Michael Brown's Dad Pleads For Peace, Encouraging Non-Violence No Matter What — VIDEO
As the town simmers with tension awaiting the Ferguson grand jury verdict on Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown's father pleaded for peace in a video, urging protestors and supporters to avoid violence regardless of the grand jury's decision.
Many expect an acquittal to be inevitable, and organizers have clamored to devise strategies to handle both the grand jury's decision and the protestors' responses. Local police officers and Ferguson demonstrators have been negotiating "rules of engagement" for how the police will deal with the protests, but there remains widespread concern that a no-indictment vote will further enrage the community and spark violence, the New York Times reported.
In the video, Michael Brown Sr. expressed his gratitude to the protestors for standing up to police intimidation and racial profiling, adding:
My family and I are hurting; our whole region is hurting... But hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son's death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.
The video is a public service announcement produced by STL Forward, an "information portal" by St. Louis-area volunteers aimed at uniting the region following the unrest in the community after Brown's death.
The grand jury is expected to deliver a verdict any time now, and it has set the region on edge. If it find that there is probable cause to charge him for a crime, Wilson could face life imprisonment if the case goes to trial.
But even Wilson himself doesn't think he will be charged — on Thursday night, Jeff Roorda, the business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers' Association said that while Wilson is under a lot of pressure and stress, the police officer is confident of the outcome of the grand jury investigation. Roorda said:
It's fair to say that neither he nor his defense team expect an indictment.
Wilson is allegedly in negotiations to resign from the force, and could make the announcement as early as Friday. CNN reported that he told colleagues his resignation would ease the pressure and protect his fellow officers, but Wilson also indicated that the timing, should the grand jury remain undecided, would make it appear as if he was admitting fault. If, contrary to expectations, Wilson is charged, he said he might change his mind about resigning.
Protestors are prepared to respond to Wilson's acquittal. While organizers declined to reveal details of their plans, more demonstrations are likely, in Ferguson as well as in major cities. In closing, Brown Sr. urged:
We are stronger united. Continue to lift your voices with us, and let's work together to heal; to create lasting change for all people regardless of race.
Images: Getty Images (2)