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Rally in Ferguson marks three weeks since Brown’s death

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson met with residents in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 19.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson met with residents in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 19.

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of people again gathered in Ferguson on Saturday morning to remember Michael Brown and draw attention to what they say is just the beginning of a movement.

The rally started at West Florissant Avenue where it meets Canfield Drive, the street on which the unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed Aug. 9 by white Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury is considering evidence in the case, and a federal investigation is also underway.

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Rally attendees, including children, wore shirts bearing the ubiquitous slogan ‘‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’’ while others carried signs or banners.

St. Louis attorney Jerryl Christmas said the rally is meant to keep Brown’s death and the resulting turmoil and racial questions ‘‘in the forefront of America.’’

‘‘We’re just three weeks into this, and this is only the beginning of this movement,’’ Christmas told The Associated Press. ‘‘We want the president to come here. He remarked that he didn’t have a strategy for ISIS and Syria, but we need a strategy for urban America. The tragedy is this could have happened anywhere.’’

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, led the crowd in a march, which turned down Canfield Drive. There, she and other family members, including Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., encircled the makeshift memorial in the middle of the street where Michael Brown died and bowed their heads during two different prayers — one by a Muslim clergy member, the other by the Rev. Spencer Booker.

‘‘We know that his life is not going to be in vain,’’ Booker, with St. Paul AME Church in St. Louis, said through a megaphone. He then suggested to applause that Brown’s death would produce new police policies.

‘‘We know you’re going to even the score, God. We know you’re going to make the wrong right,’’ he said.

There was a muted police presence Saturday in an area that for days after Brown’s death was the epicenter of nightly protests — some contentious and violent. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, whom Missouri’s governor put in charge of security in Ferguson, was posing for selfies with rally attendees Saturday.

Minutes after the gathering at the memorial, a downpour drenched the marchers.

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