Michael Brown laid to rest; slain teen was a 'gentle soul'
The funeral for slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown was held Monday in St. Louis.
Thousands filled Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church as relatives and friends said goodbye to the 18-year-old.
Brown was killed by a police officer on August 9 in a controversial shooting that led to weeks of protests, looting, and citizen unrest in Ferguson.
During the service, Bernard Ewing, Brown's uncle, described his nephew as a "big guy, but a kind, gentle soul", and remembered the teenager telling the family that the world would one day know his name.
"He did not know he was offering up a divine prophecy at that time," Ewing said.
Pastor Charles Ewing, another uncle, delivered the eulogy, and said that "blood is crying from the ground, crying for vengeance, crying for justice".
A cousin of Brown's, Eric Davis, urged the approximately 4,500 in attendance to vote in the upcoming election to make a positive change in their community, and demonstrate that they have had "enough of the senseless killings".
One of the thousands paying their respects was Will Acklin, a 63-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas. He explained why it was important for him to be at the funeral.
"It's important in that as a child I was pushed by police, mistreated by police, cursed by police, and I was a good kid," he told the Associated Press. "I was an honour student. When I heard this, I felt compelled to come here and show my respects."
Another mourner was Angela Pierre, who used to live in Ferguson.
"I really wanted to just be here today to pray for the family and pray for peace," the 48-year-old said. "When all of this dies down, there still a mother, father and a family who's lost someone. Sometimes a lot of the unrest takes away from that."
Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., asked for a break from protests on Monday so the family could grieve. The AP reported that regular protest sites in front of the Ferguson Police Department and the West Florissant Avenue commercial corridor were devoid of demonstrators.