Ferguson braces for protests on anniversary of Michael Brown shooting
Updated: 2015-08-07 14:00
Local resident Ken Kendricks Jr. puts his hands together in prayer at a makeshift memorial at the site along Canfield Road where unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, August 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
Aug 6 - One year after the police shooting of an unarmed black teen thrust Ferguson, Missouri, into the national spotlight, the St. Louis suburb is bracing for a weekend of protests over continued complaints of police violence.
Civil rights activists, religious leaders and others from around the United States are converging on the mostly black community of about 21,000 to commemorate the life and death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and call for improvements in relations with police.
The events, many organized by Brown's father, include marches, concerts and a moment of silence at midday on Sunday on the street where Brown was killed on Aug. 9, 2014.
"I'm expecting hundreds if not thousands of people," said Tommie Pierson Sr., pastor of the Greater St. Mark Family Church, where a service honoring Brown is scheduled this weekend. "We are not anticipating any violence. However, you have to always be prepared."
Pierson's church held a "de-escalation" training session on Sunday to prepare for potential clashes between protesters and police this weekend.
Brown's death sparked months of sometimes violent protests both in Ferguson and around the United States following subsequent police killings of unarmed black men in several other cities. It also spurred the "Black Lives Matter" movement that has cast a spotlight on long-troubled relations between police and minority residents of many US cities.