Tags: burn | this | bitch | down | brown | stepfather

'Burn This Bitch Down,' Shouted Brown's Stepfather Before Riot

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 09:05 AM

The words of Michael Brown's stepfather caught on a riot-night video – "burn this bitch down" – are being viewed as helping spark the violence just after a St. Louis County grand jury voted not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the teen's shooting death.

Attorneys for the family and other supporters of Brown, though, have tried to distance themselves from the shouts by Louis Head, saying they were made in the emotion of the moment and were out of step with the calls by Brown's mother and father for peaceful protest on Monday night in Ferguson, Missouri.

A video posted on the Daily Beast Tuesday showed Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, yelling out into a large crowd of people after hearing the decision from the grand jury and before breaking down into tears.

"I've been here my whole live," McSpadden told the crowd. "I ain't never had to go through something like this. None of you know me but I don't do nothing to nobody. Anybody say so, they're a lie."

She was consoled by a man later identified by Head as the crowd appeared to shout back and grow angry when Head started to scream "Burn this bitch down," repeatedly.



The New York Times reported that there had been 21 fires in and around Ferguson by Tuesday morning along with at least 150 gunshots fired and damage to 10 police cruisers. The newspaper said firefighters were forced to retreat from fighting burning buildings after having objects being thrown at them.

The "burn this bitch down" cries were different from what Brown's father, Michael Brown, Sr., called for last week, reported CNN.

"We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful," Brown Sr. had said. "Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference."

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French conceded to CNN that Head's words turned the mood of the crowd.

"I think he was expressing a sentiment that a lot of folks in that crowd felt and when he said those words, the mood did change and things got a little bit out of control," French told CNN. "There is such anger and emotion around this case."

Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump said the family does not condone violence and that Head's words were "inappropriate."

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The words of Michael Brown's stepfather caught on a riot-night video – "burn this bitch down" – are being viewed as helping spark the violence immediately after a St. Louis County grand jury voted not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the teen's shooting death.
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2014-05-26
Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 09:05 AM
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