Michael Brown to Get|Memorial in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (CN) – On what would have been Michael Brown’s 19th birthday Wednesday, Ferguson officials and Brown’s father said the makeshift memorial for the slain teen will be replaced with a permanent one.
     A row of stuffed animals, candles and other items have been a fixture in the middle of Canfield Drive where Brown was fatally shot on Aug. 9 last year.
     The memorial went up shortly after Brown’s death and has been in the middle of the road for 285 days. But Michael Brown Sr. and Ferguson officials agreed that the memorial is a safety hazard.
     The permanent memorial will consist of a plaque and a metallic dove embedded in the sidewalk along Canfield Drive. Ferguson Councilman Wesley Bell said that Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, helped in the planning.
     The permanent memorial is expected to be erected this week.
     Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The shooting prompted months of sometimes violent protests and started an international dialogue about police racism and excessive force.
     Neither local nor federal authorities charged Wilson criminally. On April 23, Brown’s family filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Ferguson and Wilson.
     “We understand this situation is not easy for all parties involved,” Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said in a statement. “This event will forever be a part of Ferguson’s history, but it is important that the community moves forward.”
     Brown’s family members gathered at the temporary memorial at noon Wednesday and cleared it. Mayor Knowles told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis will store the items.

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