Reverend Al Sharpton offered a fiery eulogy for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this month. At Brown’s funeral, Sharpton denounced violent rioters and looters in the city over the past two weeks and forcefully condemned the police’s treatment of protesters and Brown himself.
“Religion ought to affirm what we are doing, not be an escapism for what is done, and some of us are so heavenly bound that we’re not earthly good,” he said from the pulpit at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church. “Before you get to Heaven, before you put on your long robe, before you walk down the street, you got to deal with the streets in Ferguson and St. Louis.”
“But [God] will say, ‘When Michael Brown, 18-year-old boy, laid out in the street — hour and a half before the detective came, another hour or so before they came to remove his body, family couldn’t come through the ropes, dogs sniffing through — what did you do? What did I require of you?” he continued, adding that “all of us are required to respond to this.”
The ceremony included a number of exhortations to activism, including calls for attendees to vote, mobilize, and attend local-government meetings.