Public Memorial for Michael Brown to be Held Monday

police-shooting-missouri-1

A funeral and public memorial for Michael Brown will take place Monday morning, according to family attorney Anthony Gray.

The location and time for the event have not been set, but Gray said services likely will begin between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“It’s going to be public and it’s going to be supported by national leaders,” Gray said. “We don’t have details on who those national leaders will be at this time.”

He said organizers were working to find a large enough venue for the memorial.

Trayvon Martin’s Mom Pens Letter to Michael Brown’s Family: ‘If They Refuse to Hear Us, We Will Make Them Feel Us’

Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing On Stand Your Ground Laws

Trayvon Martin’s mother has written a touching letter to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old recently shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Sybrina Fulton, whose 17-year-old son Trayvon was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in 2012, says she wishes she could say “it will be alright” but the truth is she can only “pray” as their ‘lives are forever changed.”

“Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing,” Fulton wrote in the letter, published in TIME magazine.

Fulton explains the dichotomy of detractors and supporters family members will face since they’ve sadly joined “this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence.”

For Fulton, the loss meant devoting her life to the missions of The Trayvon Martin Foundation. She lends her support to Brown’s family and “to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country.”

Read Fulton’s letter in its entirety below:

To The Brown Family,

I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.

I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live. Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing.

Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don’t want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. You may find yourselves pulled in many different directions by strangers who may be well-wishers or detractors. Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in “the system” and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed.

However with those changes come new challenges and opportunities. You will experience a swell of support from all corners of the world. Many will express their sympathies and encourage you to keep fighting for Michael. You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have. This will incense and insult you. All of this will happen before and continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest.

I know this because I lived and continue to live this. I have devoted my life to the comprehensive missions of The Trayvon Martin Foundation – including providing support to families that have lost a young child to senseless gun violence regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. I will support you and your efforts to seek justice for your Michael and the countless other Michaels & Trayvons of our country. The 20 Sandy Hook children. Jordan Davis. Oscar Grant. Kendrick Johnson. Sean Bell. Hadya Pendleton. The Aurora shooting victims. The list is too numerous to adequately mention them all. According to The Children’s Defense Fund, gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-19. That is a horrible fact.

Facts, myths, and flat out lies are already out there in Michael’s case. Theories, regardless of how ridiculous, are being pondered by the pundits. My advice is to surround yourselves with proven and trusted support. Through it all, I never let go of my faith, my family, or my friends. Long after the overwhelming media attention is gone, you will need those three entities to find your ‘new normal.’ Honor your son and his life, not the circumstances of his alleged transgressions. I have always said that Trayvon was not perfect. But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.

But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain. The galvanizations of our communities must be continued beyond the tragedies. While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy. If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us. Some will mistake that last statement as being negatively provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…

With Heartfelt Support,

Sybrina D. Fulton

An Obama Visit to Ferguson ‘Not Off the Table’

President Barack Obama makes a statement in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House August 18, 2014 in Washington, DC.

The people of Ferguson could see their president in town at some point – but it’s not likely.

A senior administration official didn’t rule out a trip to the St. Louis suburb, now in its second week of protests over the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, but the White House currently has no plans for President Barack Obama to visit the troubled community. Also, state and local legislators say a visit would be too much of a distraction.

The president didn’t say whether he would visit Ferguson when asked by a reporter on Monday, stressing only that ongoing investigations precluded him from going into the details on the matter.

Two Missouri Democrats on Tuesday panned the idea, citing security concerns that a presidential visit would involve amid regular clashes that led Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to call in the National Guard.

“It adds another distortion. We don’t need that now. And we don’t need any more people coming into Ferguson to help the poor people out during this time of trouble,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said on MSNBC. “What we need is a sense of calm and anything other than that is going to be dangerous.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) echoed Cleaver, and added that it would place an undue burden on police who are already struggling to contain the protests.

“A presidential visit requires a lot of security from local officials,” she said. “Right now our local officials have their hands full. It is a very bad time for a presidential visit for the practical reasons — many of these people are not getting enough sleep. We are really taxing all of the jurisdictions on the police forces.”

Obama announced Monday that he was sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson to meet with federal law enforcement authorities who are conducting an investigation into the death of Brown.

Obama Sending Holder to Ferguson; Plugs ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ (Watch)

President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.

President Barack Obama announced Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, while again calling for calm in the town that has seen protests since the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

“While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only dis-serves to raise tensions and stir chaos, it undermines, rather than advancing justice,” Obama said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Of the situation, Obama said Ferguson is “rightly hurting,” but called once again for people to “seek some understanding rather than to simply holler at each other.”

“Let’s seek to heal, rather than to wound each other,” the president said.

“I’ve said this before, in too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear,” Obama said, before pointing to his own initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, which he said is already making significant progress. [Scroll down to listen.]

Holder met with Obama at the White House on Monday to discuss the situation in Ferguson after perhaps the most violent night of demonstrations since the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old.

The president said Holder’s visit to Ferguson would include meeting with investigators and other leaders of the community. In addition to meeting with Holder, Obama said he also spoke to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon as well as Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill.

Other Obama administration officials in the meeting included White House deputy chief of staff Anita Breckenridge, White House counsel Neil Eggleston and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, the report said.

Listen to Obama’s comments on Ferguson in its entirety below:

Michael Brown’s Family ‘Beyond Outraged’ at Ferguson Cops (Read Full Statement)

mike-brown

On Monday, the police chief in Ferguson, Missouri said Michael Brown had been jaywalking before a police officer shot and killed him following a confrontation.

Today, the police chief announced that the unarmed black teen was actually a suspect in a robbery that occurred shortly before the shooting. Needless to say, the delay in revealing the robbery’s connection to the shooting, and the manner in which the information was released has Brown’s family and their attorneys “beyond outraged.”

Their statement, released Friday from both the family and their lawyers, was tweeted out by attorney Ben Crump after police announced Darren Wilson as the officer who shot Brown, and named the teen as the robbery suspect.

Read the full statement below:

Michael Brown’s family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piece mil information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight.

There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.

The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies.

It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.

The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention, from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael’s death and will demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.

Benjamin L Crump, Esq.
Anthony D. Gray, Esq.
Daryl D. Parks, Esq.

Mike Brown: Cyberactivists Post Dispatch Tapes; Vow to ID Cop Shooter


Gawker is reporting that cyberactivists associated with hacker network Anonymous say they plan to publicly identify the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown over the weekend, and they also promised to release emergency dispatch recordings related to the killing this afternoon.

Ferguson Police Chief Jon Belmar has refused to divulge over fears for the officer’s safety.

Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson writes:

I traded emails last night with one of the half-dozen core Anonymous members working on Operation Ferguson, as the group’s effort to pressure and shame the local police department is known. They were still working to verify the identity of the shooter. “I can only tell you that our source is very close personally to the officer who killed Mike Brown, and that this person is terrified to be our source,” said the anon, whom I will call Fawkes. He added that the source “reached out to us, we did not seek out this person.”

Harkinson’s source said that anon members were firmly united behind the group’s recent efforts in Ferguson:

Per Harkinson:

It has been a busy few days for Operation Ferguson. The hackers shut down the city’s website for a few hours on Sunday night and Tuesday morning, posted the home address and number of police chief John Belmar, and dropped an email bomb that crammed city and police inboxes with junk messages. The goal was “to get journalists like you to do interviews with us, and incidentally maybe talk about the issue at hand in the process,” Fawkes told me. “Looks like it worked.” Early this morning, the allied Twitter account @TheAnonMessage announced that it had access to emergency response recordings related to Brown’s death.

The group posted the audio just 30 minutes ago:

LAPD Shoots, Kills Unarmed Black Man During ‘Investigative Stop’


ezell ford

Here we go again.

Days after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Los Angeles Police Department has shot and killed a black man in South L.A. on Monday – during an “investigative stop.”

It happened in the Newton area around 8:20 p.m., according to a news release from the LAPD. Their official story: “During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an officer-involved-shooting. It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations. The suspect was transported to a local hospital and after lifesaving efforts he succumbed to his injuries.”

A woman claiming to be the deceased man’s mother called KTLA and identified the man as Ezell Ford. Tritobia Ford said her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers when he was shot three times.

An unnamed man who claimed to be Ezell Ford’s cousin also spoke with KTLA.

“They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” he said. “The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out.”

Officer Jane Kim, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said a vigil had been scheduled for Tuesday night in response to the incident, according to USA Today.

Michael Brown was unarmed when fatally shot by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb on Saturday, Aug. 9. Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown before the shooting occurred, claimed Brown was retreating from the officer with his hands up when he was shot, CNN reported. Ferguson police, however, say a “physical confrontation” occurred prior to this.

Looting and unrest has rocked the neighborhood in the days following Brown’s death. At least four people, including two police officers, have been hurt and 47 arrested in the aftermath of the shooting, according to St. Louis’ KMOV.

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