‘He just wanted so much.’ Michael Brown’s family, friends gather for funeral services


ST. LOUIS — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Monday called for a change in policing following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., saying the teen should be remembered for more than just disturbances.

“A movement means we’ve got to be here for the long haul and turn our chance into change, our demonstration into legislation,” Sharpton told mourners who had gathered at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

Sharpton was speaking at the funeral services of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The Monday morning services drew large crowds to the St. Louis church, including celebrities, politicians, civil-rights activists, and the family members of teenagers who had died in similar shootings.

“This afternoon, Lesley and Michael Sr. will have to do something that is out of order,” Sharpton said. “They will have to lay their son to rest. Order says that children bury their parents. It is out of order … for children to be buried by their parents. We should not sit here today and act like we’re watching something that is in order.”

Family members who addressed the crowd spoke of the importance of the community’s voice following Brown’s death, and shared their memories of the teenager, who they say used to tell them he was going to “going to shake the world.”

“He just wanted so much,” his stepmother Cal Brown said. “He wanted to go to college, he wanted to have a family, he wanted to be a good father.”

Near the church — which can hold a crowd of thousands — a table was set up, covered with T-shirts that were being sold for $10 each before the service.

“Hands up, don’t shoot,” one shirt said.

“RIP Mike Brown,” said another.

Brown, 18, was shot by Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb that’s about a 10-minute drive from the church. In contrast to the demonstrations that followed his death, the scene Monday was quiet and peaceful, with many in line refusing to utter a word. At the funeral, Sharpton referred to video that appeared to show Brown robbing a store, which was released by police officials when they publicly identified Wilson after several days of unrest.

“America, how do you think we look when the world can see you can’t come up with a police report but you can find a video?” Sharpton said. “How do you think we look when young people march nonviolently asking for the land of the free and the home of the brave to hear their cry, and you put snipers on the roof, and pointed guns at them? How do we look?”

A day earlier, Brown’s father pleaded for calm in the city,  saying he wanted a peaceful day for the services.

“We appreciate your love and support,” Michael Brown Sr. told a crowd Sunday. “All I want is peace while my son is laid to rest.”

Brown’s black lacquer coffin with brass handles was closed as mourners filed into the sanctuary, which one church member, Pam Britt of St. Louis, said seats 2,500. Another auditorium a block away can hold an overflow crowd of 2,000.

The number of mourners could not be immediately confirmed Monday morning, but the main sanctuary, including the balcony, was filled to capacity 30 minutes before the services at 10 a.m. Central time. Burial followed at a St. Louis cemetery.

In the rear of the sanctuary, onlookers rose to their feet when they caught sight of civil rights icon Jesse Jackson Sr., celebrity pastor T.D. Jakes, and the father of Trayvon Martin, another black teenager who was killed in a controversial 2012 shooting. Spike LeeTom Joyner and the families of Oscar Grant and Jordan Davis were also present.

Those seated in the church again rose to their feet when the choir, singing softly to an organ, exploded into a full chorus, their voices vibrating through the pews.

Brown’s shooting and the massive protests it sparked garnered national attention when authorities confronted demonstrators while dressed in military gear and brandishing military-grade weapons. The events shook St. Louis’ African American community, Britt said.

“In this city, whites live in one side of town, the south side, and blacks live on the other,” said Britt, a custodian. “No one wants to talk about it until Mike Brown gets killed and all the racial tension comes out.”

Brown was walking in the middle of Canfield Drive with a friend, Dorian Johnson, on Aug. 9 when Wilson ordered them to a sidewalk. Police say at least one of the two mouthed off to Wilson, who rushed up to them in his cruiser — so close that his door apparently struck Brown when he opened it. An attorney for Johnson has often repeated Johnson’s claim that the officer struggled with Brown, held him by the throat and fired at least one shot as the teenager pulled away.

​Johnson’s claim that Brown ran as the officer fired more shots, then turned to surrender with his hands raised before he was hit by several more bullets, contradicts accounts by Ferguson police and unidentified friends of Wilson, who claim Brown rushed toward him.

​Johnson’s story was supported, at least partially, by several other witnesses who said they watched the incident in the residential area where it happened. Witnesses said Brown’s body, face down and bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, was left for hours on Canfield Drive in full view of seething residents who documented the scene with pictures and video. It was there so long that shocked relatives who were not present during the shooting happened upon it and recognized the dead man as a family member.

As media outlets swarmed to St. Louis to record the spectacle on West Florissant Avenue, the protests erupted into violence, with police firing tear gas at young protesters, some of whom picked up the smoking canisters and hurled them back. Some in the crowds smashed into stores and looted them.

​At their peak, the demonstrators numbered as many as 2,000, marching in circles on West Florissant and chanting three rallying cries: “Hands up, don’t shoot,” “No justice, no peace,” and “Please don’t shoot me.”

Source: Darryl Fears, Wesley Lowery and Sarah Larimer for The Washington Post

(via justinspoliticalcorner)

Source: thepoliticalfreakshow


With each of these shootings/chokehold deaths/stand-your-ground atrocities, police and the judicial system are seen as enforcers of an unjust status quo. Our anger rises, and riots demanding justice ensue. The news channels interview everyone and pundits assign blame.

Then what?

I’m not saying the protests in Ferguson aren’t justified — they are. In fact, we need more protests across the country. Where’s our Kent State? What will it take to mobilize 4 million students in peaceful protest? Because that’s what it will take to evoke actual change. The middle class has to join the poor and whites have to join African-Americans in mass demonstrations, in ousting corrupt politicians, in boycotting exploitative businesses, in passing legislation that promotes economic equality and opportunity, and in punishing those who gamble with our financial future.

Otherwise, all we’re going to get is what we got out of Ferguson: a bunch of politicians and celebrities expressing sympathy and outrage. If we don’t have a specific agenda — a list of exactly what we want to change and how — we will be gathering over and over again beside the dead bodies of our murdered children, parents, and neighbors.


Source: america-wakiewakie

The Justice for Michael Brown Coalition share their list of demands. 


The Justice for Michael Brown Coalition share their list of demands. 


(via superopinionated)

Source: iwriteaboutfeminism

"There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state. The other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people."

- That quote comes from Battlestar Galactica’s Commander Adama. He says it in the second episode of the first season of the series, “Water”, written by Ron Moore. That episode is 10 years old. (via the-goddamazon)

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

Source: the-goddamazon
Photo Set






"Looting? I thought these were supposed to be nonviolent protests"

I know it’s incredible! People are literally coming out of the woodwork to comment on this photoset to focus on the looting headline with “well yes it is nice they were helping people hit with the tear gas, but stealing is still wrong uwu” as if they’re back to kindergarten morality.

Like everyone who’s gone to boot camp I’ve been tear gassed. They put about 50+ of you in a gas chamber and toss it in. You have to stay there until your rank is allowed to exit. Before that though, you have to say your name, rank, and social security number. You then exit and file into ranks (again) outside and are not allowed at any point to rinse your face or eyes for the entire day.

That right there? Easily the worst part of boot camp. My eyes were literally swollen shut. I was blinded for a good 30 minutes and my chest hurt for days.

I have zero problem and not and ounce of judgement for people raiding a mcdonalds that can easily afford to repair damage for ANYTHING to help ease the shittiness that is being tear gassed. Esp because every one of us in boot were medically sound to deal with tear gas. Children, asthmatics, people prone to panic and anxiety attacks, the elderly as sooo many more are NOT going to handle tear gas well at ALL.

Or that smoke the police use either.

It’s easy to sit there and judge someone from the safety of your home and say things like “it’s just tear gas” or “it can’t be that bad”.

Fuck you. As someone who HAS been gassed, you need to stfu.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

Source: samjoonyuh
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TUESDAY 8/19: Ferguson PD presented a table full of fabricated evidence at this morning’s press conference - allegedly seized from protestors and stopped cars. The Colt 45 Molotov with a white bandana was the crowning glory, turns out you can’t even buy glass 40’s in Missouri. Stay classy, FPD

I seriously think white supremacist are coming in the area to frame the protesters, but it could just be the cops

Nah I think that’s exactly what’s going on.

(via cognitivedissonance)

Source: softboycollective
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Hello there, August.

Behind my abs are….. BETTER ABS.

(via jamietheignorantamerican)

Source: mogchi







CNN REPORTER Fredricka Whitfield interviews the Store Owner’s Lawyer (from the store that was “”“”“”“robbed”“”“”“”“”“”” by “”“”“”“”“”mike brown”“”“”“”“”“)

As the lawyer begins to explain what really happened, cnn “”“”“loses the feed”“”“”“


B Y E. E E E E E E E E E E E



(via whitepeoplesaidwhat)

Source: in3ffable-lib3rty
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I’m only sharing tweets for those who are not on twitter and can’t see how passionate and outraged journalists are as they tweet from #Ferguson.

If you are on Twitter, here’s a good roster of people to follow if you want to keep updated.

(via cognitivedissonance)

Source: liz-pls