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Michael Brown's Stepdad Apologizes For Rant Before Ferguson Riots

"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 wrong as the decision itself."

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Jim Young / Reuters

Lesley McSpadden (right), the mother of slain teenager Michael Brown, is greeted by her husband, Louis Head, as she returns from a hearing of the Committee Against Torture at the United Nations in Geneva, at the airport in St. Louis, Missouri, Nov. 14.

The stepfather of the unarmed black teenager whose slaying by a local police officer sparked months of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, has apologized for an expletive-filled response to news that the police officer who fatally shot his stepson would not be charged.

"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," Louis Head said in a statement. "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. It wasn't."

Head's stepson Michael Brown was killed by former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in August. A protest outside the Ferguson police department last Monday deteriorated into a riot after the announcement that a grand jury had decided not to indict Wilson for Brown's death. The New York Times shot video of Head screaming, "Burn this motherfucker down" to a crowd of protesters after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury's decision.

Parks & Crump, the law firm representing Brown's family, released Head's statement following media reports that Ferguson police were considering charges against Head for allegedly attempting to incite a riot on Nov. 24.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said officers have interviewed people who were with Head when he addressed the crowd but haven't spoken with Head, according to CNN.

On Fox News, Jackson told talk show host Sean Hannity that they were considering filing charges against Head.

"We are pursuing (an investigation into) those comments, and there is a lot of discussion going on about that right now," Jackson said. "But I really can't get into that right now."

Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys representing the Browns, has called Head's rant inappropriate but also noted that the family was under a lot of stress on the night of the announcement.

Head echoed that sentiment in his statement.

"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," he said. "My emotions admittedly got the best of me. This is my family."

Here's the full statement from Head:

"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. It wasn't.

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 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. It set the stage for my outbursts.

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.

Now it's time to rebuild. If we are to honor Michael Brown's memory, we need to work together to make rebuilding happen.

I plan to remain here and do my part in earnest and in truth."

Joel Anderson is a senior national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. His secure PGP fingerprint is 0FC3 6546 0874 8D17 BDA8 B237 E902 EE20 2D74 269

Contact Joel Anderson at joel.anderson@buzzfeed.com.

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