August 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Groups gather in Detroit to honor, demand justice for Missouri teen Michael Brown

On a day where many in the nation watched mourners at the funeral of a teen shot to death by a Missouri police officer earlier this month, community groups in Detroit held their own prayer vigil to honor the victim.

About 75 people gathered Monday evening in front of the McNamara Building in Detroit for the event called “To Ferguson from Detroit with Love” after Michael Brown was eulogized in St. Louis before more than 4,500 people.

The black 18-year-old was unarmed when he was shot to death by a white police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

The local gathering was intended to show that Detroit cares and understands, said Elder Leslie Matthews from Triumphant Life Christian Church.

“Not only do we feel your pain, we’re asking, we’re demanding, and we’re going to walk, talk by whatever means necessary to get justice for Michael Brown,” Matthews said. “He doesn’t have a life anymore, but he can and he will get justice.”

Among those represented were other members of the clergy and organizations including Michigan United, Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and United Here. The attendees were diverse in religious background and race.

Several pastors led the group in prayer during the event, which lasted a little more than an hour. The vigil also included songs and a dance performance.

Some held signs that read “Justice for Michael Brown” and “Ferguson our prayers are with you.”

Sarah Terrien, 27, of Hamtramck said the shooting was unfair and confusing.

“We need to stand together to show support,” she said. “It could happen here. It could happen anywhere.”

cwilliams@detroitnews.com
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Clergy members for the prayer vigil for Michael Brown hold hands before starting the service at McNamara Federal Building in Detroit on Monday. / Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News