Michael Brown’s mother to cop: ‘Stand up and be a man’
The mother of Michael Brown, the Missouri teen shot by a police officer last weekend, spoke out Tuesday to demand the still unnamed officer to come forward.
‘You take your punishment,’ Lesley McSpadden told reporters. ‘If you were a man you’d stand up, you’d be a man, you would say you was wrong.’
Her plea comes as Ferguson police remained mum on the name of the officer in question, whose decision to shoot Brown on Saturday has triggered widespread unrest in the African American communities in Missouri and nationwide.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said during a press conference on Tuesday that the force had decided against releasing the cop’s name after death threats were made against him on social media.
Brown, 18, was shot dead in the street on Saturday night by the police officer in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, Missouri.
Chief Jackson had planned to issue the name of the police officer at 1pm on Tuesday but said that he expected to now release it when the situation had calmed down.
The wrong cop - Officer Michael White – had been named on social media as the shooter which was false, said the police chief.
He told ABC: ‘We’ve been getting death threats as a result to that officer. Officer safety is why we are not releasing the name (of the officer who shot Brown.)
‘It’s too volatile and dangerous. We think that the value of releasing his name is far outweighed by the safety at this point.’
He said that the tragic events of Saturday started as a ‘routine stop’ and turned into a ‘physical altercation’.
Chief Jackson said that the officer involved was undergoing psychological evaluations while on paid administrative leave.
The chief told reporters that the officer ‘felt terrible about the whole thing’ and was very hurt and sad.
The quiet suburb has erupted into violent clashes between officers and protesters as the community expresses its outrage over the student’s death.
Police in riot gear fired tear gas on Monday night to try to disperse an agitated crowd. Hundreds gathered throughout Monday at the site of a burned-out convenience store in Ferguson, according to Chief Jackson.
Demonstrators turned rowdy at nightfall, throwing rocks at police before they were dispersed by volleys of bean-bag rounds and rubber bullets. Police said up to 15 people were arrested.
President Obama released a statement on Tuesday where he addressed the teen’s shooting
He said: ‘The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.
‘I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding.
‘We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.’
Between two nights of unrest, a community forum hosted by the local NAACP chapter on Monday drew hundreds to a sweltering church in the suburb where 18-year-old was shot multiple times and killed.