FERGUSON, MO (KTVI)- “This process should be indicted. We could foresee what the outcome was going to be and that’s exactly what occured last night.”
Reverend Al Sharpton along with Brown family attorneys Benjamin Crump and Anthony Gray, held a press conference Tuesday morning to address the grand jury’s decision and the unrest in Ferguson overnight. Members of the National Action Network and Michael Brown Sr. were also present. Michael Brown’s mother, Leslie McSpadden, did not attend the conference.
The group gathered at the Greater St. Mark Family Church located at 9950 Glen Owen Drive in Ferguson.
Sharpton and the attorneys argue that this process was “supposed to give clarity.” Sharpton says he has never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit the victim. “A first year law student would’ve done a better job.”
The group has publicly objected to this process because “all across America young people are being killed by police officers.” They argue that their acts are not insane. “We know that our children deserve equal justice.”
For the sake of public trust, the group is praying that prosecutors will say “we want people to believe in the system.”
Sharpton and the attorneys believe that most of Darren Wilson’s testimony did not line up with the physical or forensic evidence. Although the group was not surprised at the outcome it was their hope to be “in a different place.”
According to Sharpton, Michael Brown will not be remembered for ashes of buildings burned in Ferguson but for new legislation and the upholding of law that protects people.
“Let the record be clear, you have broken our hearts, but you have not broken our backs. We will continue to pursue justice,” said Sharpton.
Brown’s parents released a statement after the grand jury decision was announced.
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”
-The Brown Family
Rev. Sharpton says it was irresponsible and unnecessary to release the announcement at night. He told the crowd that those who acted in a destructive manner do not represent the spirit of Michael Brown. “If you’re on Michael Brown’s side, you walk with dignity. Don’t lower your standards.”
Sharpton explained that the job of the grand jury is to decide if there’s enough evidence to move forward. He along with the attorneys do not believe that the case was presented in a fair and balanced manner. “If you already know going into it that a person didn’t see the event, then why would you present them in front of a grand jury?” said Gray.
They are also questioning why Bob McCulloch did not announce whether there was probable cause. “This is not about all of us liking each other. This is about all of us being bonded with a common goal,” said Sharpton.
They believe that Michael Brown’s death has lit a new energy for police accountability.
According to Crump, the group condemns the violent acts from last night but they also condemn the violent acts from August 9th that killed Michael Brown Jr.
“Before you think this is over, remember what happened in Rodney King. We may have lost one round, but the fight is not over.”