Funeral held for Ferguson teen Michael Brown

CONTINUOUS COVERAGE FROM FERGUSON HERE

ST. LOUIS -- Several civil rights leaders and celebrities were among thousands of mourners who turned out for the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Missouri.

Brown, who was unarmed, was fatally shot Aug. 9 by a police officer in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb. His funeral was Monday at a church in St. Louis.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was in the pews, along with entertainers Sean Combs and MC Hammer, and moviemaker Spike Lee.

Also in attendance were the parents of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida, along with a cousin of Emmitt Till, a 14-year-old murdered by several white men while visiting Mississippi in 1955. Till's killing galvanized the civil rights movement.

Several politicians also attended, including U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay.

At a festival Sunday in St. Louis, Michael Brown Sr. told the crowd that all he wants Monday is peace. He says he appreciates all the love and support from people in the community. He asked for a "day of silence."

Hundreds of people gathered in the largest park in St. Louis for Peace Fest 2014, which was planned before Brown's Aug. 9 death but took on new resonance after it. The annual festival encourages peace over violence.

The more than two weeks since Brown's death have been marked by nightly protests, some of them violent and chaotic.

President Barack Obama sent three White House aides to the funeral.

Leading the group for Monday's service will be the chairman of the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, Broderick Johnson. My Brother's Keeper is an Obama initiative that aims to empower young minorities.

Also attending will be the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Marlon Marshall, and an adviser for the office, Heather Foster.

The White House says Marshall is a St. Louis native and attended high school with Brown's mother.

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