On Nov. 24, after it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson wouldn’t face charges in the death of Mike Brown, Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, her husband, Louis Head, and family displayed their raw emotions and spoke in front of a group of protesters in Ferguson about their great disappointment in the grand jury’s ruling. Understandably angry, Head was taped shouting “Burn this b***h down!” multiple times to the protesters, despite Brown’s parents, specifically Michael Brown, Sr., calling for peace before the ruling: “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain.”
If you were told that the person who killed your child would not be held accountable for their actions, I’m sure you would agree that it’s hard to say what you would say or do. But I’m sure you would hope that in those moments of anger and despair, the things you say wouldn’t be held against you. But alas, police are reportedly investigating Head’s comments and looking to determine whether or not he should be charged for attempting to incite a riot, specifically, a lot of the chaos that was seen in Ferguson that resulted in businesses being burned down.
According to USA Today, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson was quoted as saying to Sean Hannity of Fox News (of course) that an investigation is underway.
“We are pursuing (an investigation into) those comments, and there is a lot of discussion going on about that right now. But I really can’t get into that right now.”
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has also called for the arrest of Head. And while police have talked to people who were with Head on that night, they haven’t spoken with him yet. But Head is aware that an investigation is going on into his comments, and has decided to apologize. He shared this statement with CNN:
Something came over me as I watched and listened to my wife, the mother of Michael Brown, Jr., react to the gut-wrenching news that the cop who killed her son wouldn’t be charged with a crime. My emotions admittedly got the best of me. This is my family.
I was so angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were, and granted, I screamed out words that I shouldn’t have screamed in the heat of the moment. It was wrong, and I humbly apologize to all of those who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what I want for our community.
But to place blame solely on me for the conditions of our community, and country, after the grand jury decision goes way too far and is as wrong as the decision itself. To declare a state of emergency and send a message of war, and not peace, before a grand jury decision was announced is also wrong.
In the end, I’ve lived in this community for a long time. The last thing I truly wanted was to see it go up in flames. In spite of my frustration, it really hurt to see that.
An official who spoke to CNN said that the investigation probably won’t get far, because they would have a hard time proving his comments actually caused rioters to turn around and tear things up. But he could face a different type of hassle even if he’s not charged. Head is on probation for a past drug charge.
But at the end of the day, McSpadden says that her husband did nothing wrong:
“He just spoke out of anger. It’s one thing to speak, and it’s a different thing to act. He did not act. He just spoke out of anger. When you’re that hurt and the system has did you this wrong, you may say some things as well.”