Mourners Hail 'Gentle' Brown as Sharpton Urges 'Change'

Big names come out as Michael Brown laid to rest

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 25, 2014 1:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – More than 2,500 mourners crowded Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis this morning to lay Michael Brown to rest, reports the AP, with another 2,000 in overflow seating and national television carrying the 18-year-old's funeral. Brown's casket was closed, with a St. Louis Cardinals cap atop it, notes the Post-Dispatch. His uncle, Bernard Ewing, recalled him as a "big guy, but a kind, gentle soul" in a service that the New York Times calls "deeply religious." The overarching message was one of change, with Brown's family members urging mourners to vote, and the Rev. Al Sharpton saying, "We are required to leave here today and change things. Michael Brown must be remembered for more than disturbances." Michael Brown Sr., wearing a tie bearing his son's image, had yesterday pleaded with protesters for "a day of silence so I can, so we can, lay our son to rest." Other highlights:

  • Among those gathered: Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III, Spike Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. William Lacy Clay; family members of Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell; three White House representatives. Gov. Jay Nixon declined to attend "out of respect for the family."
  • Sharpton on protesters who turned to violence, as per CNN: "Can you imagine, they're heartbroken, their son taken, discarded, and marginalized, and they have to stop mourning to get you to control your anger, like you're more angry than they are, like you don't understand that Michael Brown does not want to be remembered for a riot."
  • The Rev. Charles Ewing, Brown's uncle who eulogized him: "Michael Brown's blood is crying from the ground, crying for vengeance, crying for justice. There is a cry being made from the ground, not just for Michael Brown, but for the Trayvon Martins, for those children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, for the Columbine massacre, for the black-on-black crime."

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, at the funeral for Michael Brown at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.
The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, at the funeral for Michael Brown at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
Women lift up their hands during the funeral services for 18-year-old Michael Brown on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
Women lift up their hands during the funeral services for 18-year-old Michael Brown on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
A woman lifts up her hands during the funeral services for 18-year-old Michael Brown on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
A woman lifts up her hands during the funeral services for 18-year-old Michael Brown on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
Michael Brown Sr. wears a tie decorated with a picture of his son during funeral services for him on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
Michael Brown Sr. wears a tie decorated with a picture of his son during funeral services for him on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
The casket of Michael Brown sits inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
The casket of Michael Brown sits inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
People line up to make a path for the family and friends at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church during the funeral for Michael Brown, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
People line up to make a path for the family and friends at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church during the funeral for Michael Brown, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A St. Louis Cardinals baseball at rests on top of Michael Brown's casket at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
A St. Louis Cardinals baseball at rests on top of Michael Brown's casket at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/New York Times, Richard Perry, Pool)
Lesley McSpadden is comforted during the funeral services for her son, 18-year-old Michael Brown, on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
Lesley McSpadden is comforted during the funeral services for her son, 18-year-old Michael Brown, on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, closes her eyes during funeral services for her son on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.
Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, closes her eyes during funeral services for her son on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post Dispatch, Robert Cohen, Pool)
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