"For the mistakes I have made, I take full responsibility."
That's just part of the statement that Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Thursday to the parents of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed black teen who was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson in August
"I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son. I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street," he continued in a videotaped apology released by the Devin James Group, a communications firm.
Jackson's apology addressed why it took more than four hours for Brown's body to be removed from the street of the St. Louis suburb. He said his officers were doing "very important work," but admitted it was "too long."
Ferguson became a flash point for racial tension and grabbed the international spotlight for the protests that broke out in August and the resulting police crackdown. His apology touched on the police's response to the demonstrators.
"Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people [in the neighborhood where Brown was shot]. They were simply trying to do their jobs," he said.
Finally, he mentioned that the incident started a national conversation about race, and he said he would like to be part of that discussion.
"Overnight I went from being a small-town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation. As chief of police, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution," he said.
"The city belongs to all of us and we're all a part of this community," he concluded. "It is clear that we have much work to do."