Courtesy of NPR
It has been exactly one year since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Mourners there marked the anniversary Sunday with a moment of silence, gathering in remembrance and protest of the shooting.
Michael Brown’s father spoke before a crowd of hundreds, according to St. Louis Public Radio’s Camille Phillips. Around noon, Phillips reports that the crowd was called upon for 4 1/2 minutes of silence.
“That number — 4 1/2 — is symbolic,” she says. “It’s used often at Ferguson protests and Michael Brown events, symbolizing the 4 1/2 hours Michael Brown’s body lay on the pavement after he was killed.”
After the speeches, the group lined up and marched through the streets, quietly and largely without chanting or singing.
For Rev. Starsky Wilson, the co-chair of the Ferguson Commission, the anniversary marks a time to take stock of the work his group has done. Appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November, the commission was called upon to study and report on the systemic issues underlying the tensions in area.
“I’m confident that change has begun,” Wilson says, “that relationships are beginning to change.”
But in an interview with NPR’s Arun Rath, he says his efforts are far from over.
“No one should believe a headline that this is over; no one should believe a headline that we’ve made it. Ultimately, people should know that St. Louis has much work to do, that Ferguson has much work to do — and that it’s the same work that they’ve got to do in their communities, as well.”