Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Police investigate Brown’s stepdad over comments

AP, ST LOUIS, Missouri

Police are investigating Michael Brown’s stepfather for angry comments on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who fatally shot his unarmed stepson, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Officials are looking into Louis Head’s comments as part of a broader investigation into the arson, vandalism and looting that followed the grand jury announcement on Monday last week, St Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said. Twelve commercial buildings were destroyed by fire.

Brown, 18, who was black and unarmed, was killed on Aug. 9 by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white. Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson department over the weekend, had told the grand jury his life was being threatened, but some witnesses said Brown was trying to surrender.

Brown’s killing sparked weeks of unrest and reignited debate over race relations in the US.

Video widely circulated after last week’s grand jury announcement shows Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, on top of a car and breaking down as the decision blares over a stereo. Head, her husband, comforts her then yells angry comments, including “Burn this bitch down.”

Family attorney Benjamin Crump has called the reaction “raw emotion,” but “completely inappropriate.” He did not immediately return messages seeking comment on Tuesday.

Head has not yet been interviewed by police, and there is no timetable for when the investigation will be completed, Schellman said.

He declined to discuss what specific charges Head could face. A message left with a spokesman for St Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch was not immediately returned.

Ferguson police spokesman Jeff Small said the department is not conducting a separate investigation of Head.

Most of the violence occurred in the first two days after the announcement. Peaceful protests have continued, including one on Tuesday involving students who walked out of classes from three Ferguson-area high schools.

On Monday, similar walkouts were staged across the US.

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