Facing possible criminal charges for his angry reaction to the grand jury's decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of his stepson, Michael Brown's stepfather, Louis Head, apologized Wednesday.
“Something came over me as I watched and listened to my wife, the mother of Michael Brown Jr., react to the gut-wrenching news that the cop who killed her son wouldn’t be charged with a crime," Head said in a statement to CNN. "My emotions admittedly got the best of me.
"This is my family," Head said. "I was so angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were, and granted I screamed out words I shouldn’t have screamed in the heat of the moment. I was wrong, and I humbly apologize to all those who read my anger and my pain as a true desire for what I want for the community."
After the decision was announced on Nov. 24, Head climbed on top of a car to comfort his wife, Leslie McSpadden, turned to the crowd and repeatedly shouted, "Burn this b---- down!" In the hours that followed, Ferguson, Mo., erupted in violent protests. Officials said two police cruisers and at least 12 buildings were set on fire and that hundreds of gunshots were fired during the demonstrations. Eighteen people were injured in the unrest, and at least 61 protesters were arrested.
On Tuesday, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told Fox News that the department was looking into Head's comments.
“We are pursuing those comments, and there’s a lot of discussion going on about that right now,” Jackson said. "[We are] currently looking into this as a part of the entire investigation that includes the arsons, looting and destruction of property.”
“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," Head's statement continued. "To declare a state of emergency and send a message of war, not peace, before a grand jury decision is announced is also wrong."
St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman told the Associated Press that officials are looking into Head's comments as part of a broader investigation into the arson, vandalism and looting that followed.
Head added: “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 me to see that. It’s time to rebuild. 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 truth.”