Remembering Michael Brown one year later

  • A protester yells at a police line shortly before shots were fired in a police-officer involved shooting in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 9, 2015.
  • St. Louis County Police and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers stand guard as protesters march on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 9, 2015.
  • Demonstrators, marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, stage a die in along West Florissant Street in a driving rain on Aug. 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • Demonstrators, marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, march along West Florissant Street on Aug. 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • A young boy looks at a man with gunshot wounds lying in a parking lot after a shoot out with police along West Florissant Street during a demonstration to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • A man is arrested during a Michael Brown memorial protest in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 9, 2015. Demonstrators showed support on the one year anniversary of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
  • A man is detained while protesters march through the streets after holding a rally at Barclays Center marking the first anniversary of the death Michael Brown, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • A man is detained by New York police officers while protesters march through Brooklyn marking the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • Protesters take part in a rally at Barclays Center marking the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • A boy performs a “die-in” while people take part in a rally at Barclays Center marking the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • Demonstrators march during a Michael Brown memorial protest in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • Michael Brown Sr., at the spot where his son was killed, comforts his wife, Cal Brown, during the 4-1/2 minutes of silence to mark the anniversary of the killing of his son Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • The crowd listens at an event to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 9, 2015. 
  • A makeshift memorial in the street during a memorial service for 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9, 2015 at the Canfield Apartments in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • A memorial service for 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9, 2015 at the Canfield Apartments. Several hundred demonstrators stood in silence at the spot where Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. 
  • Demonstrators protest during a march on Aug. 8, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department. Several hundred people marched Saturday in Ferguson to mark the first anniversary of the police shooting of Michael Brown. 
  • A demonstrator eats fire during a march on Aug. 8, 2015 that traced one of the avenues hit by fierce rioting last November, when a court decided not to indict the white officer who shot 18-year-old Brown. 
  • Demonstrators march to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Aug. 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • Laura Charles protests outside the Ferguson Police Deptartment to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on Aug. 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • Demonstrators protest during a march on Aug. 8, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • A demonstrator holds the head of roasted pig during a protest march on Aug. 8, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol carries Quinn Edwards to help out Quinn’s father Franky (R) during a nearly 5 mile march to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, Aug. 8, 2015 in St. Louis. 
  • A piece of concrete with “MB” spray painted on it marks the grave of Michael Brown at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Normandy, Mo., Aug. 8, 2015. 
  • A young relative of Michael Brown places a stuffed animal at a memorial to Brown before a protest march in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 8, 2015. 
  • Michael Brown Sr., father of Michael Brown, and family pray at a memorial to Brown before a protest march in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 8, 2015. 
  • Michael Brown Sr. becomes emotional during an interview before a protest march in Ferguson, Mo., August 8, 2015. 

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Updated

FERGUSON, Missouri – Hundreds of people gathered Sunday morning at the memorial of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen who was shot dead in the middle of the street by a white police officer exactly one year ago. 

Teddy bears and candles now mark the memorial on Canfield Drive where the community’s outrage to Brown’s death planted the seeds of protests that would grow into a national movement decrying police violence. 

Flanked by other families who have lost loved ones at the hands of police, Michael Brown Sr. led the crowd to pause in silence at 11:55 central – the exact time the unarmed teen was shot and killed. He stood in silence for four and a half minutes, representing each hour his son’s body was left in the street. 

“Just wanted to give all my love to my family, friends, my people, my new friends, my my world,” he said. 

Elenore Humphrey, a student in St. Louis, described the gathering as a powerful and solemn moment, the air still thick with raw emotion. 

“It’s loss. It’s remorse. But it’s also anger. All of the emotions you don’t want to have,” she said. “All of the emotions that a lot of people have the privilege to ignore.”

From the memorial site, Brown’s family locked arms as they marched in the relentless summer heat, pausing for another four and a half minutes before pressing forward toward Greater Saint Marks Church, a place that became a central safe haven for protest groups in the aftermath of last summer’s unrest. Hundreds of people followed behind them, a diverse crowd that ranged the spectrum. 

“This is so much more integrated. It used to be very localized. This is regional. This is national,” said Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who represents Ferguson. “There are more people engaged in St. Louis. Hopefully they can turn into activists.”

To his friends and family he was known as “Big Mike,” a gentle giant who loved rap and turn beats. He had just finished summer school at Normandy High and was looking forward to his first day of college at a trade school nearby.

But last Aug. 9, Brown was shot dead by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Public outrage over the killing led to massive demonstrations in the streets of Ferguson as their protests were met with rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets fired by police. The violent clashes between police and protesters went on for days, drawing international attention and condemnations from national leaders.

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