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Mike Brown's Family Observes Last Night's Peaceful March: "He's a Legend"

Categories: Michael Brown

anthonylivingston600.jpg
Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown's cousins Maurice Ewings and Anthony Livingston at the spot where Brown was killed.

Last night, hundreds of demonstrators were allowed to do what Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. tried to do on Sunday: march peacefully in the streets in memory of their slain son, Michael Brown Jr. (albeit in a reverse route, from West Florissant to Canfield Drive).

Canfield is a long curve, and further east, around the bend near Brown's grandmother's house, Anthony Livingston couldn't hear the throng of hundreds chanting. But the 21-year-old, a cousin and close friend of the teenager's, was heading that way from the family's home to see what this allegedly peaceful protest was all about. He told Daily RFT that he and much of the family had been avoiding marches and the flurry of media coverage since Brown's death and the onset of violent protests.

"You can't even wake up in the morning and turn on the the TV without hearing about it," he said. "This is somebody I was with all the time, and to see that picture of him lying in the street -- it's sick. It's sick."

Read all of our coverage on Michael Brown and Ferguson since Sunday here.

On Sunday evening, a day after eighteen-year-old Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, family, friends and demonstrators lit candles and tried to march in the street from Canfield Drive to West Florissant. But when they got to the intersection they were met by a wall of police officers. Another one of Brown's cousins, Eric Davis, believed this lit a spark that eventually led to the night's rioting and looting.

"One of the police set a flare off when we approached them. The crowd started to disperse, people started throwing things at the police. I took my family and left," he told Daily RFT Sunday night. "Michael's mom was in front, she turned around as well to head back to her mom's...she said, 'They shot my son, and I thought they were going to shoot me too.'"

Last night's march was very different. Police, lead by their new operational commander, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald S. Johnson, walked in front of the crowd of hundreds, making sure everyone got safely to the spot where Brown died. Then demonstrators chanted and listened to speakers for several minutes.

Livingston and a couple of Brown's other cousins watched from the periphery. They didn't join in, nor did they follow as the marchers turned back toward Florissant. They talked about how they were handling the past five days, during which their goofy younger cousin suddenly became an internationally known symbol of racial injustice in the U.S.

"This is not just for Mike Mike," said Livingston. "This is for everybody."

The men all tell the same story -- just days before he was shot and killed, Brown had been telling everyone that he was going to be famous.

"But he was thinking it'd be for his music," said 21-year-old Darris Johnson.

And now that he is famous, they said they are struggling with aspects of what that means. They recoiled when people who were never friends with Brown started claiming him as a family member or a "homeboy."

"I'm looking at them like, 'Who is you?'" said Livingston.

Though they avoid watching the news, there's no avoiding the street vendors in the neighborhood who've turned up hawking T-shirts and buttons with Brown's face on it. Livingston said he confronted a button vendor just the other day.

"I said, 'That's my little cousin.' He said, 'Well, it's still a dollar,'" he recalled. "I was about to smack it out of his hand. And they think that's cool."

Just then, Markese Mull, a family friend who lives in the same apartment village as Brown and his grandmother, walked up and offered some big-picture perspective.

"Not in life, but in death, he made a statement," he said. "He is a legend in St. Louis. He's not a mark on the street. He's a mark in history now."

The cousins started to nod.

"St. Louis is going to be a changed city..." Mull continued.

"Not just St. Louis, the world," Livingston added.

While this idea is heartening, there are also difficult developments soon to come -- like what, if any, charges the officer who shot Brown will face.

"If he don't get locked up, they're really going to see something. They think they seen something?" said Livingston ruefully. "It's sad to say."

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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45 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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John Lewis
John Lewis

What if mike. Was attacking the officer as was suggested by the police department at the start of this? Then beat the cop half to death while trying to get his gun from him which reportedly went off in the police car..the cop finally got his gun to bear and mike threw up his hands while running away shouting ok ok as reported..at this point the officer is hurt and dazed and is in fear of his life while shooting at this giant out of control 18 year old? Look at all the facts and ignore the media and the one sided attention mongers looking for a chance to get stuff started then throw in the last detail this whole thing started two on one!

Christopher Stabler
Christopher Stabler

Mike Brown would still be alive if he had seen this video and simply followed these simple rules for dealing with the police. It's always worked for me.... Chris Rock - How not to get your ass kicked by th…: http://youtu.be/QR465HoCWFQ

Ryan Rothermich
Ryan Rothermich

And its people like you that are the problem. Nobody feels sorry for you. So grow up and get a life

Heather Robison
Heather Robison

At least I'm not burning and robbing my own neighborhood, sweetheart.

Tim Patrick
Tim Patrick

Cest, I'm curious. Were you there? I'm as open minded as they come. However by just applying common logic by listening to those who claim to have witnessed what happened I've come to the conclusion that their statements don't add up. Also, I'm rather sick of hearing about racism when 90 ℅ of it is the polar opposite of who's saying it. Do you you reward your children for showing their ass in a store by buying them what they want? If not, then why does this community think showing their ass is going to get results? They don't! They think if they they cry racism they can justify this madness. Racism only exists for those who benefit from it. But you don't get that because you're benefitting from it by being allowed to show rage. That goes for both races. I don't know about you but if I felt my race was unjustly judged I would be destroying my own community to prove them wrong. I'm done with this. You don't know as well as I don't know what truly happened other than the fact this man died. But from what I keep reading the story from those who claim to have seen it keeps changing. To me, that's suspect to dishonesty.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Next time you roll a stop sign, you turd, I hope a cop thug shoots you in the back.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Oh Dump, do we need to raise money to get you to Afghanistan? Stop drinking up your check. The USA is too "free" for you.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yeah, there was no threat of violence against Michael Brown... oh, wait, uh...

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And sadly, you live and he is dead. Please move to Afghanistan. They have martial law. You will be happier an no one will miss you.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And you look like an idiot that is late for her Klan meeting

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

White man shoot people in school or theatre, "mentally Ill". Black man steals a few dollars worth of cigarillos and he is a thug. Welcome to Amerkkka

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

F***k you. Get off Facebook, drink your Kool AId and go to your Klan meeting.

Tim Patrick
Tim Patrick

So there's the first threat of violence if they don't convict the officer. Nixon will do everything in his power to find a way to make this officer guilty despite the evidence. You scream justice, then threaten violence if your wants aren't given. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Robert G Andrews
Robert G Andrews

I'll bet that a month ago, they didn't call him a legend.

Paul Roper Sr.
Paul Roper Sr.

it shows min before that he did commit a crime the proof is the shady guy he was with and the same outfit as the guy laying in the street once a thug always a thug he was all hipped up from strong arming the clerk who is there to serve the community then gets caught and tried to strong arm the officer he fought the law and the law won!! Dorian Johnson will have a place to live now he is accessory to the strong arm so he needs to be arrested he is right next to him in the surv video! And besides that he prob did turn around at the officer but prob was rushing at him again they were going off the guys word that was with him Dorian another innocent teen give me a break!! That city raged out about this but a week and half before this a grandmother was killed in the middle of the street in front of her two grand kids where was the STL community then why was that not a time for rage because she was killed by someone black... I cried for them kids to see that must have been horrific

Jake VonderBruegge
Jake VonderBruegge

Mike, do us all a favor and shut up. You're sounding stupid. Unless you were one of Mike Brown's accomplices, stop talking like you were there. You're belligerent.

Christine Ontis-Garner
Christine Ontis-Garner

I pray Mike Browns death will not be in vain and laws will be changed because of this tragedy

Christine Ontis-Garner
Christine Ontis-Garner

Mike McClanahan is right. That piece of shit killed so many innocent people and he gets breakfast, lunch, dinner, dental and health assistance. AND he is in a place that shields him from the elements. How many good people are out there now and don't get one of these things? Not fair......not fair

Ryan Rothermich
Ryan Rothermich

Who gives a shit. Talk about something else now. Everybody is tired of hearing this shit.

Mike McClanahan
Mike McClanahan

It's pretty obvious this is going to turn into a circlejerk. It's pointless. See ya. I sincerely hope if you're ever accused of a crime you get a fair trial.

Cory Mortensen
Cory Mortensen

Mike. How do you know what the officer approached him about? Where you there too?

Angie McMichael Barrett
Angie McMichael Barrett

I don't care if Mike Brown is a thief or a suspect in a robbery. That's what I just read. This officers actions are not justifiable. You don't shoot a person multiple times and ask questions later because a dead man can't talk.

Todd Gilliam
Todd Gilliam

Mike was there lol... well my firefighter buddy at Ferguson says differently

Graham Collins
Graham Collins

I keep hearing that retarded talking point over and over again. Do you really think Holmes would have made it out alive if there wasn't every news crew in Aurora on the scene?

Mike McClanahan
Mike McClanahan

Right. But Mike Brown had no weapon and wasn't approached by the officer about a robbery. He was told to get the F off the street. This robbery stuff is an obvious afterthought. I've listened to the dispatch recording. The officer didn't even report the incident to dispatch. Dispatch saw it on the news. That doesn't sound like someone that's confident they did the right thing.

Graham Collins
Graham Collins

... Because he laid down his weapon and surrendered to the police.

Sean Bahr
Sean Bahr

thats a good question. the only reason that the aurora shooter is alive, is because he was wearing tactical gear and the police thought he was one of them, before he turned himself over.

Heather Robison
Heather Robison

All of these "people" look like idiots standing up for this thieving thug.

Mike McClanahan
Mike McClanahan

I'll ask you this. How come a white man can walk into a movie theater and mow down people with a rifle and end up alive in the back of a police cruiser?

Sean Bahr
Sean Bahr

Mike I have an honest question. Do you think that the officers actions are justifiable, IF...IF he was actually assaulted by someone who had just committed a strong arm robbery? I am not saying that the shooting was right? but is it understandable?

Lynn Wagner
Lynn Wagner

Lots of people are having the officer's trial in the streets. What is the difference? He has not been charged as of yet except for in the public eye.

Mike McClanahan
Mike McClanahan

Lets say by some stretch that this is Mike Brown in the convenience store video and not some cover up. Do you want a trial next time you're accused of a crime? Or do you want to be tried by an officer in the middle of the street?

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