“I think we’re on the right path on everything – we just have to get it done”, Byrne said of justice reforms.
A crowd of hundreds that had gathered to commemorate Brown began their silence at 12:02 p.m., the time he was killed, and the length of time was to symbolize the 4 1/2 hours that his body lay in the street after he was killed. Since this day last year, there have been several deaths of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of or in the custody of law enforcement officers, including Eric Garner (whose choking death was captured on video), Freddie Gray (whose spine was severed while in police custody), Sandra Bland (who allegedly hung herself after being held in jail for three days following a minor infraction that led to volatile altercation with the officer), Tamir Rice, Eric Harris and Walter Scott. After the moment of silence, a service commemorating the anniversary is planned at a Ferguson church. “Don’t shoot!” which became a rallying cry during the sometimes-violent protests that followed the shooting a year ago.
“People are afraid to come to Ferguson”, said Jasper, who blames both the police and some of the protesters for the racial animosities that mark the community.
However the focus of the weekend is essentially on Brown, who graduated from highschool weeks earlier than the capturing and deliberate to go to commerce faculty to review to turn into a heating and air con technician.
Relatives and friends described Brown as a quiet, gentle giant who stood around 6-foot-3 and weighed almost 300 pounds. But police said Brown stole items from a convenience store and shoved the owner who tried to stop him on the morning of August. 9, 2014.
That led to a confrontation inside Wilson’s police automotive.
It was unclear who fired the shots or the extent of any injuries, a police spokesman told reporters, but initial reports suggested they were not aimed at the marchers. Some witnesses claimed Brown had his palms up in give up.
A year later, Brown’s death and the ensuing protests that engulfed the predominantly black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo., have changed hundreds of lives and unleashed a national debate on race and policing that continues to dominate headlines today, while Ferguson quietly struggles forward. He resigned days later.
The Justice Division reached the same conclusion in March, clearing Wilson.
Aleem Maqbool reports from Ferguson.