Pleas for peace as simmering tensions near boiling point in Ferguson

The father of Michael Brown is making a plea for peace, regardless of whether the grand jury decides to charge the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot his unarmed son. Michael Brown Sr. has posted a video online saying that he, his family and the St. Louis region are still hurting. But, Brown says, “hurting others or destroying property is not the answer”. Police and government leaders are preparing to outline an agreement reached with activist groups spelling out how protesters will conduct themselves following the announcement. Although no date or time for the announcement of its decision was known, the prosecutor’s office said it will organise a news conference.

No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.

Mike Brown Sr., father of Michael Brown

Reports said officer Darren Wilson is planning to resign from the Ferguson Police Department, in order to take pressure off his fellow officers and the embattled police force, which endured nationwide criticism after its heavily armed military response to the violent protests following the shooting in August. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday urged police restraint in protests that may follow a grand jury’s imminent decision. Schools in Ferguson are also reportedly scheduled to be closed early next week. Business owners, meanwhile, have taken to boarding up their windows and some residents say they plan to stay in their homes in the days after the decision announcement.

I know from firsthand experience that demonstrations like these have the potential to spark a sustained and positive national dialogue.

Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General