In a video message posted on Thursday (25 September), Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized to Michael Brown's parents and the peaceful protesters in Ferguson.
A city in St. Louis County, Missouri, Ferguson witnessed days of demonstrations after the shooting of the unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown on 9 August, by police officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked major protests and unrest.
"I want to say this to the Brown family. No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you're feeling. I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. I am also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street," said Jackson in the video message.
Jackson also addressed the violent clashes between protesters and security officials.
"There were many people who were upset at what happened in Ferguson and came here to protect peacefully. Unfortunately there were others who had a different agenda. I do want to say to any peaceful protester who did not feel I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest, I'm sorry for that," said Jackson.
Jackson faced considerable criticism over his department's handling of the Michael Brown case, including his decision to release a video that showed Brown robbing a convenience store.
Jackson further addressed the African-American communities:
"The investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community, or the people [in the neighborhood where Brown was shot]. They were simply trying to do their jobs.
"I'm also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt in some of the African-American community towards the police department. The city belongs to all of us and we are all part of this community. It's clear that we have much work to do."
Jackson said he has no intention of resigning for the time being. "I've talked to a lot of people who have initially called for that and then changed their mind after having meetings and discussions about moving forward. Realistically, I'm going to stay here and see this through. This is mine, and I'm taking ownership of it," said Jackson in an interview with CNN.
His interview followed his earlier video apology message.
When asked why it took so long for him to issue the apology, Jackson said: "There's been so much going on, and every day there's a different challenge. This is something that's just been weighing on me. It's something that needed to be said. It should've been said a long time ago."