Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Steven W. Tompkins makes statement on reports that a grand jury has reached a decision regarding the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson:

“Like many people in Suffolk County, I have been following the events that have unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri since Michael Brown was killed in August. The shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by a police officer and the protests that followed have sparked a healthy national conversation, and today’s announcement will likely lead to public assemblies in Suffolk County and around the nation.

I want to urge those citizens who choose to express their opinions on today’s decision to remember that it is your constitutional right to do so and your civic obligation to do so peacefully. Michael Brown will be remembered as much for what happens next as for what has already happened. Let’s not add to the Brown family’s pain by besmirching Michael’s legacy with unnecessary foolishness.

Suffolk County is a long way from Ferguson, Missouri, and even though we still have work to do, our law enforcement agencies are leading the nation in criminal justice reform.”

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