Michael Brown's Dad Delivers Thanksgiving Turkeys To Ferguson Residents In Son's Memory
As the residents of Ferguson, Missouri, awaits the grand jury decision on police officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown's father took to the streets on Saturday to ease the tension. Michael Brown Sr. returned to Canfield Green Apartments — the site of his son's grizzly death at the hands of Officer Wilson — to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys to Ferguson residents. It was a reassuring, almost uplifting gesture, following months of unrest in the small St. Louis suburb.
According to Fox 2 News, Brown Sr.'s Saturday afternoon visit to Canfield was part of an annual Thanksgiving charity event, the Demetrious Johnson turkey giveaway. The charity event delivers about 2,500 turkeys to families across the St. Louis area.
During an emotional news conference Saturday afternoon, Johnson told reporters:
I get a call from this gentleman and his family the other day, he says he wants to come out and be just a part of giving back. He says this is his first Thanksgiving without his son.
Brown Sr., donning a T-shirt bearing Brown Jr.'s picture and the words "gone too soon," added that he was reaching out to the community, just days or even hours before the Wilson grand jury decision, as a way to honor his slain son:
This will be our first Thanksgiving without our son. The family just had to roll up our sleeves and help the community. We thought this was the most best for us, to just help back out. We love the support, came to give back.
When asked by FOX 2 reporter Andy Banker if Saturday's charity event would help his family have a happier Thanksgiving, Brown Sr. said:
It’s not going to be the best. My son’s still gone. But I’m going to get through. As long as I make someone else happy, I’ll get through. ... Show my love back to the community. It’s the reason I’m out here, to show how I feel about them.
But the grand jury decision on whether to indict Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot Brown, who was unarmed at the time, may end up putting a damper on Thanksgiving activities come next week. Although it was reported that the grand jury would meet for the final time on Friday and released the decision as soon as this weekend, unnamed sources said on Saturday that a decision was unlikely. CNN reports that the 12-person jury will reconvene on Monday.
In anticipation of the grand jury's decision, which may trigger more widespread protests in the St. Louis area, Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard earlier in the week. The Ferguson-Florissant School District, which serves not only Ferguson but also the outlying area, released a letter to parents this week, saying it's prepared to close schools early or cancel classes altogether when the decision is handed down.
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