ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Politicians, civil rights activists and celebrities gathered Monday at a St. Louis church for the funeral of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager whose shooting death by a white police officer captured the country's attention.
Thousands of mourners packed the Baptist church where Brown was laid to rest Monday. After two weeks of sometimes violent protests, Brown’s family had their chance to say goodbye.
In the congregation: the father of Travyon Martin, filmmaker Spike Lee and radio host Tom Joyner. President Obama sent three of his aides.
Songs and scripture filled the service. The Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy.
“In all of our religious and spiritual celebration, let us not lose sight of the fact that this young man should be doing his second week in college," said Sharpton, National Action Network.
Sharpton linked Brown's death at the hands of police to that of Eric Garner, who died in July after a New York City police officer took him to the ground with a chokehold – a move that's long been banned by the city's police department.
“Eleven times, he said I couldn’t breathe, and the man, a police man wouldn’t let him go," Sharpton said. "Later that week, we see Michael laying on the ground. America! It’s time to deal with policing!”
As state and federal authorities investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown, Sharpton urged mourners to turn their anger and sadness into a catalyst for change.
“Justice is gonna come! Justice is gonna come! Justice gonna come!”