GALLERY: Thousands bid farewell to slain US teenager
The black teenager whose shooting by a white officer ignited protests and revived the race debate in the United States was eulogised Monday as a victim of abusive policing whose untimely death demands justice.
During a cathartic funeral service that drew thousands of people, Michael Brown’s family bid farewell to the 18-year-old with gospel hymns and fiery orations that rocked a packed Baptist church near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where he was killed on Aug 9.
Civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton made a plea in his eulogy for some good to emerge from Brown’s death.
“All of us are required to respond to this. And all of us must solve this,” he said in an impassioned speech that drew shouts of agreement from mourners.
“This is not about you. This is about justice. This is about fairness. And America is going to have to come to terms when there’s something wrong.”
Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., parents of 18-year-old Michael Brown, arrive to take part in their son's funeral services at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.
Activists, religious leaders, senior officials and politicians joined the Brown family and friends to fill the 5,000-seat Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Brown’s closed bronze casket was flanked by large portraits of him as a young man and smaller ones showing him as a baby. A St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap was placed on the coffin next to a large bouquet of red roses.
Photos surround Michael Brown's casket before the start of his funeral on August 25.
Photos: AFP, Reuters
As the funeral procession headed out of the church with the coffin, crowds of people who had been waiting for three hours or more in the searing heat jumped over a fence to march alongside Brown’s body as it was brought to its final resting place for a private burial. - Reuters