Ferguson police department still operating under cloud of controversy

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – The Ferguson police chief’s attempt to march with protesters demanding charges in the killing of an unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white officer still erupted into a clash that activists are blaming on police missteps.

The trouble Thursday night came hours after Police Chief Tom Jackson released a videotaped apology to the family of Michael Brown, who was shot Aug. 9 by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.

A county grand jury is weighing whether to indict Wilson, and the Justice Department is investigating whether Brown’s civil rights were violated.

Thursday’s unrest occurred two days after some residents and protesters complained the St. Louis suburb’s police did little to douse a fire that destroyed a makeshift memorial for Brown.

Charles Wade of Austin, Texas, says marchers appeared largely unmoved by Jackson’s apology.


Meanwhile, federal civil rights investigators want the Ferguson police chief to ban his officers from wearing bracelets supporting a white colleague who shot and killed an unarmed, black 18-year-old.

In a letter released Friday, the U.S. Justice Department asks Police Chief Tom Jackson to “confirm our understanding” that officers in the suburban St. Louis County department won’t wear “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets while on duty.

Ferguson residents complained about the black bracelets with white lettering this week at a meeting with federal officials. Commanders with the Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County Police Department have also agreed to ban the bracelets while the investigation into Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death continues.

In a separate letter released Friday, the federal agency told Jackson that his officers must wear name plates.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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