St. Louis — The mood was somber Monday morning, but there was a sense of community as the family and friends of Michael Brown gathered for his funeral. Mourners from across the community and the country arrived as early as 7:45 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis for the 10 a.m. service.
Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9.
St. Louis County police shut down the street in front of the church for the crowds of mourners and for the limousines carrying Brown's family. In a reprieve from the tensions of the past two weeks, police and community members shared friendly exchanges as the officers directed traffic.
Some community members waited outside the church with umbrellas and sheets of blank cardboard, ready to respond to the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., which said it would picket the funeral.
"We'll just try to be a human shield of love," said Alaina Bell, a resident of north St. Louis County since childhood. But the protection was unneeded: No picketers showed up.
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As the funeral began, there were approximately 250 people still standing in front of the church. Many mourners remained outside in the blistering heat and sun throughout the service. In addition to the main sanctuary, hundreds of people had been accommodated in overflow seating areas.
Following the service, Brown was buried at St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis. The cemetery is across the street from Normandy High School, Brown's alma mater. Flags at the school flew at half-staff in his honor.
Note: NCR did not cover the funeral itself out of respect for the wishes of the Brown family.