(CNSNews.com) - In a speech at a service for the unarmed 18-year-old killed by police last week, Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was put in charge of the police response in Ferguson, Mo., said Sunday that we should thank Michael Brown's family, because Michael will "make it better for our sons so they can be better black men."
"We all ought to be thanking the Browns for Michael, because Michael's going to make it better for our sons, so they can be better black men, so they can be better for our daughters, so they can be better black women, better for me, so I can be a better black father, and we know they're gonna make our mommas even better than they are today," said Johnson.
Johnson apologized to the Brown family.
"I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I'm sorry," he said.
"This is my neighborhood. You are my family. You are my friends, and I am you. And I will stand and protect you. I will protect your right to protest. And will tell you I'm full right now. I came here and I saw people clapping. And this is what the media needs to put on TV," Johnson added.
"The last 24 hours have been tough for me. I did an interview last night, and a reporter said: 'Something's wrong. Your tone has changed.' He said, 'Are you tired or is something bothering you?'" Johnson said.
He said his heart was heavy after meeting with members of the Brown family the night before, and he promised to be honest with the people of Ferguson.
"And I needed today. I needed today to get back in the water. And I'm gonna tell you I'm gonna be here as long as it takes. My words will be honest. If we talk about it behind closed doors, I'm gonna tell you. So if you don't want me to know, don't tell me behind closed doors," Johnson said.
"When this is over, I'm gonna go in my son's room - my black son, who wears his pants saggin', wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms, but that's my baby," said Johnson.
"And we all ought to be thanking the Browns for Michael, because Michael's going to make it better for our sons, so they can be better black men, so they can be better for our daughters, so they can be better black women, better for me, so I can be a better black father, and we know they're gonna make our mommas even better than they are today," he said.
"Let's continue to show this nation who we are, continue to show this country who we are, but when these days are over … and Mike Brown's family's still weeping, and they're still on their knees praying, no matter what positive comes in our lives, we still need to get on our knees, and we need to pray. We need to thank Mike for his life. We need to thank him for the change that he is going to make and to make us better," he concluded.