Michael Jackson's father Joe has issued an impassioned plea to the King of Pop's loyal fans ahead of Dr. Conrad Murray's upcoming court hearing - urging them to keep any protests peaceful. The medic has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter amid accusations he administered the powerful drug that killed the "Thriller" hitmaker last June.
Murray's supporters and Jackson fans are planning to descend on the Superior Court of Los Angeles next month, June 14 when the physician is due to face a preliminary hearing ahead of his trial over the death of the superstar. Joe fears the scenes outside the court could turn ugly - and he is urging Jackson's loyal devotees not to resort to violence or "name-calling".
In an open letter to fans, obtained by TMZ.com, Joe writes, "We would like to urge fans who are planning to attend to please do so in peace, unity and love for Michael. There should be NO violence, NO Slander, NO yelling, and NO bad-mouthing or name-calling of Murray or his supporters. This reflects negatively on Michael. He would not support this kind of behaviour... By calling names we are lowering ourselves to their level... We all have a common, unifying mission, which is Justice For Michael..."
"Michael Jackson supporters are not to be looked down on as crazed fanatics, but as crusaders for peace and love."