FERGUSON • Six months after his death, about 30 activists gathered around a memorial dedicated to Michael Brown outside the Canfield Green apartment complex in Ferguson.
Among those standing in the crowd Monday night was Desuirea Harris, Brown’s grandmother.
“They just don’t know what they took from me,” said Harris, whose grandson was fatally shot Aug. 9 by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.
“They took a part of me,” she said, wiping away tears. Those around Harris embraced her.
Activists circled a memorial in the middle of the road made of teddy bears, flowers and other small items. They lit candles, sang and said a prayer.
Bishop Derrick Robinson, of Kingdom Destiny Fellowship in Fairview Heights, led the vigil. “Father, we thank you that St. Louis will be transformed,” he said.
“It does not matter the weather, we’re going to hang tough,” said Beverly Jones, 52.
Although some of those gathered said some progress had been made since Brown’s death, all seemed to agree there was more work to do.
Jones said “people are talking” about certain issues such as the civilian oversight board of police currently under discussion in St. Louis. “But we have to keep the pressure up,” she said.
Darnell Singleton, 45, of Dellwood, said in addition to policy changes, police themselves needed to try to change how they view their jobs.
They need to “change their mentality, from hunters to servants,” said Singleton.
“Police officers are still so emboldened by what happened that they’re still wearing, ‘I love Darren Wilson’ bracelets,’” Singleton said, referring to Jeff Roorda, business manager for St. Louis’ police union, who was wearing a bracelet at a meeting on the creation of a civilian oversight board.
“I think we’re at a tense place,” Robinson said. “And I think people are still angry, but I think people are ready for the second step.”
After the vigil, a small group gathered at the Ferguson Police Department. After writing on police property, several protesters were arrested by police.