Attorneys for the Michael Brown family say Governor Jay Nixon spoke too much to protesters, and not enough to law enforcement, in his statement Tuesday.
Nixon outlined what is being done to prepare Ferguson for the release of a grand jury’s decision whether to indict the officer that fatally shot Brown three months ago. Michael Brown family attorney Anthony Gray says what was missing from Governor Nixon’s statement was admonishment of police.
“It is equally important to implore law enforcement to exercise reasonable restraints when dealing with demonstrators. There have been too many reports of excessive behavior and agitation by police officers,” says Gray.
Gray says the Brown family agrees with the Governor’s message that protestors should remain peaceful and does not condone rioting, looting or violence, but says Nixon should have also been critical of what protesters have been faced with in recent months.
“Assault rifles being pointed in their face, being manhandled, being tear gassed, hit by rubber bullets, falsely arrested, including members of the media, some of whom had their equipment damaged,” says Gray.
“Law enforcement should have been equally condemned by the governor for this conduct at the same time he was admonishing the demonstrators. A strong message of zero tolerance should have been conveyed to all.”
Gray contends protests only became violent in response to such actions by law enforcement.