Michael Brown’s stepfather apologized in a statement Wednesday for urging a crowd in Ferguson, Missouri, to “burn this bitch down” following the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson, saying “my emotions admittedly got the best of me.”
“This is my family,” Louis Head continued, “I was so angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were, and granted, I screamed out words that I shouldn’t have screamed in the heat of the moment. It was wrong and I humbly apologize to all of those who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what I want for our community.”
The statement comes after news broke of an investigation into whether to charge Head and others with attempting to incite a riot. Hours after the grand jury decision was announced on Nov. 24 that Wilson would not be charged, Head reportedly riled up a crowd of protesters. Shortly after, a video emerged on the Internet showing the scene. His comments, however, are just one part of a county and state investigation into arson, looting, destruction of property and other alleged offenses that night, St. Louis County police Sgt. Brian Schellman told NBC News.
Head added: “To place blame solely on me for the conditions of our community, and country, after the grand jury decision goes way too far and is as wrong as the decision itself. To declare a state of emergency and send a message of war, and not peace, before a grand jury decision was announced is also wrong.”
Chaos erupted in the streets after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury did not indict Wilson, who shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black teen, following a brief altercation on Aug. 9. The community of Ferguson was torn apart overnight as a result.
Lesley McSpadden — Head’s wife and Brown’s mother — told NBC’s “TODAY“ last week that she thought her husband shouldn’t be held responsible for an understandable outburst in the heat of a highly emotional moment.
“In the end, I’ve lived in this community for a long time. The last thing I truly wanted was to see it go up in flames. In spite of my frustration, it really hurt to see that. Now it’s time to rebuild,” Head concluded. “If we are to honor Michael Brown’s memory, we need to work together to make rebuilding happen. I plan to remain here and do my part in earnest and in truth.”