Michael Brown’s father: ‘They crucified his character’

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Michael Brown, Sr., the father of slain teen Michael Brown, asks protesters Sunday, August 24, 2014 for a ‘day of silence’ on Monday for his son’s funeral.

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(CNN) — Michael Brown’s father says a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who killed his son changes his view of America.

“I was upset. I didn’t understand,” Michael Brown Sr. said in a conversation with the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC. “It just let me know that where we live is not what we thought, or what I thought. It’s what people have been saying all the time, for a nice little minute: that this was a racist state.”

Sharpton accused Prosecutor Robert McCulloch of trying to disparage Michael Brown Jr. He asked Michael Brown Sr. how he felt about the prosecutor attacking “the character of the victim.”

“They crucified his character,” Brown said.

In the interview, Brown did not cite any specific comments McCullough had made.

“For people that don’t even know my son, they probably wish they did,” he said, adding that he feels “empty” from the experience. “I’m just crushed.”

In his news conference Monday night announcing the grand jury’s decision, McCulloch extended his “deepest sympathies” to the Brown family and referred to the “tragic death.”

He said the grand jury’s decision was based on evidence and facts, some of which contradicted people who said they witnessed the moment officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown Jr.

Documents released by the prosecutor’s office show that witnesses gave differing accounts.

By Josh Levs

CNN’s Ana Cabrera contributed to this report.

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