FERGUSON, Mo. — Nearly 5,000 people attended Michael’s Brown funeral on Sunday in St. Louis, Missouri at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
But millions watched it on television as it was broadcast live by CNN, NBC News, and other networks. Civil rights leader Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy, but many others spoke and/or prayed including T.D. Jakes, Jamal Bryant, and the family’s civil lawyer, Benjamin Crump.
“We are not anti-police. We respect police,” said Sharpton, during his speech. “But those police that are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in our community who are wrong need to be dealt with.”
He went on to criticize the police and how they left Brown’s body on the street for four hours after he was killed. Sharpton also spoke about what the Black community owes itself.
“Blackness was never about being a gangster or thug,” he said. “Blackness was about how no matter how low we was pushed down, we rose up anyhow. Blackness was never surrendering our pursuit of excellence. When it was against the law to go to some schools, we built Black colleges and learned anyhow.
“And now we get to the 21st century, we get to where we got some positions of power. And you decide it ain’t Black no more to be successful. Now you wanna be a ‘n*gga’ and call your woman a ‘ho.’ You lost where you come from. We got to clean up our community so we can clean up the United States of America.”
Crump, during his speech, talked about when the U.S. Constitution once referred to a slave as three-fifths of a person. He demanded that Brown get “full justice, not three-fifths justice.”
Also in attendance was Ron Davis, father of Jordan Davis, 17, who was gunned down at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station two years ago. He said he wanted to comfort the grieving family, and also saw the funeral as an opportunity to promote change. He commented that police should not use a “shoot-first mentality.
“We have to start going around the country and having seminars with police departments,” Davis said.