Several protesters were arrested Thursday night after they briefly clashed with police in Ferguson just hours after the St. Louis suburb's police chief issued a video apology to the family of a black teen who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.
A number of protesters were arrested after Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, dressed in civilian clothes, began marching with a crowd of rally-goers to assure protesters that there would be changes in the wake of Michael Brown's killing, local media reported.
"All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes," Jackson said.
The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m., but a scuffle soon broke out about 20 feet behind Jackson and one protester was arrested.
Reuters could not independently verify the reports. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation
The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn't immediately return calls to The Associated Press early Friday
In the video released Thursday, Jackson said to the Brown family, "No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you're feeling. I am truly sorry for the loss of your son."
The video was released by a public relations firm hired by the city of Ferguson.
Jackson, speaking directly to the camera and reading from a script in the video, also apologized for taking "so long to remove" Brown's body from the street where he was killed. He said investigators were collecting evidence to gain "a true picture of what happened that day, but it was just too long."
Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. His body was left in the street for four hours.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown's parents, declined to comment on Jackson's apology. Brown's parents were in Washington on Thursday calling for federal legislation requiring police officers to wear body cameras to document their activities.
Brown's death triggered weeks of protests in the streets of Ferguson, a town of about 21,000, that at times turned into violent clashes with police. Demonstrators accused law enforcement officials of institutionalized racism against minorities in the area.
In the video, Jackson also offered an apology to "any peaceful protester who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest."
Lawsuit against officers, officials
Some Ferguson residents and civil rights activists have said officers were overly aggressive with protesters, citing their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.
Jackson and other officials were sued last month for $40 million by a group alleging civil rights violations.
"The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect," Jackson said. "If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry I feel responsible and I'm sorry."
A grand jury is examining whether officer Wilson will face charges in Brown's death.
The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the shooting, as well as a separate investigation into the practices of the police department in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.
Another violent protest erupted in Ferguson late on Tuesday night. Two officers suffered minor injuries and five people were arrested in the protest, which lasted into Wednesday.
Some information for this report came from Reuters and AP.