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Thursday 29 September 2016

Ferguson marks a year since black teen was shot dead by officer

Jim Salter and Jim Suhr

Published 10/08/2015 | 02:30

Michael Brown Sr., (C) at the spot where his son was killed, hugs his wife Cal Brown during the 4-1/2 minutes of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of his son Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 9, 2015. Several hundred people gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer that sparked protests and a national debate on race and justice. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Michael Brown Sr., (C) at the spot where his son was killed, hugs his wife Cal Brown during the 4-1/2 minutes of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of his son Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 9, 2015. Several hundred people gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer that sparked protests and a national debate on race and justice. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

One year after the shooting that cast greater scrutiny on how police interact with black communities, the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, USA, was marked yesterday with four- and-a-half minutes of silence and a march led by his father.

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A crowd of hundreds that had gathered to commemorate Brown began their silence at 12.02pm, the time he was killed, and the length of time was to symbolise the four-and-a-half hours that his body lay in the street after he was killed. Two doves were released at the end. Police largely stayed away from the ceremony.

Michael Brown Sr held hands with others to lead the march, which started at the site where his son, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9, 2014.

A grand jury and the US Department of Justice declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November, but the shooting helped spur a nationwide "Black Lives Matter" movement that raised difficult questions about law enforcement treatment of minorities and police use of military-grade equipment while controlling crowds.

Pausing along the route at a permanent memorial for his son, Michael Brown Sr said, "Miss you." He had thanked supporters before the march for not allowing what happened to his son to be "swept under the carpet."

Irish Independent

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