Funeral today for Michael Brown; father calls for calm

FERGUSON, Missouri (CNN) — Mourners began lining up at a St. Louis church hours before Monday’s funeral of slain teenager Michael Brown. His father called for a day of calm.

“Please, please take a day of silence so I can, so we can, lay our son to rest. Please. It’s all I ask,” Michael Brown Sr. said at a rally in St. Louis on Sunday.

His son, 18, died on August 9 after being shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson.

His death sparked days of violent protests in the St. Louis suburb. In the past several days, things have calmed down, and the town is slowly coming back to life.

Brown will be eulogized at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. Family attorney Benjamin Crump will read a message from the Brown family.

Funeral organizers released a list Monday morning detailing guests expected, but not confirmed, to attend.

The list includes the Rev. Al Sharpton; Martin Luther King III and the Rev. Bernice King; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; the families of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell; and celebrities Spike Lee, Diddy and Snoop Lion.

The White House is sending three officials to the funeral, including one who attended high school with his mother.

One of them is Broderick Johnson, who leads the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. He’ll be joined by Marlon Marshall, a St. Louis native who attended high school with Brown’s mother, and Heather Foster. Marshall and Foster are part of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Viewing

The service comes a day after about 100 friends and family members attended a viewing of Brown’s remains.

Brown’s mother, Leslie McSpadden, spent about 20 minutes alone with her son, Crump told CNN on Monday. Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr. then joined McSpadden for 10 minutes, followed by Brown’s grandmother, before other friends and family were welcomed in, according to Crump.

In an interview that aired Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” the mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin spoke about McSpadden, saying that Monday will be the “worst day of her life as a mother.”

“There is no words that can bring comfort to her as a mother by seeing her son in a casket,” Sybrina Fulton said.

Fulton appeared with McSpadden and Valerie Bell, whose son died in a police shooting in New York.

Brown’s mother said she feels her son’s presence.

“There’s something about the rain, something about it … I feel him,” she said.

Fulton told her: “He’s there, he’s watching over you.”

On Sunday, music flowed at a memorial at Greater St. Marks Missionary Baptist Church.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. always had music as an element of protest,” said the Rev. E.G. Shields Jr., who helped organize the event. “He knew there was a way that music helped soothe the soul.”

Race tensions

Two weeks after the shooting sparked violent protests, the mood turned more tranquil over the weekend, with smaller crowds and lots of music. Gone were police in riot gear and defiant protesters. The tear gas, rubber bullets and Molotov cocktails were nowhere to be seen, either.

In their place were clusters of officers, hanging around businesses, chatting with one another.

Race has been at the forefront of the tensions; Brown was African-American, and the officer who shot him is white.

Wilson’s supporters held a rally in St. Louis on Sunday, where organizers announced they had raised more than $400,000 for the officer.

St. Louis authorities have released details of the racial and gender makeup of the grand jury that started hearing testimony Wednesday. It is made up of six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man, said Paul Fox, the administrator for the St. Louis County Circuit Court.

St. Louis County is 70% white and 24% black, according to last year’s estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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8 comments

  • fred

    There were ten kids shot over the weekend in Chicago, why is The Action Network not there? anyone have the answer?

      • fred

        NO, guys Rev. Al , and his Action Network, requires 200,000. dollars to show up. the black churches in the St. Louis area shelled out the money for the Rev. to show up. follow the money .that’s what the Rev. is after

    • Huglori (@Huglori)

      Because race-baiters don’t care about black on black crime. When they don’t have any white folks to blame, there’s no cause, no reason to march and protest. All they want to do is spread their malcontent. Oh, and I’m black BTW and sick of this crap.

  • Nuclear Mike

    …and had the caricature of Michael Brown been painted on the remembrance wall by a white person…the painting would be described as “racial profiling”…

  • Jerome Almon

    BLACK LEADERSHIP IS MORE DESTRUCTIVE TO BLACKS THAN THE KKK OR POLICE COULD EVER BE

    I am Black, but most of the people I know are not (I grew up I the ghettos of Detroit)-and this is one of the issues I and a minority of Blacks have: Blacks will celebrate and do ANYTHING for the worst of our race. They will march, spend any amount, devote any amount of time to the most community destroying, criminal NEGROES on Earth…and do NOTHING for those out protecting, improving, and moving the community forward. That is until they are “caught up”-then they come to us-the Black college graduate, sincere Black person, the Black person that warned them of what is obvious to every other race on Earth…Blacks have their priorities BACKWARDS. This guy should not have his life celebrated AT ALL.

    My friends in the Indian, Chinese, German, Canadian, Australian, Norwegian, Swedish, etc. celebrate their doctor’s, PHD holders, billionaire business people, scientist, people that move their community forward-we do exactly opposite and INSANELY are surprised that we get OPPOSITE RESULTS.

    With Trayvon Martin the FAD was the black hoodie, now with Mike Brown the FAD is hands up in the air-what will it be for the next Black kid that gets shot…?

    WHAT BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR
    This is WHY Black people continue to get shot at such a high rate. Nelly had the opportunity to stand up for Blacks when he was racially profiled at a mall, like all the other rappers in similar situations-he chose lining his pockets with MORE $ instead. This is what he is doing in Ferguson making money off of a dead Black kid as Jay Z and BeyoncĂ© did off of Trayvon Martin’s death.

    What’s going on in the BLACK community that is causing these shootings:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/motowns-road-to-ruin/story-e6frezz0-1226426121204?nk=85951bb00ab8b8e2968cc86350438a15

    IT’S MLK vs AL SHARPTON, JESSE JACKSON, AND JAY Z

    This is what happens to a people STUPID enough to follow Al Sharpton, Jay Z, Jesse Jackson etc. Yesterday Trayvon Martin, today Mike Brown, tomorrow YOUR KID-simple as that and you deserve it for being so SORRY. Did Dr. King behave as the Black leaders you follow today? He behaved exactly OPPOSITE of them-look at what MLK got us and what these con-men got THEMSELVES (rich off of YOUR money and misery).

    400 YEAR AGO THESE “LEADERS” WOULD HAVE BEEN SELLING BLACKS INTO SLAVERY FOR BAGS OF SALT AND BUCKETS OF SWEETS.

    When do we Blacks learn?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/2do767/black_leadership_is_responsible_for_mike_browns/

    https://twitter.com/THENEWBLACKWAY

    SOME PEOPLE ARE TOO STUPID TO BE SAVED…

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