Mike Brown had bloody dreams before he was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9 and left on the street for four hours, according to his ailing stepmother Cal Brown. Recently out of the hospital herself, Brown took the microphone during her stepson’s funeral held today at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO and shared one of their final conversations.
"Mike told me, 'I didn’t think you were going to make it.' And I said why and he said, 'Because I've been dreaming of death, seeing pictures of death, seeing pictures of bloody sheets hanging on clotheslines,’” Brown said during a St. Louis Post-Dispatch live stream of the ceremony. “That’s what it was like when he was laying there on the street [after being shot]. He prophesied his own death and didn’t realize it.”
In a church packed with family members, mourners and media, Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden wore a red dress with a photo of her son pinned to her lapel as she rocked back and forth through most of the ceremony. Her partner sat beside her as did the late 18-year-old Brown's stepmother and father. While filing into the church, attendees held up their hands echoing the "Hands up, don't shoot" mannerisms Ferguson's protestors have used each night since August 9.
During the family tributes, Brown’s cousin Eric Davis, who has been vocal throughout the protests, pointing out police mismanagement surrounding his family member’s death, took the pulpit to request political action.
“What you can do to continue this [movement] is show up at the voting polls,” Davis said. “Let your voice be heard. Anytime change has come, it’s come through the youth and the younger generations.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, MSNBC host, National Action Network leader and preacher, delivered the eulogy to rousing applause in the sanctuary.
“Some of us are so heavenly bound that we’re no earthly good,” Sharpton said. “Before you put on your robe and walk down the streets [of Heaven], you have to walk the streets of Ferguson, MO. He will not judge you on what you did on the streets of Heaven. … we sit like we have no requirements, but all of us are required to respond to this. All of this must solve this.”
Sharpton touched on the rioting, looting and how the family of Mike Brown had to quell the crowd.
“They had to break their mourning to ask folks to stop looting and rioting. … can you imagine?” He asked. “They have to stop their mourning to ask you to stop your anger like you are more angry than they are. Like you don’t understand that he doesn’t want to be remembered for rioting but he wants to be the one to be remembered for changing how we deal with police in the United States.”
He also called for the United States to realize the images portrayed around the world concerning the last two weeks of protests matched with unnecessary force and misinformation by the Ferguson police department.
“America, how do you think we look to the world when you can’t find a police report, but you can find a video?” He asked. “How do you think we look when young people marched non-violently asking for the home of the free home of the brave to hear their voices and you put snipers on the roof and point guns at them?”
Sharpton then dug into a bit of respectability politics regarding black-on-black crime, urging African Americans to focus on their own communities as they strive to change the culture of America at large. He also challenged police to pluck out their bad apples. As for Mike Brown, Senior, he just wants to bury his son with dignity and grace.
“Today is for peace and quiet, we will lay our son … our family, a young black man, a young human being, to rest,” said Brown.
Image via Getty.