Al Sharpton: 'To Become Violent in Michael Brown's Name, Is to Betray the Gentle Giant That He Was'

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters last night in Ferguson, Missouri.
23:11 | 08/12/14

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Transcript for Al Sharpton: 'To Become Violent in Michael Brown's Name, Is to Betray the Gentle Giant That He Was'
-- think about what. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Right now lonely and obvious people around the. -- -- -- -- -- And that was the mother of eighteen year old Michael Brown shot and killed on Saturday afternoon in Ferguson Missouri. By last night riot police were firing rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters 24 hours after demonstrations turned violent. Thanks for joining us I'm -- can on -- in Washington a police news conference set for this hour has been canceled. And the name of the officer who shot the -- and Michael Brown will not be disclosed at least not today. We're joined now by ABC news legal analyst Ryan Smith Ryan thanks for joining us. -- off police to cancel that press conference decided not to release the name of the officer who shot the teen. Let's listen in here to Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson explaining the decision there. I was originally gonna release the name of the officer. Because I was I was informed that it was it was a requirement. Within a certain amount of time. And we're gonna comply with that. We were concerned at that time you know for his safety however. At this point given. The threats in the way social media has. Has has played out we we think that the value that might have been gains if any by releasing the name. Is far outweighed by. The risk of danger at this point. So I am beyond the concerns we heard the chief explain -- what's your sense of of the reasons that police. Would not want to hold that press conference today -- come out to speak more publicly about this case well I think they don't want to inflame people any more than has already been done there. And I think by coming out in saying that publicly. They might have even more problems on their hands instead they can say -- this way and simply make the argument that there are so many threats that might happen to that officer of the name is released. That we think it's better to withhold that name the problem -- I think they're still going to be a great deal of frustration because when you have a young men like Michael Brown. Who has been killed whether it was by some criminal act or not people want to know who was involved in that and it makes people I think feel a little bit uncomfortable. Because in some ways. They think maybe investigate -- -- investigation should be happening maybe we should know all the information. And the police are releasing that right now so it is a reason but I don't know if it's going to be a good enough reason for folks out there who feel like. The investigation isn't going the way it should. So let's listen here to a little more tape this is ABC news correspondent Steve -- since -- speaking with Michael Brown's mother father and their lawyer Benjamin Crump. And Steve is asking about communication or the lack thereof. Between the family and police. Have the police been working with you at all. He's gotten anything from no no no evidence statement that are released of and they say anything about this video. This video that the girl as she turned and know. Nothing that. We've gotten any explanation as to why they you know what that what started as -- first place. Evident and there have put forth by the police that they reject the you -- the part where they say that he thought would. He went into car. Where. That would go into a police car. -- -- -- -- This type of case where one person commits or allegedly commits a crime against someone else. Police would speak to that person's family and I think here. Again just allegations at this point but I think it would help the police department to reach out to the family let them know what they have. I think in many ways it is unusual but I think police also are probably looking into this investigating and wanted to make sure they have all their ducks in a row. But in many cases victims' families will tell you were people who think that something has happened we'll tell you. It's better to hear from the police on the front end so they can get a better sense of what's going on behind the scenes otherwise. You start to spin a little bit wondering if you're situation is being investigated the way you think it should and that could set up -- real problem for police. Now the Ferguson police department came out just in the day after the shooting and -- that they are hit were handing the investigation over. To the Saint Louis county police. Here is first and police chief Tom Jackson again speaking on the reasoning behind that decision to turn over the case. As soon as this happened I called the chief of -- Saint Louis county and asked him to take over the scene. As far as a criminal investigation. And all the processing and everything related to the after the shooting so I'm not involved in the investigation at all and I don't wanna be. Not that just because -- -- make sure that it's done. Fairly impartially and and and Ashley and and very for specially but also. That I want to avoid the appearance of the propriety. So Ferguson police -- saying that actually immediately same day the Saint Louis county police department came minute. Took over the investigation -- was at the right move I think it actually was and for two reasons one is he mentioned impartiality you do not want. People in that community saying well an officer we believe shot an unarmed young man. And those same officers are investigating one of their own. That would be bad so they had to get someone else involved -- -- the other reason here is re sources. When you think about this police department it's not very big but this -- become a major national story and it's got major implications in that community. You're talking about riots. Different actions in the streets and in the education want to bring in a bigger police department to help out resources is key in a case like this but the biggest one. Is that sense of fairness. You do not want you you don't want to be in charge of the investigation involving one of your own officers. In a case like this where it's very controversial because you could attract a lot of negative attention so in many ways I think this is a good move by that police department. And you make the point there about what a big -- -- cases has become so many people around the nation really paying attention here. And the FBI is getting involved in investigating so how well an FBI investigation be different. From what the local police department is looking into him well they're looking at some different factors and what's -- little -- -- here is typically. FBI would come into a case like this much later in the game but they're coming in early here I think because of the national attention and also. Because of what's been going on in the streets over there. So I think two things -- gonna look for two cases they really might be focused on. One as possibly a civil rights violation. Did police shoot this young man Michael Brown. Because of the color of the skin because of race if that's the case to potential federal case in which case goes to federal court. And other cases the color of law case which essentially says something like this if a police officer kills someone. Without justification. Than in some ways they're denying them the constitutional right to life so. That then would become a federal case so they're gonna look for information on those two tracks they're gonna look at the video tapes that were taken. They gonna talk to witnesses and -- got to try to figure out what happened here to see if those cases exist but it's rare -- -- For them to come in this early but it shows you how important this case may be to the federal government. And -- police have said immediately that they will do a full and a thorough investigation in this case. But there's a couple of things they have to balance here. You know they say they -- they want the time to do the proper investigating -- at the same time they've got -- community demanding information demanding answers how to think. Balance those two things it's a very tough spot -- they have to make sure they handle things expeditiously. -- back to something we talked about earlier. The way many police departments and authorities try to handle this is talking to the community. Talking to the family can't under estimate I can't understate how important that is. If you reach out to the family you tell them what's going on you share with them and the family in some ways can become your ally and say police are telling us this they're telling us that. What draws concern here is they're not doing that at this point. I'm also a little bit concerned that from what we're hearing so far. They haven't spoken a lot to the young man who was with Michael Brown now maybe in some ways that's because he -- a story that's a little bit different from what police have said so far. But that's part of an investigation. He talked to your witnesses he talked to other people at the scene you do it. Fully thoroughly and completely and you make sure especially -- -- case with this much tension. You're speaking to the family did not do that is to raise concerns so I think the balancing test comes with. Doing the investigation quickly. But keeping people informed because when you keep them informed you'll arming them with information instead of allowing them. To basically formed their own thoughts about what they believe is happening. Almost immediately after -- shooting there were some local community activists that gathered in the neighborhood. And were organizing with protesters and we've just learned that the Reverend Al Sharpton is. In Ferguson now -- his role there what is he demanding for the family. -- Al Sharpton is demanding justice I think he's there to draw attention to the situation. And I think in many cases such as these. Families especially African American -- minorities were involved in situations like this. Feel like there's not enough attention. And with the tension mr. Benjamin -- you see there -- Al Sharpton. Comes some sense of let's get this investigation -- process moving so. I think a lot of people out there are gonna say well maybe he's inflaming the situation on the flip side other folks might say well he's drawing attention to something about this kind of attention. Will the family get the kind of attention they want for this particular case. And we know that their reverend Sharpton is holding a press conference and possibly now are very soon. From Saint Louis can we had -- a drop in that press conference can we hear what's going on. And -- the great community leaders here. And finish I need -- committee member bill. And Phil -- there are rather than an NAACP. The -- -- the cars are we are honored to have. One of great civil rights leaders here in the United States of America. Reverend Al Sharpton joined in the Paris. Michael. Brown. Jones. We're equally on it to help pass -- -- -- From Baltimore Maryland and empowerment -- Join in this there's -- How will make some brief remarks -- -- gray it will make some brief remarks about some things that are -- relevant to this day. And then Reverend Al Sharpton. Will make some remarks. And we will allow the parents. To make some brief remarks I think they've talked enough and you -- know they're going through. And then we were here from pass to Jamal Bryant. About this charged but also things that Yemen rivers job there have been -- and -- of the local leaders about. -- -- Met mark co counsel attorney -- -- -- greater dress -- briefly also praised ever happening right now. Thank you so much thank you first of all let me just say thank you -- although that have come out -- some interest in this situation. On behalf of the family in all of us that are standing behind -- family we truly appreciate. All of the support. And I use or interest because what we have here is a colorblind. Interest in what happened to mr. Michael Brown junior. The curiosity that people have in this community doesn't have a colored not white curiosity. Black curiosity Hispanic curiosity is -- general curiosity. And we expect that the facts or circumstances -- be fully fleshed out. And that we -- have a transparent. And open investigation that's about -- -- now some of the interest and curiosity that surrounds these events so -- called out to the public. Is that if you have any information. Any evidence that can be used to assist. The investigators who -- trying. To investigate these kind of matters -- getting to the bottom of this is satisfied -- nationwide curiosity. As to what happened. In a broad daylight. Overnight camp filled apartment that's -- maybe you -- -- called everybody here and again thank you so much on. I want to acknowledge. One. Especially in the -- from out of town and that is -- uncle of Oscar grant. From Oakland California talk about it I -- its commitment to. Now reverend. We've been told by people in the community. Through the community leaders. That. Their families. Arrested. Over -- them people. Four -- unlawful assembly. Them win best lawyers see that. That tells. They -- arrested bail but operate in. Under the constitution of the United States -- -- we have a right. -- -- and address. Our concerns anywhere in the United States. We understand. River now that these individuals. Were arrested. Because they have their hands. And they -- Don't shoot me for walking. Don't shoot me because I'm black in the please -- that was enough to -- -- so we fair and a clarion call out. The police department and the leaders if you want the community. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- don't know rest up for answers. Constitutional. Rights because all we Americans as well. -- so we want the pulleys to make this transparent. We understand and you all want our response to. They're not release in the name of the police stopped the pastor -- that. -- -- we will say this spam. None lead in the bridge is not Michael Brown saying. Non Levy the mother and the father have asked by -- bad -- tipped me. This. Respectful. To be -- responsible the B about it to do everything get -- We have not asked and invited to do any thing like that so it is very important. -- In there and I am I respect them -- -- now. That we make sure we call -- We call for everybody would be responsible. There -- penalties. And our Brothers ourselves. Why them black life who has spent enough that transparency they're -- bill. And the fact that they won't give them -- of the office. We are not. Advocating the in the about it should be -- against anybody we believe in the rule will blow. We believe -- -- -- -- let everybody know reverend Al shop and they have. But it remains everybody is united we stand back if we're gonna tell people -- believe in the low and they expect a -- allow. They they gotta work both ways that welfare of its revenue to. I was right to -- a great they were supposed to release the name of the issue an officer and now they say -- safety concerns David though they haven't illustrated. In a direct. Threats against this individual -- for -- They say they're not -- -- release tonight where that doesn't give the community confidence that doesn't make it transparent. And remember we got a long way to go for this community start to -- they've -- at the police are -- to -- give them all to answer -- not try to sweep it under the road. -- over the phase we wanted to address where -- right up front. The spam -- Want this to be transparent they want the name of the police officer who shot -- -- And bride daylight. To be released just -- that will be one step to transparency. Now we want all the other answers to. We want to know why he felt the need to shoot unarmed kid. Who would Wear -- T -- Reverend Al Sharpton and -- out clearly had no weapon. We wanna know why. He -- -- the to execute. Might grow and live please. Child. -- -- -- -- -- I -- you to do of the charity area and about -- attention to a true true. Time here in the field of civil rights. From New York City. Reverend Al Sharpton. Let me say that. -- that talked with the mother. And grandfather. Last night. And I've spent time just now with the father about. The only thing that they express. If they want justice. And bad news. In the process. Of them losing their son. This is not -- calls what bill does -- -- out. This is not some -- -- politics. This is -- out. And we are here for National Action Network. -- -- -- long after these cameras evolved to help bail. Pursued justice. On them off idiots out. Secondly. No one has the right. To take bets -- -- And dragged -- through the mud because you and to -- -- bad. In Michael Brown's -- Is to portray did just that giant that he will look. Don't please well thank you. Don't be so angry. That -- just thought. Image who -- mother and baba told us he well. -- -- -- -- -- Has been -- young. General -- Was taken from us on the weekend he was going to school. So help -- make in this sorry how mad we -- -- and then how promising he walls. All -- to Michael brown. And and they put you back. You're saying that -- some they're politicians. Summit -- leadership. -- -- -- -- Frail but disrespect. This -- -- -- -- -- Banks are trying to pick up the pieces. But it I -- -- asking everybody to respect them. What I've got yet responded I'm way and acts -- parents what you -- usually at the same respect. -- -- -- -- -- I'd say we want the federal government. Just up and not only and rotten. But become the wants that deal with this case because -- all all authority. Have I've talked spotted at -- -- I needed somebody grassroots leaders that people and attractions. And if that all public -- Have what themselves and hopelessness. And may not be it's as Barrett where people will not -- It and whether an objective of the investigation. It is and that it is that -- but. Isn't it -- a brilliant at city picked up that you have both Fran and objective. Investigates. And that is the Reverend Al Sharpton speaking in saint Louis Missouri where he has come down to speak with the community there -- and angered by the shooting an -- -- teenager Michael Brown. It I'm also joined now by ABC news legal analyst -- -- -- -- listening into that press conference Ryan is seems to me that one of the top priorities. Four in the lawyers and for the family and for the reverend Sharpton has been to come there to the community and to call for peace to prevail. Exactly that was -- primary reason for Reverend Al Sharpton and others to be there to it as he put it not disrespect the family. By trying to be violent in making the story about violence not about this young man who lost his life. I thought to other things really stood out the second thing is the first thing is. Transparency. Every single person who got to the podium talked about that word and it's an important work goes back what we were talking about. In cases like this it's good for police to talk and bridge a line of communication to the family. To make sure they're clear on what's happening without that you wonder what's going on you start to distrust -- you're dealing with. The other thing I think is important as Al Sharpton just -- for the federal government to trump the current. -- folks down there investigating and take over this investigation. Because they'd be in -- objective but the federal government I think at this point intends to make these. Parallel investigations I don't think they're going to take over the current investigation. Instead they might run their own investigation into civil rights claims and other violations that -- -- and to federal court but the big what you mentioned Bosnia. Peace and making sure that the community stays calm during this volatile time. Brian Smith thank you so much for joining us we know you'll continue to follow this case and keep us updated. And we will our audience so that you can keep up with all -- the latest from Ferguson in real time. By downloading the ABC news -- and by starring the story to get exclusive updates wire on the -- For now I'm -- -- me in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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