Michael Brown Sr., the father of the unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, released a video requesting a peaceful reaction to whatever the grand jury decides about Wilson’s fate.
“My family and I are hurting,” he says in the video. “Our whole region is hurting.”
In the video, Brown thanks supporters for speaking up about racial profiling and police intimidation. He goes on to say that violence and vandalism is not the answer.
“No matter what the jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain,” Brown says.
He hopes that his son’s death will instead lead to positive change “that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.”
Wilson, who has been silent since his involvement in the shooting, is negotiating his resignation with city officials, according to CNN.
Wilson believes he’s done nothing wrong. Wilson told associates that the safety of his fellow officers is the reason for his resignation, not to admit fault, CNN reports. Wilson, like the rest of the nation, doesn’t know what the jury’s decision is yet, but it will determine whether or not he resigns.
The city of Ferguson has been making preparations in case of a violent response. The police have restocked their riot gear, business owners have boarded up their windows, schools have made plans to get children home safely, and gun sales have spiked.
In a video statement released earlier today, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Department of Justice has given law enforcement authorities new guidance about how to maintain public safety and respect the free speech rights of protestors.
“The Justice Department encourages law enforcement officials, in every jurisdiction, to work with the communities they serve to minimize needless confrontation,” Holder said.
“The most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and non-violence,” Holder said in a message to protesters. “Of course, I recognize that progress will not come easily, and long-simmering tensions will not be cooled overnight.”
Peaceful protesters and activists have emphasized the need for the protests to remain non-violent.
“Continue to lift your voices with us and let’s work together to heal, to create lasting change for all people regardless of race,” Brown Sr., concluded.