Father of black man killed by US police in 2014 demands answers

Michael Brown Sr. (C), the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot dead by a police officer, speaks to journalists.
Michael Brown Sr. (C), the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot dead by a police officer, speaks to journalists.
Image: JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

The father of Michael Brown, the black American whose killing by police triggered countrywide protests, on Friday marked the fifth anniversary of his son's death by calling on the Justice Department to re-open its investigation into the shooting.

Prosecutors dropped the case against the officer who shot the unarmed 18-year-old, sparking riots in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis in the conservative state of Missouri.

"I am demanding evidence to be reanalyzed, and accountability to follow," Michael Brown Senior told a news conference.

"As a father, I vowed to protect my children, and on August 9, 2014, that wasn't the case," he said.

"I could not protect him that day and it breaks my heart. I will stand and fight until the day I die for justice."

He said his son, who did not appear to be have been threatening police officer Darren Wilson when he shot him, was killed by a "coward with a badge."

"My son was murdered in cold blood, with no remorse and no medical treatment," said Brown, who added that he had recently met new local prosecutor Wesley Bell, who is African-American, to ask him to re-open the case.

Bell has yet to say whether he will comply with the request.

"Our office is doing everything we can to understand the underlying issues that contributed to the tragic death of Michael Brown," he said in a statement.

Close to 1,000 people are killed every year by police in the United States, a disproportionate number of them African American.

Intense media scrutiny in the aftermath of the killing, as well as viral footage uploaded to social media, helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the protests, Ferguson, whose population is mostly black, has seen a number of key government posts awarded to African Americans, including the chief of police.

But for the father, that is not enough. "Black and brown bodies are being found on the ground," he said.

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