- Title: USA: Mourners gather for funeral services for Michael Brown
- Date: 25th August 2014
- Summary: ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 25, 2014) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) LARGE PHOTO OF MICHAEL BROWN PLACED BESIDE HIS CASKET
- Embargoed: 9th September 2014 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA21KDEALM5NN9JXN0ZH0PH3914
- Story Text: Mourners gathered in St. Louis on Monday (August 25) to pay respects to the life of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot by a white police officer two weeks ago in Ferguson, Missouri.
The body of Michael Brown lay in a black and gold casket topped with a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap on Monday as family, supporters and activists gathered for the funeral.
The mood was upbeat as hundreds of people filed into the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, a modern red-brick church on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis. Gospel music filled the sanctuary before the funeral services began.
Brown's coffin lay at the front of the large sanctuary surrounded by photos of him as a child, graduating from school and smiling in a red and white Cardinals baseball cap like the one he was wearing when he was killed.
That cap lay atop the casket.
His death sparked large protests and spawned headlines around the world that focused attention on racial issues in the United States. Local police have been criticized for mass arrests and the use of heavy-handed tactics and use of military gear as well as infringement on First Amendment Rights.
Authorities remained braced for a possible flare-up around the funeral, although clashes between protesters and police had significantly decreased by midweek and the National Guard began a gradual withdrawal from the St. Louis suburb on Friday.
The White House said it was sending three presidential aides to the service. U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the distribution of military hardware to state and local police out of concern over how such equipment has been used in Ferguson, a senior administration official said on Saturday.
Civil Rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson cited lack of minority representation in local offices as an issue that lead to racial tensions in Ferguson.
"The day must be a continuos pursuit of a thorough transparent investigation on the Michael Brown situation. There's an idea with the issue of the lack of representation in the government, city council, police and police chiefs, firemen and fire chiefs, the whole range of inequality leads to injustice and leads to alienation" Jackson said.
A grand jury began hearing evidence on the shooting last Wednesday, a process the county prosecutor said could take until mid-October.
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