Michael Brown shooting: Father of Ferguson teenager pleads for calm on day of funeral
Michael Brown Senior ask for ‘day of silence’ and ‘peace’ when his son is buried
After weeks of riots and protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the father of Michael Brown has pleaded for a “day of silence” as his family prepares for the teenager’s funeral.
Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer, will be buried on Monday.
“All I want is peace while my son is being laid to rest,” Michael Brown Senior told a crowd of hundreds of people at a rally in St Louis on Sunday.
Ahead of the funeral, which will take place at a St Louis Baptist church, Brown’s father said: “Can you please, please take a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest? Please. It’s all I ask.”
Protesters calling for the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown six times, have been met by lines of armed police night after night since the teenager was killed.
Images of burnt out shop fronts caused by rioting, of police aggression and their firing rubber bullets, of tear gas filling the streets of Ferguson and of those pouring milk on their faces in order to stem its painful affects, have been seen circulating for weeks as the crisis on the streets has carried on since Brown’s death.
But the rally held on Sunday, called the Peace Fest 2014, was symbolic of the more organised and peaceful protest that are now being held in Ferguson.
Michael Brown's parents raise their hands with Reverend Al Sharpton under the slogan, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Reverend Al Sharpton, who is expected to speak at the service on Monday, said the day of the funeral is not for people’s “rage” but is “about the legacy and memory of [Brown’s] son”.
He said: “We don’t want anything tomorrow to happen that might defile the name of Michael Brown.”
Video: Ferguson residents demand that Michael Brown shooting is not 'swept under the rug'
The parents of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed African American teenager who was shot dead by a neighbourhood watch organiser in Florida in 2012, also spoke at the rally.
“Michael Brown had a right to live,” Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton, said. “He had a right to see another birthday. He had a right just like anyone else to walk down the street,” she said, while Martin’s father Tracey said: “We’re going to stand tall with you all.”
Brown’s funeral will take place on in St Louis on Monday at 10 am local time.
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