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“Please take a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest:” Michael Brown’s funeral is Monday

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(CNN) — Michael Brown will be laid to rest Monday, and his father says he just wants one thing: peace.

“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.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Brown,18, was fatally shot on August 9 by officer Darren Wilson while walking down the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.

His death sparked days of violent protests in the St. Louis suburb. In the past three 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.

The White House is sending three officials to his 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.

“We don’t want anything tomorrow to happen that would defile the name of Michael Brown,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Sunday. “This is not about our rage tomorrow. It’s about the legacy and memory of his son, and the mother’s son, and their families.”

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 glaring at 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.

Supporters of Wilson 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, which started hearing testimony on Wednesday.

It comprises 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.

Crucial grand jury

Unlike a jury in a criminal case, which convicts someone if jurors are convinced of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a grand jury decides whether there is “probable cause.” They decide whether to charge someone with a crime based on testimony and evidence presented in the absence of a judge.

In Missouri, they don’t have to be in unanimous agreement to press such an indictment, as long as nine of the 12 agree on a charge.

The federal government is conducting a separate investigation.

FBI agents interviewed more than 200 people as part of the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights investigation, according to law enforcement sources.

The federal investigation must prove there was an element of “racial hostility” in the shooting. That’s a higher standard than the one before the St. Louis County grand jury.

The 12 members of the grand jury are crucial. They may be the first to reach a decision on whether the case will be defined as a murder charge, a lesser charge or no charge at all.

8 comments

  • Sigh

    Maybe after all this is done, Al Sharpton can start working towards eliminating black on black crime? More homicidal deaths in Chicago than Afghanistan since 2001…. just sayin’ Al.

  • Over it

    Hell, why not just take all the firearms away from the police. That way when some street thug comes charging at an officer there will be no confusion over what exactly can be done. Guarantee when the cop is the one dead there won’t be rally’s and protests throughout the city. I doubt it would even make the news!

  • Mick

    I will be as loud as I want to be… Today at my Tavern, I will be giving all my regular customers a free drink to celebrate this dead thug getting put down.

  • diane

    I sincerely hope that no one watches this on tv…no one with any brains will..also I protest any i mean any government. /public funds be used to fly government officials to this funeral. ..and any extra ordinary police time be charged to the family. .yes he was a son…but yes he was a thug….clean your house first african American community of black on black crime..than the society as a whole might give you an ounce of respect…I hope no one watches. .this horse and pony show

  • opinin8d

    What a disgusting display of ignorance. This guy didn’t do anything in life to warrant this attention. It’s a horrible message that is being sent. How many have died or sacraficed fighting for our country and get this type of attention?? Just yesterday a police office was gunned down in rural Texas making a traffic stop. Will anyone march for him or his family??

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