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, Mo., will be marked with a somber march and a moment of silence. The march late this morning begins at the site where Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. A grand jury and the Department of Justice declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November, but the shooting touched off a national "Black Lives Matter" movement. Several hundred people were gathered today ahead of the march. After the moment of silence, a service commemorating the anniversary was planned at a Ferguson church. The events are among several this weekend in Ferguson and nearby St. Louis.
Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr.—who said he hasn't cut his beard since his son's death—led a parade involving several hundred people yesterday. Brown said his family is still grieving, but he believes his son's legacy can be seen in the increased awareness of police shootings, and renewed skepticism when officers describe their side of events leading up to those shootings. Some people who marched in the parade wore T-shirts with likenesses of Brown or messages such as "Please stop killing us" or "Hands up! Don't shoot!" which became a rallying cry during the sometimes-violent protests that followed the shooting a year ago. Some carried signs or wore shirts commemorating others who have been killed in confrontations with police. But the focus of the weekend is largely on Brown, who graduated from high school weeks before the shooting.