FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV) — Sunday marks six years since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson.
His death not only changed the St. Louis region but brought global attention to police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. The shooting led to weeks of protests that included violent confrontations between demonstrators and police officers, many in riot gear and with military-style weapons.
Several community leaders agreed that progress has been made but there is still a long way to go.
In July, St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said he reopened Brown’s case but charges will not be filed against former Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. During the initial investigation, Wilson said he shot Brown in self-defense. However, residents in the Canfield claimed Brown had his hands up in surrender.
“One of the most difficult things I’ve had to do as a prosecutor,” Bell said. He said his office could not find concrete evidence Wilson committed murder or manslaughter. “After an independent review of the evidence we cannot prove that he did.”
While there are many still fighting for change, some things are different from that day. There’s a new police chief in Ferguson and just days ago Cori Bush essentially locked up Missouri’s 1st Congressional seat.
“This is where I started from fighting for justice, we have to stand up for Black lives every single day,” Bush said.
A memorial was held at 11 a.m. Sunday at Canfield Green Apartments with guest speakers and performances. There was a four to five minute moment of silence to symbolize the four hours Brown’s body was left in the middle of the street.
At 5 p.m., a Black Celebrities and Chosen Fathers town hall discussed police brutality, community violence and systemic racism. Several well-known figures in the black community spoke during the virtual experience. Michael Brown Sr., Rev. Al Sharpton, activist Shaun King, Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper and reality TV star Porsha Williams were among speakers set to attend.
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