Garth Brooks cancels television appearances in the wake of Ferguson decision

The US country singer said to promote his work felt “distasteful”

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The Independent Online

Garth Brooks has cancelled a string of television appearances because of the “civil unrest” caused by the grand jury’s decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson over the fatal shooting of black unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson in August.

The US country singer was scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Live With Kelly & Michael, NPR's All Things Considered and the Today show.

“We landed in NY last night to the news of the civil unrest that was going on in our nation,” wrote Brooks on his Facebook page.

“To spend the day promoting our stuff like nothing was wrong, seemed distasteful to me. I will gladly reschedule any or all appearances the networks will allow. Love one another, g”

In 1992, Brooks released "We Shall Br Free", which challenged oppression of any kind, whether racism, homophobia or related to religion.

Brown’s father said he was “crushed” by the decision not to charge Wilson, while Brown’s mother said Wilson had been “disrespectful”. Their son was 18-years-old when he was killed by Wilson on 9 August.

“For one, my son, he respected law enforcement,” said Michael Brown Sr.

“Two, who in their right mind would rush or charge at a police officer that has his gun drawn?”

The decision sparked violent protests and rioting in Ferguson. Over 400 people have now been arrested in the St. Louis suburb and around the United States.

Outside of Ferguson, thousands across the US have taken to the streets – although most were peaceful.

Michael Snr called for the violence to stop in memory of his son.

“My son was a good guy, a quiet guy,” said Brown. “So in his name, I want to keep it on a positive note.”

In London, hundreds took part in a demonstration, organised by Stand Up To Racism and London Black Revolutionaries, outside the US embassy condemning the jury’s decision. The crowds were joined by Carole Duggan, whose nephew Mark was fatally shot dead by a Met police officer in 2011.

“We know the pain of losing somebody at the hands of the police,” Duggan told campaigners, adding that she was participating as a show of solidarity for Brown’s family.

“That is why we stand in solidarity with the community of Ferguson. I feel they are very strong and brave people,” she continued. “They've come to a point in Ferguson where there is no turning back.

“They have to carry on fighting. They have to see this through. We have to stand behind them because you know what happens there will eventually happen here.”

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