With Tuesday's midterm elections approaching, the memory of Michael Brown – the Ferguson, Mo. man shot to death by police in August – is playing a role in last-minute get-out-the-vote drives by the Rev. Al Sharpton and other police critics.
On Friday, Sharpton arrived in nearby St. Louis to kick off four days of symposiums, workshops and other events as part of "Justice for Michael Brown" weekend organized by the controversial advocate’s National Action Network.
Events scheduled to commemorate Brown include "Youth & Hip Hop Day, " a seminar entitled "How to Get Away with Police Brutality," and a "Monday night "Community Get Out the Vote Rally" featuring Brown’s parents.
With media reports that federal civil-rights charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson are unlikely, Sharpton lashed out at news leaks of information suggesting that Brown had robbed a local grocer and attacked Wilson, who shot him in self-defense. The media reports, Sharpton said, were aimed at making "the victim look like a thug" instead of an "unarmed young man who was shot and killed," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Sharpton and the National Action Network said they had scheduled four days of activities in the St. Louis area – one to commemorate each hour they say Brown’s body was left in the street after the shooting.
Monday night’s get-out-the-vote rally comes on the eve of Tuesday’s general election in which residents of St. Louis County choose a new county executive.
The impact of the Brown case is also being felt in get-out-the-vote efforts in locations hundreds of miles from St. Louis. In Atlanta, The Washington Post
reported that a group calling itself "Vote Mob" had given out stickers declaring "Mike Brown Can’t Vote, But I Can."
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