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Service, silence to mark anniversary of Michael Brown's death

August 9, 2016

A memorial service and moment of silence are planned today to mark the two-year anniversary of Michael Brown's fatal shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The events will be held at the spot on Canfield Drive where the black, unarmed 18-year-old was shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014, after a confrontation. The shooting led to months of protests in Ferguson.

A state grand jury declined to press charges against Wilson, and the U.S. Justice Department later cleared him, concluding that he had acted in self-defense. He resigned in November 2014.

Brown's death also was a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement, which rebukes police treatment of minorities and has grown after several other killings of black men and boys by police, such as Tamir Rice in Cleveland and Philando Castile in Minnesota. More than 60 organizations affiliated with the movement recently released a list of six demands and 40 recommendations for how to achieve policing and criminal justice reforms.

The 2014 shooting also led to a Justice Department investigation that found patterns of racial bias in Ferguson's police and municipal court system, which raised revenue largely through fines and jailing of poor and minority residents.

The investigation resulted in an agreement this year between the federal agency and the city calling for sweeping changes. A Cleveland-based law firm will oversee efforts to ensure adequate reforms in Ferguson at a cost that city officials say will not exceed $1.25 million over five years.

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