Attorney General Koster’s statement regarding
Grand Jury decision announcement in Ferguson
St. Louis, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster released the following statement regarding today’s announcement of the decision of the St. Louis County Grand Jury:
“The death of Michael Brown has caused every Missourian to reflect deeply on divides that continue to exist within our state. While Missouri’s law enforcement community is professional and dedicated to protecting our state’s citizens, these events call on all leaders to explore solutions that increase confidence and communication across those divides. The most lasting lessons of Ferguson are yet to be realized.”
I am very disappointed with the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson. We encourage everyone to follow Michael Brown’s family’s plea that all demonstrations remain nonviolent and that all the nonviolent protestors be treated as citizens and with dignity.
No matter what the Grand Jury’s decision, we know we must not remain silent about injustice. There is much work to do in Ferguson, in Missouri, and in our nation, and we must stand united in pursuing justice while seeking peace. We must work for structural changes while we, as Martin Luther King said, “build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear” that this event and others like them have unleashed. Because as youth in our city of Springfield and across this nation are chanting “Black lives matter.”
I hope that the dialogue will continue in our city to address the inequalities that exist in our society, to address the mistrust that people of color continue to have towards city leaders and others in positions of power.
We need to remember that we are all created in God’s image and that at the center of all faiths is the concept that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. We need to remember King’s words that we must “overcome oppression and violence without resorting to revenge, aggression, and retaliation.” Violence only begets violence and pits us against each other.
Finally lets continue to pray for our neighbors in Ferguson, our nation, and our city of Springfield that the violence will cease. Again, King advises: “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” “Peace is not the absence of tension but the presence of justice.”
Senator Blunt’s Response To Grand Jury Announcement In Ferguson, Mo.
CLAYTON, MO. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today regarding the grand jury’s announcement in Ferguson, Mo.:
“Michael Brown’s death was a tragic loss for his family and for the community. Since August, I’ve been in close touch with clergy members and other local leaders, and I believe we all agree our first priority is peacefully healing and rebuilding the community after months of unrest.
“We must balance the rights of Americans to exercise their free speech alongside the rights of people to live peacefully and safely in their communities. I join Michael Brown’s family in urging protestors to do so peacefully.
“I’ve talked extensively to law enforcement officials to learn more about the tactics, resources, and procedures that our first responders utilize statewide. Law enforcement officials have been candid in identifying ways officers could have handled the situation in Ferguson better, and I trust those recommendations will be helpful as we continue to count on them to protect us.
“My thoughts are with Michael Brown’s family today, as well as those in law enforcement who continue to protect the rights of all they serve, the National Guard members we ask to step forward during difficult times in our state, and all of their family members.
“Michael’s death was tragic, and the months since this tragedy have marked a challenging time in Ferguson and across Missouri. Together, I know we can move forward and heal as we work to find better job opportunities in and more investment for challenged communities.”