Remarks of Attorney Benjamin L. Crump at the Funeral of Michael Brown, Jr.


Over One Hundred and Sixty years ago, about ten miles away from where we gather in this great Church to pay our Final Respects to young Michael Brown, The Missouri Supreme Court decided, in “what is still affectingly referred to as “the Old Courthouse,” the Dred Scott Decision.

And the substance of that decision was adopted by the US Supreme Court some five years later, holding that “Persons of African descent cannot be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Constitution.”

Now one could logically conclude that this manner of thinking followed the precedence of the 1787 Three Fifths Compromise, which said African Americans were to be considered only three-fifths of a man.

But as we pay our final respects to Michael Brown, Jr., we declare today that he was not 3/5’s of a Citizen, he was an American Citizen, because we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. And because of these truths, we will not accept 3/5’s justice for Michael Brown, Jr, we demand Equal Justice for Michael Brown, Jr.

The parents of Michael Brown are grateful for the outpouring of support and the national attention the unjust killing of their son has garnered. They promise to use this energy to effect real change; not only in Ferguson but in every city in the United States. As they wait for the killer of their son brought to justice, they will not wait ON PROMISES OF CHANGE, but they will work with you the people to make change.

That’s why the parents of Mike Brown are calling on YOU, the people who have been with them from day one, crying, praying, and marching: to help them stop another Mike Brown,
stop another Amadoud Diollo from happening in NY,
stop another Martin Lee Anderson from happening in Florida,
stop another Sean Bell from happening in New York,
stop another Oscar Grant from happening in California,
stop another Jonathan Farrell from happening in NC,
stop another Chavis Carter from happening in Arkansas,
stop another Kendrick Johnson from happening in Georgia,
stop another Robbie Tolan from happening in Texas,
stop another Leon Ford Jr. in Pennsylvania
stop another Howard Morgan from happening in Illinois,
stop another Alesia Thomas from happening in California,
stop another Jordan Davis for Jacksonville
stop another Trayvon Martin in Sanford
stop another Emmitt Till, Money, Mississippi
and all the other young nameless men of color who have been victims of senseless gun violence and police brutality.

Join them in DEMANDING THE MANDATORY WEARING OF BODY CAMERAS AND THE MANDATORY USE OF DASH CAMERAS in every U.S. police department so we don’t have to guess what happened or rely on eyewitnesses. We can have the transparency the people in Ferguson so desperately want. What American Citizens of Color so desperately want! What all American Citizens who say they care about Justice and Due Process of the Law, should desperately want. And this would be how we pay our Final Respects to young Michael Brown, Jr.!

Finally, I want to thank the young people for the Michael Brown Campaign, making it clear what this is about. If I have my hands up, don’t shoot me!

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