Tom Jackson, the chief of police in Ferguson, Missouri, has finally apologized to the family of Michael Brown after the unarmed teenager was shot and killed by a police officer on August 9th. "No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you're feeling," Jackson said in a video statement that was first reported by CNN. "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." Brown's body remained on the Ferguson street in full view of the public for four hours while police collected evidence, which Jackson admitted was "just too long, and I'm truly sorry for that."
Jackson also apologized for the Ferguson police department's contentious and controversial behavior towards citizens, protesters and even journalists in the days that followed Brown's shooting. "The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible and I'm sorry," Jackson said. "Overnight I went from being a small-town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation. As chief of police, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution."
Jackson's video statement comes just days after a Michael Brown memorial on the street where he was killed was burned down, renewing protests and reigniting tensions in Ferguson after weeks of tranquility. Jackson has long been criticized in the aftermath of the Brown shooting for his handling of the overall situation. "For any mistakes I've made, I take full responsibility. It's an honor to serve the city of Ferguson and the people who live there," Jackson said in conclusion. "I look forward to working with you in the future to solve our problems, and once again, I deeply apologize to the Brown family."