Michael Brown Sr. issued a statement last week thanking protesters for raising their voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation but in the same breath urged them to remain peaceful, no matter the grand jury's decision. "I do not want my son's death to be in vain," he said.
He added: “St. Louis finds itself with an opportunity to show the nation the ways in which a community can be more fair and more just for everyone. We must seize this opportunity together.”
Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump tells CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that the
family still doesn't know the grand jury’s decision. “They have told us that
they are going to tell us before they make the announcement publicly.”
Crump restated the family’s frustration with St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.
“We just have to take them at their word (about getting word before the news becomes public). The family has great mistrust with this prosecutor’s office,” Crump said.
He again called for a special prosecutor to take up the case.
The NAACP stands with a generation of youthful practitioners of democracy who have been on the street week after week, days on end seeking justice for a grieving family. ...We expect and hope and believe that these protests will be nonviolent.
We've heard all this nonsense talk about peaceful protests, and, I mean, that's just not what happened. You know, for two weeks following Michael Brown's shooting there were attempts to murder and injure police officers every night. We're hoping for the best but we're bracing for the worst.
I think it's sad that there's this expectation of violence. That's crazy.
From CNN's Sara Sidner: Protesters have begun to stop cars in the road in front of the Ferguson Police Station. A helicopter flies above as the crowd grows larger and larger. The mass of demonstrators is taking over the street. Things are getting a little more tense.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin was more blunt.
"I think it’s a crazy idea to do it at this hour,” he said.
Police officers don't like to deal with big crowds after nightfall," he said. "There’s a reason why when the police give permission to have rallies, it’s always during the day,” he said. “It just seems a needless risk to me.”
CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin agreed, saying a nighttime announcement is "almost reckless."
Retired cop: Police departments need makeover
Ray Lewis could not have stood out more among the demonstrators Monday. He is a white man dressed in full police uniform. His sign said: “Police: try love.”
Lewis was a police captain in Philadelphia. He’s retired now but came down to Ferguson to show solidarity with the protesters and to highlight what he perceives as excessive use of force in police precincts across America.
“I wanted to bring a white police captain’s face to show people in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas that too often blacks are shows as rioting and as criminals and that is just not true.” he told CNN's Moni Basu. “Think twice about judging these people.”
“I am not anti-cop. I am anti-corrupt cop,” he said, adding that he was thinking about crossing the street and shaking the hands of his police brethren guarding the entrance to the Ferguson Police Department.
All around him, the crowd chanted: “Mike Brown! Mike Brown!”
Lewis said there was a lot of truth to what’s being said about white cops not hesitating to pull the trigger on young black men. Police departments, he said, ought to think about recruiting officers who are more sensitive. Otherwise, they are perceived as an occupying force.
“There’s a thousand Fergusons all over America. Police departments need a total makeover.”