CRIME

Reactions To Ferguson Verdict Dominated By Disappointment, Pleas For Peace

Protesters block streets after the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in St. Louis, Mo. A grand
Protesters block streets after the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in St. Louis, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The decision to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown incited a flurry of reactions from politicians, activists and those personally affected by the case. Many expressed deep anger and disappointment with the decision, while others felt the grand jury made the right call in choosing not to bring charges against Wilson.

Almost all who spoke out, however -- from Wilson's legal team to Brown's parents -- expressed a desire for peace in the days to come.

  • 1. Brown Family: “We are profoundly disappointed.”
    "We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.

While we understa
    AP
    "We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. ... We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction." Read the Brown family's entire statement here.
  • 2. Legal Team of Darren Wilson: "Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law."
    "Today, a St. Louis County grand jury released its decision that no charges would be filed in the case involving Officer Darr
    AP
    "Today, a St. Louis County grand jury released its decision that no charges would be filed in the case involving Officer Darren Wilson. From the onset, we have maintained and the grand jury agreed that Officer Wilson's actions on August 9 were in accordance with the laws and regulations that govern the procedures of an officer. ... Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions. Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law. We recognize that many people will want to second-guess the grand jury's decision. We would encourage anyone who wants to express an opinion to do so in a respectful and peaceful manner." Read the entire statement here.
  • 3. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon: "Peace will prevail."
    "While the 12 men and women on the St. Louis County grand jury have concluded their work, the rest of us have much more work
    AP
    "While the 12 men and women on the St. Louis County grand jury have concluded their work, the rest of us have much more work to do in order to use the lessons we have learned these past four months to create safer, stronger and more united communities. ... It is my continued hope and expectation that peace will prevail. The world is watching. I am confident that together we will demonstrate the true strength and character of this region, and seize this opportunity to build a more just and prosperous future for all." Read Nixon's whole statement here.
  • 4. John Belmar, St. Louis County Police Chief: Safety is "primary concern"
    "As a police department, our primary responsibility is to protect both life and property for our citizens, and we are committ
    AP
    "As a police department, our primary responsibility is to protect both life and property for our citizens, and we are committed to doing just that." Read Belmar's entire statement here.
  • 5. Jeffrey Mittman, ACLU of Missouri: "An alarming national trend."
    "The grand jury’s decision does not negate the fact that Michael Brown’s tragic death is part of an alarming national trend o
    AP
    "The grand jury’s decision does not negate the fact that Michael Brown’s tragic death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable." Read the entire statement here.
  • 6. Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP: "Deeply disappointed"
    "We are deeply disappointed by the grand jury’s failure to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unar
    Twitter
    "We are deeply disappointed by the grand jury’s failure to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. The tragedy of Mr. Brown’s death at the hands of Officer Wilson, as well as the overwrought, often unconstitutional, and overly-militarized response to protests in Ferguson are harsh and painful reminders of the work that we all must undertake to fulfill America’s promises of racial equality and justice." Read complete statements by the NAACP here.
  • 7. President Obama: "Protest peacefully."
    "There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. But I join Michael's
    AP
    "There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. But I join Michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. We need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to the broader problems that we still face as a nation. The fact is in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color." Read more of Obama's comments here.
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Ferguson Protests Around the Country