Michael Brown's Family Had the Section of Road Where He Died Removed

Categories: Michael Brown

A crew paid for by the Lipton Group takes out the chunk of pavement.

After Wednesday's removal of the stuffed animal memorial to Michael Brown Jr., a plaque and a dove were embedded in the sidewalk on Canfield Drive on Thursday morning. But observers also saw a crew of workers digging up the street where Brown actually fell and died after being shot multiple times by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

This was done at the request of the family, which was given the largest pieces of the asphalt to take home with them.

"A lot of it was real crumbly. We got most of the big pieces," says Louis Head, Brown's stepfather. "That was good enough for us."

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On the Occasion of His Birthday, the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial is Removed from Canfield

Categories: Michael Brown

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.

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Cop Who Shot VonDerrit Myers Jr. in Shaw Last Fall Won't Face Charges

VonDeritt Myers Jr. was shot by an officer in Shaw in October 2014. One month later, when prosecutors declined to charge the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, protests erupted near the scene of Myers' shooting, as well as in Ferguson.
Photo by Theo Welling
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer who shot VonDerrit Myers Jr. last October while working a private security job in the Shaw neighborhood will not face criminal charges, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced this afternoon.

In a 51-page report, Joyce closed out her office's "independent and thorough review" of the October 8 shooting, which led to angry protests and calls of a cover-up just two months after Michael Brown was shot by an officer in suburban Ferguson.

The officer has said that Myers shot first -- and while no eyewitnesses to the entire incident could be found, the Circuit Attorney's investigators found numerous people in the Shaw neighborhood that evening who distinctly recalled hearing fire from two guns. Ballistics reports also concluded that a Smith and Wesson found near Myers' body matched three bullets and four cartridge casings on the scene, while a witness identified Myers -- a.k.a. "Droop" -- as the man who'd stolen the Smith and Wesson from him in the previous month.

A number of witnesses who might have provided a different story refused to cooperate with the investigation, the report notes.

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Dorian Johnson, Witness to Michael Brown Shooting, Sues Ferguson and Darren Wilson

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MSNBC screengrab
Dorian Johnson in one of his first TV interviews.

Dorian Johnson, the man who was walking with Michael Brown just before his fatal encounter with former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, is suing the City of Ferguson, Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson.

The documents, first obtained by the Post-Dispatch, claim that "without any provocation by Plaintiff Johnson and without any legal justification, Officer Wilson withdrew his weapon and fired it at Plaintiff Johnson and Michael Brown, Jr. as they fled and ran away from him, striking Brown several more times."

"The purpose of this lawsuit is to bring Darren Wilson to justice," says James Williams, Johnson's attorney. "Dorian Johnson was very courageous, as was the Brown family, for not letting this go."

Williams also revealed that while Johnson is currently still in the St. Louis area and that he will soon enroll at a four-year university to complete his bachelor's degree. Williams would not name the institution but said it is not in Missouri.

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Michael Brown's Parents File Wrongful Death Suit Against Darren Wilson, Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr., Lesley McSpadden and attorney Anthony Gray arrive at the St. Louis County Courthouse.

At a press conference this morning, attorneys for the family of Michael Brown Jr. announced the filing of a lawsuit against the City of Ferguson, former police officer Darren Wilson and former police chief Thomas Jackson.

Before the press conference began, Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, his aunt Brittanie McSpadden and his grandmother Desuirea Harris gathered across the street from the St. Louis County Courthouse. Daily RFT asked Harris if a positive outcome from the lawsuit would be of any comfort to her.

"Never. Not to me. Not for me," she said.

"He's breathing this air we're breathing," Brittanie said of Darren Wilson. "[His arrest] is the only thing that would make me feel a little bit better."

Brown's mother called the lawsuit "just another part of the journey."

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Ferguson City Council Will Consider Request for Permanent Michael Brown Memorial

Jessica Lussenhop
The weather-worn memorial on Canfield Drive, November 11, 2014.

The spot in the street where Michael Brown died has become hallowed ground in the past eight months. A memorial there grew from a bunch of roses laid by his mother to a tall, narrow pile of stuffed animals, framed pictures, T-shirts, flowers and other trinkets. An even more massive memorial bloomed on a nearby lamp post.

Though it has attracted visitors from all over the world, some locals have grown weary of it.

"There's a lot of residents that are not happy with dodging a memorial in the middle of the street," says Ferguson mayor James Knowles. "We've had to try to plow around it in the winter months. We've had people, unfortunately, drive through them, whether it's purposeful or accidental. It creates a road hazard."

Last night, the issue was formally brought before the newly seated Ferguson City Council in the form of a letter from the Joint Council On Policy and Social Impact, requesting in conjunction with the Brown family that a permanent marker be laid and the current memorial cleared.

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Michael Brown Family Will File Civil Suit for Wrongful Death Against Darren Wilson [UPDATE]

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Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown's family at a protest in Clayton last summer.

Updated with a response from Darren Wilson's attorney, Neil Bruntrager.

At a press conference this morning, attorneys for the family of slain teenager Michael Brown announced their intention to file a civil suit for wrongful death.

Attorney Daryl Parks announced that former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will definitely be named in the suit as the "perpetrator," as will the city of Ferguson itself.

"They do not accept the self-defense theory," said Parks. "The standard we have is totally different. Criminal standard is criminal standard. A civil standard is a different standard."

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DOJ Tells Michael Brown Family There Will Be No Charges for Darren Wilson

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Bryan Sutter
Lesley McSpadden, center, Michael Brown's mother, and Michael Brown Sr., right.

In a two hour long meeting at the St. Louis headquarters of the FBI, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice informed the parents of Michael Brown that there will be no federal criminal charges against former-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown Sr. left the meeting halfway through, according to his wife, Cal.

"Of course my husband is heart broken," said Michael Brown Sr.'s wife Cal. "My husband wasn't really able to stomach sitting in its entirety so we left...he said he couldn't stand to hear them go through the evidence like that."

"They're pretty disappointed," said president of the local St. Louis NAACP chapter Adolphus Pruitt, who was also in the meeting. "It was two hours of getting disappointing news, and a vivid debate and discussion on the merits of their decision and the demerits of the decision."

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New York Cop Killer Vowed to Avenge Michael Brown's Death

Categories: Michael Brown

An Instagram post Brinsley published hours before killing two police officers.
In an Instagram post 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley knew might be his last, Brinsley wrote that he wanted to avenge the deaths of those killed by police, especially eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, killed in August in Ferguson.

"I'm putting wings on pigs today," Brinsley posted on Instagram under a picture of a gun. "They take one of ours...Let's take two of theirs. #Shootthepolice #RIPErivGardner (sic) #RIPMikeBrown."

Two hours later, Brinsley ambushed officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, shot them to death in broad daylight Saturday and ran away to a subway station, where he killed himself.

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Peaceful Protest In Clayton Over Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision Quickly Fizzles Out

Saddiyah Rice
We're pretty sure she means "McCulloch."
A Clayton demonstration organized to protest a grand-jury decision not to indict the police officer who choke-held Eric Garner to death in New York yesterday petered out after about an hour.

About 100 protesters gathered Wednesday evening at the foot of the steps to the St. Louis County Library in Clayton after news that the police officer who killed Garner would not be charged with a crime.

The Garner case had special significance in St. Louis, which has experienced near-nightly protests all over the city after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Last week, a grand-jury decision not to indict the then-Ferguson police officer who shot Brown was followed by a violent night of gun shots, looting, arson, tear gas and vandalism.

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