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(CNN) – Video from the New York Times recorded after the news came down Monday about the grand jury decision in Ferguson showed a tearful Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, speaking briefly to supporters before being overcome by emotion. Her husband - Brown's stepfather, Louis Head - consoles her, and then turns and revs up the crowd, saying "Burn this motherf-er down."
"He was expressing a sentiment that a lot of folks in that crowd felt and when he said those words, though, the mood did change and things got a little bit out of control," said St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who was there when Head made the remarks.
The decision to release the grand jury decision late at night - at 8 p.m. CT - was an "incredibly poor choice," said French.
"... and to presumably do that without coordinating with law enforcement - it just looked like government was not prepared," he said.
At press conferences hours before the announcement of the grand jury decision, local and state officials reassured the public that they were prepared for what was to come.
"But when I was out there on West Florissant, it was chaos," French said, referring to an avenue in Ferguson housing several businesses. "There were no police out there."
"I called police and it took them a while to come, but the fact is, no one was there and ready," he said. "It seems like we got all of the negative sides of preemptively calling a state of an emergency, but none of the benefit."