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On a rain-soaked day when his son would have turned 19, Michael Brown Sr. made the painful decision to remove a makeshift memorial of teddy bears, candles, balloons, and flowers that were laid down on the street corner where Michael Brown Jr. was gunned down nearly a year ago by a White police officer after a confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri.

“It’s time for the city to heal,” the father said moments after snapping on a pair of rubber gloves, walking to the spot in the middle of Canfield Drive, and scooping up the amulets, according to Riverfront Times. “I need to heal.”

He worked alongside volunteers to remove the memorial. Michael Brown Jr. was unarmed when he was shot and killed on Aug. 9 by ex-Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. Protests erupted in Ferguson and across the nation after the teen’s death became a symbol of police brutality against unarmed African-Americans.

From The Riverfront Times:

It seemed like a cruel task — performed in the rain, in near silence — but he was the only one who could do it. Imagine if a crew of Ferguson city workers attempted to remove the memorial. It would be treated as an act of sacrilege.

And even with the family’s blessing, there was turmoil. A young man identified by neighbors as the head of the block’s copwatch program walked by repeatedly shouting that those involved in the cleanup should be ashamed. He didn’t care it was done with the blessing of the Brown family.

In place of the memorial, a permanent plaque will be placed on Canfield Dr.

Earlier in the day, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced at a press conference with the Browns that a plaque would be installed on Canfield in memory of the slain teenager, and a dove placed beside it. The plaque was supposed to be installed today as well, but the steady downpour scuttled those plans.

Michael Brown Sr. is correct, his family and Ferguson need to heal; and so does the nation. Rest in peace, Michael Brown.

SOURCE: The Riverfront Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter

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