style murder".

The killing sparked days of angry clashes between police and protestors.

"Stay with us, we don't want to see any violence on the streets. Please continue to peacefully protest," said Michael Brown's cousin, Eric Davis.

There were no reports of unrest for a second successive evening on Friday, as a few hundred people demonstrated quietly at a filling station. which was looted and burnt last weekend.

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says a rally, led by Michael Brown's family is planned for Sunday.

"The family have never said that Mike Brown was perfect," said a lawyer representing Brown's family.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer who shot Brown did not know that he had allegedly stolen goods from a nearby store.

"The initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown was not related to the robbery," he said.

Instead, he added, the reason for the stop was that Brown "was walking down the middle of the street stopping traffic".

Lesley McSpadden
Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, during a community meeting on Tuesday

Ferguson, Missouri
Protests on Thursday night were peaceful after four nights of violence

Mr Jackson said he had released the footage of the crime only because he had been forced to do so because of numerous freedom of information requests from journalists.

He described the robbery at the convenience store as being committed without the use of a weapon.

CCTV pictures in a police report show a well-built black man intimidating a clerk in the store.

The police report identifies the man as Mr Brown, described as being 6ft 4in (193cm) and 292 pounds (132kg).

It says he "grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars" and handed them to a second suspect identified as Mr Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson.

Since the shooting on Saturday, Mr Johnson has given a number of interviews in which he has said Mr Brown held up his hands in an act of surrender before being shot by the officer.

Also on Friday Mr Jackson revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed Mr Brown - Darren Wilson - and said he was injured in a struggle with Mr Brown.

Mr Wilson, is a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record, Mr Jackson said.

Members of the majority black Ferguson community have reacted angrily to the revelations.

Ferguson resident Milton Jackson, 37, said: "I don't believe what the officer did was called for. Even if there was a robbery, it was unnecessary force to shoot an unarmed black man."

Michael Brown
Michael Brown had recently graduated from high school

US Attorney General Eric Holder said the use of military equipment and vehicles in Ferguson had sent a "conflicting message", while President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for police using "excessive force".

Mr Obama has promised a full investigation by the US Department of Justice into the teenager's death, and the FBI has launched its own inquiry.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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