The family of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown called Sunday for the immediate arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed the unarmed 18-year-old in August, setting off protests between the majority-white police force and majority-black residents of Saint Louis County.
Brown’s parents did not speak at the press conference, even when asked a question. Instead, Rev. Carlton Lee, the pastor of Flood Christian Church in neighboring Country Club Hills urged officials to charge Wilson and forgo proceedings by the St. Louis grand jury that has been convened to review evidence in the case.
According to NBCNews.com, Brown’s father wore a t-shirt baring a photo of Wilson below the text “Arrest Him Now.”
Brown’s mother and father told the Associated Press last week that they did not accept a video apology released by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson.
“I don’t want words, I want action,” Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, said.
“An apology would be when Darren Wilson has handcuffs, processed and charged with murder,” Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., told the Associated Press.
The grand jury has until January to decide whether Wilson will be charged in the shooting death of Brown. The Department of Justice is conducting a broader civil rights investigation into the conduct of the entire Ferguson police department.
While protesters have typically taken to West Florissant Avenue to chant and hold signs, a group of about 50 demonstrators on Saturday interrupted the Saint Louis Symphony’s performance of Brahms Requiem singing “justice for Mike Brown is justice for us all” in operatic voices just before the start of the second act. After a couple of minutes, the song turned to a chant: “black lives matter.”
According to The Saint Louis American website, demonstrators on the balcony suspended a banner that read “Requiem for Mike Brown 1996-2014” and “racism lives here” against a picture of the St. Louis Arch, while some patrons clapped and others voiced outrage. The demonstrators received a round of applause from the audience and musicians on stage as they exited.