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As the parents of Michael Brown sit at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, the controversy surrounding his death has not stopped. Before the funeral, Brown’s parents called for peace, three weeks after their 18-year-old son was shot and killed by a police officer.
Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson back on Aug. 9 and was unarmed at the time. Since then, the city of Ferguson has been watched closely, as protesters complained about the police response. It has brought up countless questions about how communities are policed and raised concerns over the militarization of local forces. With all that in mind, Brown’s parents - Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. - are hoping that today’s funeral happens without incident, notes NBC News.
Over the weekend, his parents finally saw the body and said that it will still be difficult to comprehend, even after the funeral.
“All the way up to this time, it was like a dream,” Michael Brown, Sr. told NBC News. “Seeing him in a casket today made it reality.” He added that there should be no demonstrations today. “We need peace on his going-away.”
USA Today reports that around 100 friends and family arrived at the church today to remember Brown. Family members were previously asked to wear purple wristbands and showed them to men at the door before going in. Flat screen TVs were in the church to show slideshows of pictures with Brown.
The Obama Administration did send two representatives to today’s funeral, including Marlon Marshall from the Office of Public Engagement, who went to high school with Brown’s mother.