Three White House officials will be representing the Obama administration at the funeral of Michael Brown, the teenager shot six times and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer on August 9.
NBC News reports the White House has announced that Broderick Johnson, assistant to the President, White House Cabinet Secretary, and head of the White House My Brother’s Keeper Task Force is one of the officials attending the funeral. Marlon Marshall and Heather Foster, both of the White House Office of Public Engagement, will also attend. Marshall, a native of St. Louis, was a high school classmate of Brown’s mother.
The funeral is to be held at 10 a.m. Monday, August 25 at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. According to The Washington Post, Brown’s uncle, the Reverend Charles Ewing, will give the eulogy. Reverend Al Sharpton will also speak at the funeral.
Church officials are expecting a large crowd at the funeral and have spent quite a bit of time coordinating with the media on coverage. Denise Mackey, special events project manager, says that they are ready. “It just means that the community is welcome to support the family and be a part of the services,” Mackey told local KSDK News. “We are willing and open to accommodate.
The church sanctuary seats 2,500 people and there are two overflow sections that seat approximately 2,000, and church officials expect to be filled to capacity. There will also be a livestream of the funeral for those who are seated outside the main sanctuary.
President Obama addressed Brown’s death, pointing to the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. Backed by prominent sponsors such as the NBA and the Discovery Channel, My Brother’s Keeper is a five-year program designed to work toward improving the lives of young men of color. The White House sees the program as a way of addressing some of the racial profiling believed to be an issue in the teen’s death.
“In too many communities,” Obama said, “too many men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear. And through initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper, I’m personally committed to changing both perception and reality.”
The unarmed 18-year-old’s shooting by Ferguson policeman, Darren Wilson, sparked a nation-wide debate and has been the focus of media attention for weeks. The controversy continues even as the family prepares to lay Michael to rest – Wilson claims that Brown was beating him before the shooting, but Inquistr reported today that a source says the policeman’s X-rays prove otherwise.
Thousands of people from across the country have flocked to Ferguson since the shooting to protest Brown’s death and to offer sympathy to his family.
Photo courtesy of NBC News