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ST. LOUIS — Mourners are expected to gather at a St. Louis church Monday morning for the funeral services for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., this month.
The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to speak, according to the National Action Network, and three White House officials are expected to be in attendance. The services are set for 10 a.m. Central time at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, which can seat more than 4,000 people.
“I think that what we can say is that we must turn this moment into a movement to really deal with the underlying issues of police accountability and what is and is not allowable by police, and what citizens ought to be moving toward,” Sharpton said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think that we need to deal with how we move toward solutions, how we deal with the whole aggressive policing of what is considered low-level crimes.”
The Rev. Charles Ewing, a relative of Brown’s, is also scheduled to speak at the services, which are reportedly being paid for by Alpha Phi Alpha, a black fraternity. The teenager’s father, Michael Brown Sr., talked Sunday with a St. Louis radio station and asked for protests in the area to stop Monday.
“I would like for no protesting going on,” Brown said during the interview, according to a BuzzFeed report. “We just want a moment of silence that whole day, just out of respect for our son.”
Police officer Darren Wilson shot the younger Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. Crowds have gathered in the area in the days that have followed, and their protests have drawn a heavy police response.
Brown was unarmed. He was hit multiple times, according to autopsy reports. Many details of the shooting remain unclear, however; police have said there was apparently a struggle over the officer’s gun, while a friend of Brown’s has told authorities that Wilson was the instigator.
Brown’s body lay on Canfield Drive for hours afterward, and Wilson, 28, has not been seen in public since his name was released. The case went to a grand jury last week, but deliberations are not expected to conclude until the fall.
“We know this is of interest to a lot of people around the country,” Edward Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, said last week. “We’re going to do this fairly and also attempt to do it in a timely manner.”
Over the weekend, supporters of Wilson gathered at a St. Louis tavern. As the pro-Wilson rally and fundraiser entered its second day Sunday, dozens of them lined both sides of the street in front of Barney’s Sport Pub, holding handmade signs in support of the officer.
Three hours into the rally, there was no sign of counter-demonstrators, who had a tense standoff Saturday with Wilson backers.
Motorists either honked in support or yelled from their windows voicing disapproval.