Sharpton calls for peace, fair investigation

ST. LOUIS – The Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network will pay for 18-year-old Michael Brown's funeral. The information was released during a news conference Tuesday afternoon on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

Sharpton came to St. Louis Tuesday to meet with Brown's family and to call for peace amid the unrest in Ferguson.

Benjamin Crump, who represented Trayvon Martin's family, has been retained by Brown's family. He once again called for any information, photos, and videos witnesses may have from the area where Brown was shot to death Saturday afternoon by a Ferguson police officer.

Crump also reiterated the family's wish for the officer's name to be released. On Monday, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said he would name the officer by 12 p.m. Tuesday, but he changed his mind, citing threats to the officer on social media.

Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, cried as Sharpton asked the public to not be so angry that Brown's image of who his mother and father say he was becomes distorted.

Sharpton said the family wishes for justice and fairness in the police investigation, asking for the investigation to be handled by the federal government because local law enforcement cannot be trusted.

"In order to establish peace, you must have fair justice for everyone," said Sharpton. "We are not more angry than his mom and dad. If they can hold their heads with dignity, we can hold our heads with dignity."

"I just want justice for my son. I need justice for my son," said Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr. He also implored the crowd to refrain from violence while expressing their anger toward the incident.

Pastor Jamal Bryant, a well-known preacher, said it will take the unification of the community to get justice for Brown's parents. He also emphasized the family is asking for peace because non-violence does not bring justice.

"I want to challenge all the young men of Missouri. Please do not contribute to the prison pipeline," said Bryant.

According to Bryant, 12 men have been arrested during protests since Brown's death. Bryant called for their immediate release because they have the constitutional right to assemble.

Sharpton and Brown's family hosted a peaceful gathering Tuesday evening at St. Mark's Family Church, continuing their plea for peace.

Donations for Brown's family can be made to the Michael Brown Jr. Fund established at Fifth Third Bank.


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