On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Sr. was faced with the pain every parent dreads: the loss of his child.
One year ago, 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. was gunned down in Ferguson, Mo., by now-former police officer Darren Wilson, sparking further national outcry as another young black male suffered death at the hands of law enforcement. Taking to the streets to commemorate the tragic event, Brown led a nearly five-mile march to his son’s alma mater Normandy High School on Saturday (Aug. 8). During the protest, he called for further action to be taken.
“I see things moving in a positive way, but I don’t see enough,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Demonstrators and mourners joined Brown, donning t-shirts with “chosen for change” of the family’s non-profit organization, and holding signs with the #BlackLivesMatter slogan. While urging the community to protest peacefully, Brown was photographed carry stuffed animals in his son’s honor. He also commented on the daily task of dealing with his loss.
“I hurt every day,” he said. “I have to stay moving, going, running, just to keep me from going insane.”
Members of the community who joined Brown in the march commented on the national ramifications of Michael Brown Jr.’s death, noting it as a widespread issue rather than a loss for one neighborhood. Zechariah Williams, 20, told St. Louis Public Radio that the world should take notice of a larger problem.
“A lot of people over the world make it as if it’s just about (Michael Brown). It’s not just about him,” Williams said. “It’s about every other black person who died under the cause of racist white cops. I feel like it’s time for people to stand up.”
On Sunday (Aug. 9), protesters will observe the loss of Michael Brown Jr. with 4.5 minutes of silence, a number chosen for the number of hours his corpse lay in the sweltering heat as authorities blocked off the scene, Yahoo! News reports. Brown acknowledges that while justice for others has been a residual of his son’s death, he still has not seen any justice of his own.
“I lost my boy. Ain’t nothing been accomplished for me,” said Brown. “There’s some families that have got justice off Michael Brown Jr’s legacy, and that helped them. But I’m still trying to get through.”