Sharpton Slams Ferguson Police Chief's Apology as 'Too Little, Too Late'

September 25th, 2014 5:45 PM

On Thursday morning, Thomas Jackson -- the chief of police for the city of Ferguson -- released a video in which he apologized for many things, including the death of Michael Brown, the African-American teenager who was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

Later that day, Rev. Al Sharpton – host of the weekday afternoon PoliticsNation program on the MSNBC cable channel -- attacked the apology as “too little, too late.”

The liberal activist made his remarks during a press conference in which several organizations called for the federal government to intervene in criminal investigations regarding the recent killings of two unarmed black men by police: Brown in the St. Louis suburb and Eric Garner, who died after being held in a choke hold by New York police.

“Whether they wear blue jeans or blue uniforms, criminals must be held accountable,” Sharpton said before declaring that Jackson's response to the tragedy was “too little, too late.”

“The answer is justice for this family,” he added. “Now to come with an apology when the family is here asking for the Justice Department to come in is suspect at best.”

Jackson began the video by stating:

The events of the past few weeks have sent shock waves not just around the community here but around the nation. Overnight, I went from being a small-town police chief to being a part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation.

As chief of police and as a resident, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution, but before we can engage in further discussion of the broader issues, I think it's important we address the central issue that brought us here today, and that's the death of Michael Brown.

“I want to say this to the Brown family: No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you're feeling,” he stated. “I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son.”

“I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” Jackson said, referring to the four hours before the body was moved. “The time that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators, who were trying to collect evidence and gain a true picture of what happened that day, but it was just too long, and I'm truly sorry for that.”

“Please note that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family” or “the African-American community,” the police chief said. “They were simply trying to do their jobs.”

In addition, he noted: “There were many people who were upset about what happened in Ferguson and came here to protest peacefully. Unfortunately, there were others who had a different agenda. I do want to say to any peaceful protester who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest, I am sorry for that.”

“The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect,” Jackson added. “If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible, and I'm sorry.”

The police chief also stated: “I'm also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt by some in the African-American community towards the police department. This city belongs to all of us, and we are all part of this community. It is clear that we have much work to do.”

“As a community, a city and a nation, we have real problems to solve, not just in Ferguson but in the entire region and beyond,” he asserted.

“For any mistakes I've made, I take full responsibility,” Jackson noted. “It's an honor to serve the city of Ferguson and the people who live there. I look forward to working with you in the future to solve our problems.”

“And once again, I deeply apologize to the Brown family,” he said in conclusion.

As NewsBusters previously reported, Sharpton said he went to the St. Louis suburb to “speak up for the family of the victim” but was accused of going to Ferguson just for publicity.

While fellow MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell declared that Sharpton was “on a peace mission,” Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly accused him of being a “charlatan” who only cares about his own self-aggrandizement.”

A few days later, the liberal activist claimed that “no circumstances would justify the police officer shooting the teenager six times. Meanwhile, the Politico website asserted that Sharpton was president Barack Obama's "eyes and ears in Ferguson."

As of Thursday evening, the parents of Michael Brown have not responded to the police chief's apology, but stay tuned because when Al Sharpton is involved, anything can -- and likely will -- happen.