U.S. News

Actions

Ferguson Police Chief Issues Video Apology Via PR Firm

Embattled police chief Thomas Jackson issues an apology two days after renewed protests in Ferguson, Mo.
Posted at 2:24 PM, Sep 25, 2014

Two days after protests started up again in Ferguson, Missouri, embattled police chief Thomas Jackson issued this apology. 

CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON VIA CNN: "I want to say this to the Brown Family...I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son. I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street."

The renewed protests in the St. Louis suburb, which included reports of gunfire, came after a memorial for slain teenager Michael Brown was destroyed by fire on Tuesday. The cause of the fire remains unknown. (Video via Al Jazeera America)

The unrest also comes amidst an extended grand jury process for Darren Wilson, the officer involved in the shooting. Initially scheduled to end September 10th, the deadline was extended last week until early January. 

Chief Jackson had drawn criticism for his previous interactions with the media, particularly for an August 15 press conference releasing Wilson's name for the first time.

There Jackson was knocked first for being late, and then for simultaneously releasing a security video police say indicates Michael Brown stole cigars from a convenience store the day he was killed.

That incident was not responsible for the initial contact between Brown and Wilson, as the police chief acknowledged at a subsequent press conference later the same day.

Jackson's critics included Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who rose to prominence documenting the Ferguson unrest on social media. 

French tweeted of the press conference: "The #Ferguson police chief has endangered #PeaceInFerguson and someone should take his microphone away. Let the big boys handle this now."

And while today's video apology is not without its critics, there has been some positive response as well.

A turn that could be attributed to the PR group who released the video.

The Devin James Group was one of two PR firms contracted by the city of Ferguson in the aftermath of the shooting and unrest. 

According to a KMOV report earlier this month, one of the group's aims is to build strong support among the community.