News

Mourners, civil rights leaders attend funeral of slain Missouri teen

Mourners, civil rights leaders attend funeral of slain Missouri teen

FERGUSON: Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, wipes a tear as she stands by his casket at his the funeral at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25. Hundreds of people are gathered to say goodbye to Brown, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer on Aug. 9. The more than two weeks since Michael Brown's death have been marked by nightly protests, some violent and chaotic, although tensions have eased in recent days. Photo: Associated Press/Richard Perry

By Edward McAllister and Nick Carey

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – Mourners sang, clapped and danced on Monday at funeral services for Michael Brown, remembering the slain black teenager with words of goodwill and joy rather than the violence and outrage that followed his killing by a white police officer.

Brown’s body lay at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in a black and gold casket, topped with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap he was wearing when he was killed on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

As hundreds of people filed into the modern red-brick church on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, Brown’s coffin was surrounded by photos of him as a child, graduating from school and smiling in his Cardinals cap.

“There are no goodbyes for us, wherever you are you will always be in our hearts,” read a sign accompanying one of the photos.

Gospel music filled the sanctuary as hundreds of people stood inside the church, many dancing, singing and clapping.

Outside, gatherers sang the civil rights hymn “We Shall Overcome,” in a scene markedly different from the violent protests that rocked the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson after Brown was shot to death on Aug. 9.

APPEAL FOR CALM

Brown’s father made an appeal for calm on the eve of the services.

“All I want tomorrow is peace while we lay our son to rest,” Michael Brown, Sr. said at a Sunday rally against police violence that he led with civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton.

“Please, that’s all I ask,” he told the crowd of hundreds that gathered on Sunday, including the parents of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012.

Like the Martin shooting, Brown’s killing has focused attention on racial tension and relations in the United States. The Ferguson protests also evoked criticism of the local police force’s use of military gear and heavy-handed tactics.

Around the church on Monday, the police presence was heavy but relaxed. Authorities have braced for a possible flare-up, although clashes between protesters and police have waned significantly in recent days.

The National Guard, brought in at the request of the governor to help quell the Ferguson unrest, has begun a gradual withdrawal.

Among the hundreds of people waiting outside the church was Travis Jackson, a black, 25-year-old retail store employee who said he took the day off from work to pay his respects.

“I had to be here. After all the emotions and pain of the past two weeks, this is an important moment for this community,” he said.

“Today I am focused on peace for Michael Brown. Tomorrow I can think about justice,” he added.

In addition to Sharpton, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson was also on hand for the funeral. The White House said it was sending three presidential aides to attend the service.

A grand jury began hearing evidence on Wednesday, a process the county prosecutor said could take until mid-October.

(Writing by Ellen Wulfhorst; editing by Jonathan Oatis, G Crosse)

What's On 'KLH?

Favorite Fish Fry

FavoriteFishFry_int_wp

Tell us your Favorite Fish Fry to win a $300 ticket package! Brought to you by Zounds Hearing Center.

Hire Me MKE

HireMeMKE_620x400

Looking for a job around the Milwaukee area? Check out some openings>>

Wanna Play DJ?

HEYMOM

You can host your own show Sunday night at 6 on ‘KLH!

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

rainman

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in National

Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2014, file photo, Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview in New York. Knox is engaged to Colin Sutherland, a musician who recently moved to Seattle from New York, a person close to the Knox family confirmed for The Associated Press. Knox’s murder conviction in the 2007 stabbing of her roommate has been reinstated by an Italian court, but the former college exchange student maintains her innocence and vows she won’t willingly go back to Italy. Both Knox and Sutherland are 27. No wedding date had been set.

Italy's highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case.

in National

Time for Iran to make tough decisions in nuclear talks

In this March 26, 2015, photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center, leaves a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials at a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq’s deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement.

Six world powers and Iran move closer to a deal, but there are still major disagreements.