Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized in a video message released on Thursday for the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.
“No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling,” he said in the video, which appeared on CNN. “I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street.”
Following the shooting, the Missouri town erupted into chaos over the belief that the shooting may have been racially motivated. Protesters took to the streets to voice their anger over the death of the teen, while opportunistic looters marred the demonstrations precipitating a militarized response from law enforcement.
“The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible and I’m sorry,” said Chief Thomas.
Thus far, Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, has not been charged. There is an ongoing federal investigation into the shooting to determine if it was justified.