Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson made many apologies today, including one to the family of slain teen Michael Brown, saying, "I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son. I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street," reports CNN. Jackson is referring to the four hours Brown's body was left in the open after he was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson last month. He says officers were collecting evidence at the time, but "it was just too long, and I'm truly sorry for that. … Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family. They were simply trying to do their jobs."
Jackson also aimed an apology at those who, after Brown's death, peacefully protested the greater societal issues the shooting brought to light. "Overnight I went from being a small-town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality, and the role of policing in that conversation. … I want to be part of that conversation [and] part of the solution," he says. Violent unrest, however, will still be handled with force to protect public safety: "If that means officers will respond in riot gear, they will. We cannot have nights like last night. Those will not be tolerated."