The family of Michael Brown has requested a cease from protests in order to observe a day of peace as the family mourns their loss. The funeral services for 18-year-old Brown, who was killed by a Ferguson police offer on August 9, will convene this morning at 10 a.m. and will be a public memorial. At least three officials are expected to be in attendance from the White House, along with the presence of Al Sharpton and other activists.
The family has not had the opportunity to properly grieve their loved one due to all the publicity his murder has brought. Brown was unarmed the day he was shot multiple times and killed at the hands of law enforcement. His body was left in the street on Canfield Drive for at least four hours following the incident. Many details of the shooting remain unclear, however; a friend of Brown told authorities that Officer Darren Wilson instigated the homicide while police have said some type of struggle over the officer’s gun ensued.
Since the killing protests have been unceasing and crowds have gathered around the city for days. This, of course, has drawn a heavy police presence as well. Michael Brown Sr., the teen’s father, asked the city for a day of peace.
I would like for no protesting going on. We just want a moment of silence that whole day, just out of respect for our son.
Wilson, a six-year veteran of the Ferguson police department, has not been publicly seen since his name was released to the media. The 28-year-old officer was reportedly injured during a scuffle with the teen but the case is still in the early stages of investigation with more details to follow. Although this case has already been sent to a grand jury, deliberations are not expected to conclude for a couple of months.
Brown’s celebration of life is being held at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. This is one of the larger churches in the St. Louis area and can seat more than 4,000 people. Sharpton, who is expected to speak at the funeral, said on Sunday,
I think that what we can say is that we must turn this moment into a movement to really deal with the underlying issues of police accountability and what is and is not allowable by police, and what citizens ought to be moving toward. We need to deal with how we move toward solutions, how we deal with the whole aggressive policing of what is considered low-level crimes.
Although many have voiced support for Brown’s family and the city of Ferguson as a whole, Wilson is not without his own supporters. A pro-Wilson rally and fundraiser took place over the weekend to show support for the officer who reportedly acted out of a position of self-defense. The event was organized by a group called Support Darren Wilson and was organized on Facebook.
During the rally the group sold nearly 1,000 T-shirts along with sodas, chips and hot dogs to raise money for Wilson’s legal team. The shirts captioned, “Officer Darren Wilson I Stand By You. 8-9-14” and sold for $20 each. To date the group said it has raised about $400,000 through the rally efforts and other donations.
Regardless of the stance onlookers have taken, the Brown family has requested all protesters in Ferguson take a break so the family can honor Michael Brown’s life. The funeral services for the unarmed teen, which was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, will convene this morning at 10 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. The service is open to the public and is expected to have several dignitaries in attendance.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)