The family of Michael Brown has issued a strongly worded appeal to a St. Louis media organization to drop its pursuit of information on the dead teenager’s juvenile record.
In a letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Benjamin Crump, one of the lawyers for the Brown family, said the facts surrounding Brown’s death were sufficient to provide the public with the information they needed on the unarmed teenager.
“We know many things about Michael Brown,” the letter said. “We know that he was 18 years old when he died. We know that he was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer. We know that he wasn't armed at the time he was shot and killed. We know that his body was left uncovered on the ground in the baking sun for hours, causing untold agony for his family and community.”
The letter continues: “We also know that he was facing no criminal charges at the time that he died, either as a juvenile or as an adult. Michael Brown, as it turns out, has no arrest record. The last fact is a particularly difficult truth if you are trying to make a case that Michael Brown deserved what he got. Or if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website.”
Several weeks ago, the Post-Dispatch and its editor, Gilbert Bailon, filed a request to obtain the juvenile record of Brown, saying that it was in the public interest to make that information public.
Under Missouri law, juvenile records are sealed. Yet, the request for the records to be made public drew sharp reaction not only from the family of Brown, but also from community leaders in Ferguson and in St. Louis County.
Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan
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(Photo: Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)