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Fire destroys Michael Brown memorial in Ferguson

This isn't the first time a Mike Brown memorial has been destroyed.


Aaron Sankin


Posted on Sep 23, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 1:13 pm CDT

A memorial for Michael Brown, the African-American teenager who was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson this summer in Ferguson, Mo., setting off weeks violent clashes between protestors and law enforcement officials, caught fire on Tuesday morning.

The memorial was set up mere feet from where Brown was killed. The blaze, which broke out just before 7am, was documented by KMOV reporter Laura Hettiger on Twitter.

#BREAKING witnesses saying someone caught #MikeBrown memorial on fire, but candles all over area @kmov #Ferguson

— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014

#BREAKING fire at #MikeBrown memorial happened around 6:40. No witnesses know who started it #Ferguson @kmov

— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014

We counted at least 10 tea candles at #MikeBrown teddy bear memorial on Canfield. No injuries @kmov #Ferguson

— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014

#BREAKING a #MikeBrown memorial caught fire this AM feet from where he died @kmov #Ferguson

— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014

Cousin of #MikeBrown looks at where a teddy near memorial used to be @kmov #Ferguson

— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014

#Ferguson: Locals say the #MikeBrown memorial on Canfield Drive was set on fire in the middle of the night.

— ?ynd?cal??? (@syndicalisms) September 23, 2014

While there have been some inittial cries of arson, the memorial reportedly included numerous candles and teddy bears, so the blaze likely could have been accidental. The fire itself was small enough for fire fighters to control it with fire extinguishers rather than a fire hose.

This incident isn’t the first time that a physical memorial to Brown has been damaged. Only hours after Brown’s death, neighbors, family members and a local politician created a makeshift memorial out of flowers and tea lights. That same night, a police officer allowed a police dog to urinate on the tribute. Another law enforcement official then destroyed it by driving over the the memorial with a police cruiser.

The burning of Brown’s memorial does not appear to have extiguished Ferguson’s spirit. Only hours after the memorial burned on Tuesday morning, members of the community have already begun to construct a new one:

#MikeBrown memorial already being rebuilt #Ferguson crowd is pissed it burned

— David Carson (@PDPJ) September 23, 2014

Photo by steinchen/Pixabay (CC0)

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*First Published: Sep 23, 2014, 11:35 am CDT