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Lucy Barnable

Permanent Michael Brown Memorial Planned at Shooting Site

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 Lucy Barnable    5,365

The makeshift mid-street memorial that marked where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer last summer was cleared out Wednesday — what would have been his 19th birthday — amid plans to install a permanent plaque in his memory nearby.

Braving chilly rain, volunteers wearing white latex gloves put stuffed animals, candles and other trinkets into trash bags destined for temporary storage, dismantling within minutes the shrine seen by many as a symbol of a new civil rights movement over race and policing.

"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my son," Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., said earlier Wednesday as he joined Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III in announcing the temporary memorial's imminent removal. "We're just really trying to move forward. It just needs to be moved."

The removal of the mid-street shrine and another with stuffed animals on the nearby curb didn't come without agitation. After a prayer and moment of silence in Brown's honor, a young man who was passing by objected to the timing of the effort on Brown's birthday, shouting, "I hope that weighs on your conscience when you go home." He later returned and exchanged profanities with volunteers, including a woman who struck him in the face before security wrestled him to the ground, briefly handcuffed him and later let him go.

Knowles, while appreciative of the memorial's symbolism, recently said it has become a public safety issue — and Brown's father said the same Wednesday.



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