Steady rain and temperatures in the lower 50s didn't stop hundreds of people of all ages from gathering outside the St. Louis County prosecutor's office in Clayton, Missouri, Friday to march and call for justice — two months after a police officer fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.
Demonstrators demanded that a special prosecutor take over the Michael Brown case, and said they don’t believe Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch is able to fairly handle the matter because of his close ties to police. More than 115,000 people signed an online petition calling for a special prosecutor.
"A lot of stuff ain't good. Bob McCulloch isn't doing what he's supposed to do," St. Louis resident Robert Jones, 79, said Friday. "Justice, justice, which he isn't doing."
The so-called "Justice Now" march kicked off a weekend of events to mark the two months since Brown, who was black, was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9. There was no violence as the protesters marched through the streets of downtown Clayton, a wealthy suburb of St. Louis, chanting many of the refrains that have become familiar since Brown was killed: "Hands up, don't shoot."
The Rev. Rebecca Turner of the Faith Aloud group in St. Louis said racial profiling by police is unacceptable."I think all of us have to take a stand so that police abide by the same laws as other people," she said. "Too many black men end up dead because of stops by police that were not necessary."
Tension between the community and its police force was further strained on Wednesday, when a black 18-year-old was shot dead by a St. Louis police officer. Authorities have said the teen fired first at the officer.
—Rick Brown and Becky Bratu