Jessica Lussenhop Michael Brown Sr. lifts a giant Tweetie Bird toy.
This afternoon, Michael Brown Sr. -- the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. -- snapped on a pair of rubber gloves, walked to the spot in the middle of Canfield Drive where his son was shot and killed, and began to scoop stuffed animals and other trinkets into a black garbage bag.
"It's time for the city to heal," he said moments before he began. "I need to heal."
It seemed like a cruel task -- performed in the rain, in near silence -- but he was the only one who could do it. Imagine if a crew of Ferguson city workers attempted to remove the memorial. It would be treated as an act of sacrilege.
And even with the family's blessing, there was turmoil. A young man neighbors identified as the head of the block's copwatch program walked by repeatedly shouting that those involved in the cleanup should be ashamed. He didn't care that it was being done with the blessing of the Brown family.
"Happy birthday, Mike Brown!" he yelled sarcastically.
Today would have been Brown Jr.'s nineteenth birthday.More »