In a speech at a service for the unarmed 18-year-old killed by police last week, Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was put in charge of the police response in Ferguson, Mo., said Sunday that we should thank Michael Brown’s family, because Michael will “make it better for our sons so they can be better black men.”
Johnson apologized to the Brown family.
“I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry,” he said.
“This is my neighborhood. You are my family. You are my friends, and I am you. And I will stand and protect you. I will protect your right to protest. And will tell you I’m full right now. I came here and I saw people clapping. And this is what the media needs to put on TV,” Johnson added.
“When this is over, I’m gonna go in my son’s room–my black son, who wears his pants saggin’, wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms, but that’s my baby,” said Johnson.
“And we all ought to be thanking the Browns for Michael, because Michael’s going to make it better for our sons, so they can be better black men, so they can be better for our daughters, so they can be better black women, better for me, so I can be a better black father, and we know they’re gonna make our mommas even better than they are today,” he said.
“Let’s continue to show this nation who we are, continue to show this country who we are, but when these days are over . . . and Mike Brown’s family’s still weeping, and they’re still on their knees praying, no matter what positive comes in our lives, we still need to get on our knees, and we need to pray. We need to thank Mike for his life. We need to thank him for the change that he is going to make and to make us better,” he concluded.