ST. LOUIS — Justice was a recurring theme as thousands of mourners packed the mammoth Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on Monday for the funeral of Michael Brown, a black teen whose fatal shooting following a confrontation with a white police officer set off weeks of sometimes violent protests.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, among the speakers, called for a "fair and impartial investigation" into the shooting.
"We are not anti-police, we respect police," Sharpton said. "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."
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer representing Brown's family, alluded to the "three-fifths" clause in the Constitution for counting slaves (which actually was not a pro-slavery clause) and demanded that Brown get "full justice, not three-fifths justice."
Brown's body was being laid to rest, but the controversy surrounding the Aug. 9 shooting was far from over. Prosecutors have not determined whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, 28, will face charges in Brown's death.
The service began with energy, including songs from a church choir and Scripture readings. The line from Scripture: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" drew loud applause.
Several family members shared stories of Brown, telling how the 18-year-old had promised to make something of himself.
Brown "stated to the family that one day the world would know his name. He did not know he was offering up a divine prophecy," Brown's cousin, Eric Davis, told the crowd. "But we are here today remembering the name of Michael Brown."
Davis encouraged people to express their anger at the polls.
"Every time change has come, it's come through the youth and the young generation," Davis said. "This generation is saying we have had enough of this senseless killing. We have had enough of this."