OTR Interviews

Michael Brown family attorney: Distrust between parents, Ferguson prosecutors

Benjamin Crump: Michael Brown' family hopes for peace, non-violence, hasn't had much of a relationship with prosecutors. #Ferguson

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 24, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Earlier today, the Brown family nervous, wondering what to expect and when to expect it, and then the call. The Brown family was notified of the grand jury's decision. We will hear all of that decision tonight at 8:00 p.m. central.

Brown family lawyer, Benjamin Crump, joins us. Good evening, sir.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN FAMILY: Good evening, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ben, have you spoken to the family in the last couple hours? And, if so, how are they doing?

CRUMP: As you said, they are very nervous, Greta. They are on pins and needles waiting on the decision, and an emotional roller coaster.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, this has been tough for everybody on both sides of this. Sort of interesting that Michael Brown Sr. issued a public service announcement calling for calm.

CRUMP: Yes, ma'am. And they are trying to find positive things to deal with such a negative situation. And as Attorney Williams just said, the people in Ferguson are trying really hard to put on their best face. And hopefully, we have learned from three months now dealing with this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, Governor Nixon, governor of Missouri, says he doesn't know what the verdict is of the grand jury, whether they have decided to indict or not indict. Do you have any information, does the family have any heads up or any information?

CRUMP: No, ma'am. Greta, we are going to be notified by the prosecutor, his office said, before they make the announcement publicly.

VAN SUSTEREN: And did they tell you how much they are going to give you, like five-minute notice, two-minute notice, any information at all?

CRUMP: They did not. They only said they would call before the district attorney tells the world.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's it been like for the family dealing with the prosecutor's office since this started? What's the relationship?

CRUMP: It's not very much of a relationship, Greta. It's one that's a little difficult because they thought that they were going to get notice today of the decision. But they actually found out from the media that the decision was coming today. So there's a lot of mistrust on behalf of Michael Brown's parents and the prosecutor's office. But what they want is everybody to voice their opinions but they also want people to be peaceful and do things constructively and not violently.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much pressure has been on the family? Lots of times, families, when they're under pressure like this, whether it's someone injured in Iraq or someone arrested for something or has a serious illness, lots of pressure on families when they go through things. The last couple months, on a personal level, how has it been for the family?

CRUMP: Well, as a parent, Greta, you can only imagine losing your child and losing them in this manner, and then not really being able to grieve, but for the last three months, they had to have this very public fight to try to see if the killer of their child would be held accountable. So it's been one of those stressful situations where emotions take their toll on them. And they are just not praying and saying that we hope that the killer of our child is held accountable and, no matter what, we're going to find a way to get something positive out of this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the use of the word "killer" suggests to me that - - and I understand the grief and pain, you know, that they are going through. Of course, I haven't walked in their shows shoes so I don't truly understand it. But have they made up their minds that they are certain that he should be indicted or are they going to wait to hear what the grand jury is? Can they accept that the grand jury heard the evidence and accept their determination whatever that is or not?

CRUMP: Greta, you have children. And if someone told you your unarmed child was killed in broad daylight, it would be hard for you to try to reconcile your mind that a person will kill your unarmed child and not even have to face the court of law to have the evidence against him brought before a jury. That's all they have asked for is to have a court of law to be transparent, it all come out so they can have a chance at what they believe justice is. They haven't got all the facts based on what happened in the grand jury. Apparently, this secret proceeding may never be made public now.

But what they do know is what witnesses have told them about what they witnessed with their child, what Dr. Baden has told them based on his autopsy. And they believe that their child was killed and it was -- the killer should be held accountable. They do not feel it was justified.

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if you are able to see any of the pictures of Missouri tonight. We have live pictures to se what the jury decides. Do you expect, when you talk to the people on the street there, do you expect that there's going to be trouble or not?

CRUMP: You know, Greta, as you said, Michael Brown's father did the PSA. His mother and everybody on our legal team, we have continued to try to stress that people be peaceful. We understand the frustration. Nobody can be more frustrated than his mother and father. If they can exercise their constitutional rights in a peaceful way, everybody else should. The Ferguson community is doing it. So all these people are coming from outside, we want them to follow the example of the Ferguson community and be nonviolent.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. In the event -- I have no idea what the grand jury is going to do tonight. But in the event that they return a no bill, meaning that there's no indictment, does the family intend to sue the police officers civilly since that's a much lower burden of proof? That doesn't ask for incarceration but asks for compensation, monetary compensation? Is that the expectation to try to make themselves whole? Do they expect to do that?

CRUMP: Well, we are exploring all their legal avenues to get some sense of justice. But at the end of the day, they really want the killer to be held accountable, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: And, of course, we will be watching tonight when the jury does return.

Mr. Crump, I very much appreciate you joining us tonight. I know it's been quite a day, and your day certainly is not over by any means, sir.

CRUMP: Thank you so much.