Despite calling for peaceful protests even in the event of a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old’s step-father was caught on video provoking violence.
“Burn this bitch down!” Brown’s step-father, Louis Head, yelled into a raucous crowd in front of Ferguson police headquarters Monday night as St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict.
Head was with Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden who was being restrained by a friend and yelled “they think this is a fucking joke!”
“Everybody want me to be calm,” she yelled. “Do you know how them bullets hit my son?”
“Nobody had to live through what I had to live through,” she said. “But y’all want to come with y’all fucked up ass comments.”
Head, who was wearing a white shirt with Brown’s picture on it, consoled McSpadden as she cried and then turned to the crowd to began yelling “Burn this bitch down!” over and over.
Head, 38, is an ex-convict. He and McSpadden are currently under investigation for allegedly assaulting vendors selling T-shirts commemorating Brown.
After the grand jury’s decision was announced, McSpadden released a statement along with Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., calling for peaceful protests.
“We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction,” they said in the statement.
Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump responded to the outburst at a press conference held with Rev. Al Sharpton.
“Raw emotion, not appropriate at all, completely inappropriate,” Crump said, according to Mediaite. “God forbid your child is killed the way their [child was] killed, and then they get the devastating announcement and the manner it was announced and somebody put a camera in your face, what would be your immediate reaction? So, don’t condemn them for being human.”
More than a dozen Ferguson businesses were burned late Monday and Tuesday morning. Many more were looted. Gun shots rang out across the city, and two police cars were set on fire.