CLAYTON — Michael Brown Sr., whose 18-year-old son was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer five years ago, stood outside the Buzz Westfall Justice Center on Friday to demand that St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell reopen the investigation.
“I am demanding evidence to be reanalyzed, and accountability to follow,” Brown told the press. “As a father, I vowed to protect my children, but on Aug. 9, 2014, that wasn’t the case. I could not protect him that day and it breaks my heart. I will stand and fight until the day I die for justice.”
Brown said his son, Michael Brown, was “murdered in cold blood” by “a coward with a badge,” referring to then-Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury reviewed evidence of the shooting on Canfield Drive for three months before declining to indict Wilson in November 2014.
Brown Sr. said Friday that he had spoken to Bell about reopening the case. He said he respects the first-term prosecutor and that his demands are not meant to “attack” or “ambush” him.
“I definitely don’t feel like (Bell) owes me nothing, but I do think that he needs to do his job,” Brown Sr. said.
Since Bell defeated 28-year incumbent Robert McCulloch last year on a progressive reform platform, Bell has refused to say publicly whether he would reopen the case.
Bell’s spokeswoman, Josi Nielsen, did not return a call for comment Friday.
In a prepared statement earlier this week Bell said, “Our office is doing everything we can to understand the underlying issues that contributed to the tragic death of Michael Brown. We are working every day with the community and law enforcement to implement policies and reforms that meaningfully address those issues, and help this community and this region heal.”
Brown said the goal of several community events scheduled this weekend is to “rehumanize” his son, whose corpse lay on Canfield Drive for more than four hours after the shooting.
Brown told reporters Friday that he doesn’t think enough has changed since his son’s death.
“Black and brown bodies are being found on the ground,” he said. “Until we start getting more communication on the police side — I’m not going to say we’re not at fault on certain things — but I think the badge and the uniform is what scares our people. I still cringe.”