LGBT charities and rights groups have issued a joint statement in support of the family of a Missouri teen who was shot dead by a police officer.

There have been two nights of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after the shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer.

Police claim that Brown was shot several times after an altercation in a police car, but witnesses say he was unarmed and had his arms raised when he was shot.

A joint statement has been issued by GLAAD, the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Transgender Law Centre and Gay Men’s Health Crisis, among others.

It reads: “When communities experience fear, harassment and brutality simply because of who they are or how they look, we are failing as a nation.

“In light of the recent events in Missouri, it is clearer than ever that there is something profoundly wrong in our country.

“The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community cannot be silent at this moment, because LGBT people come from all races, creeds, faiths and backgrounds, and because all movements of equality are deeply connected.

“We are all part of the fabric of this nation and the promise of liberty and justice for all is yet to be fulfilled.

“The LGBT community stands with the family of Michael Brown, who was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. We stand with the mothers and fathers of young Black men and women who fear for the safety of their children each time they leave their homes.

“We call on the national and local media to be responsible and steadfast in their coverage of this story and others like it- racialized killings that have marred this nation since the beginning of its history.

“We call on policy makers on all levels of American government not to shrink from action, and we are deeply grateful to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for their immediate commitment to a thorough investigation.

“At this moment, we are inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies … but the silence of our friends’.”