"Blame Charlie A. Dooley": St. Louis County Executive Apologizes to Ferguson

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County Executive Charlie Dooley apologizes for the events in Ferguson with St. Louis mayor Francis Slay beside him.
Charlie Dooley, the long-time head of St. Louis County government, is sorry.

In a rare showing of humility and apology from a public official after the death of Michael Brown, Dooley went off-script at the Economic Development Partnerships luncheon Thursday to take responsibility for the traumatizing violence that gripped Ferguson in August -- and for the still-fuming public anger that led to it.

"I want to apologize to this community," Dooley said. "This happened on my watch, and I take it very seriously."

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

He singled out Brown's family, especially his mother, to apologize.

"To Michael Brown's family, I can't even imagine what they're going through," Dooley said. "No child, no mother, should feel that their child is not of value in this community. That is unacceptable. So I am going to take full responsibility for that. I was the county executive these last eleven years, and we should have done a better job in the training, sensitivity, diversity and talk[ing] about things that are real."

Dooley asked St. Louis to focus on improving economic opportunities in struggling neighborhoods like Ferguson and on improving the schools he says are "failing" black students -- not on finding someone to blame.

"If you want to blame somebody, blame Charlie A. Dooley," he said. "Don't blame yourselves. Be part of the solution."

The key to moving forward, Dooley said, is embracing diversity.

"Let's figure out, how do we move forward, how do we get new leadership, how do we get more people involved in our community -- not 'theirs,' not 'them,' but ours," Dooley said. "When we talk about immigration, diversity, folks, it is about all of us. That is what this great country was founded upon, people thinking different, looking different but being in one country."

Dooley lost last month's primary election, so for the first time in eleven years, he's not on the campaign trail to keep his county executive title. Steve Stenger, who decisively won the Democratic primary, now faces anger from Ferguson protesters who don't trust the architect of his win, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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18 comments
Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

He's not in the city. He's the outgoing head of the County government. Can't you read?

kurancy
kurancy

The RFT quoted correctly then the RFT botched it on the report of the schools comments. Here is the quote about the schools, "The public schools, folks, it's happened across this nation, St. Louis is no different, our public schools are failing in the African American community, no place else. We have a job to do. Lets not look around and say who is to blame, lets figure out, how do we move forward..." In my opinion his statement is quite different than what RFT has reported.

Roscoe Habeeb Wentworth
Roscoe Habeeb Wentworth

If its your fault then youz a house nigga & a failure just like Ron Johnson & Obama, cause that Yankee is still walking free. How much did they pay your ass for this bullshit? And with that said, Fuck You Too. The next child killed by white cops should be yours since you taking blame L7. Hands Up Don't Shoot

Kelly Reed-Burke
Kelly Reed-Burke

Wait s minute....how did a black man get control in this city because all I have heard, incorrectly may I add, is that the blacks are not being represented, spoken for, accounted for, or given opportunity to advance.....so you mean to tell me that blacks in St Louis can go to public schools for free, vote, read, write, marry, participate in local events, run for office, and even WIN elections? Well hot dayum!!! How progressive!! I've heard NOTHING but the contrary!

Melissa Cobb
Melissa Cobb

How can you be mad about someone for accountability? Smh. Good for him. At least he admits he screwed up

TrayvonWalters
TrayvonWalters

Or blame the Brown family for having a dad that was a thug, and a mom who was clueless about her son becoming one too.

Or blame Micheal Brown and Dorian Johnson for starting the violence in the convenience store.

Then blame the liberal socialist media for propagating the lie about a "Gentle Giant" surrendering with his Hands Up , Don't Shoot and then getting shot in the back.

Or blame the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam for ramping up violence to the point of looting , burning, and gunfire.

Or blame poverty pimps like Al Sharpton from profiting on Black Racism.

Who you can't blame is any decent law abiding person who gets the hell out of Ferguson ASAP>

Scott Shoemaker
Scott Shoemaker

Facts not in ? So there were no riots ? No looting ? No fires ? Huh. Thanks for clearing that up.

Marlin Rogers
Marlin Rogers

Hey Dooley, the facts are not in yet. Wait for the facts. Wait for the truth

mark314618636
mark314618636

OMG! You are the problem. You ignore entrenched racism and bigotry in metro. How many of your neighbors are African-American.

ChadBiffington
ChadBiffington

Black on White crime is not important to the hipster bloggers at RFT: it doesn't go with their Hands UP t-shirt and black Fedora.


 Unless it happens to them after they are dining out. Then they can blog it as a "diversity challenge aperitif , with contusions and abrasions, requiring some local brew"


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