Who was Michael Brown?

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) -Much has been said about how Mike Brown, died at the hand of a Ferguson police officer in the past four days.

We found out more about how he lived Tuesday night.

Friends and family knew him best as “Big Mike”.

He was big in more ways than one, he said.

It was a calm night at the Ferguson Police Department:  a handful of demonstrators as opposed to hundreds.

Those who knew Brown saw it as more of a reflection of the quiet, but outgoing 18-year-old, with plans to start a business and dreams of becoming a star.

It is their heartbreaking nightly ritual, Michael Brown’s sisters, cousins and aunt, relit candles on the very spot he died on Canfield Drive, Tuesday night.

“For my nephew,” his aunt said.

Big Mike was a big brother to two little sisters and a brother.

He had a big smile and at close to 6’4” he seemed bigger than life to those who knew him.

“Just a sweet kid.  Big guy, yes, you know I had to look up,” said Markita Davis, whose cousin lived a few doors from Brown.

“A great kid, a great kid… he gave one of those smiles like big mike always did,” said neighbor Markese Mull, recalling when he last saw Brown: Brown was walking to a Quick Trip store.

A few minutes later, Mull saw Brown’s distraught mother and Brown’s body in the street.

It was the same kid who would help unload Mull’s work truck.

“I started a janitorial floor-tech business and he was like, ‘when you going to hire me?’” Mull laughed.

Brown also was like a big brother to the two sons of Markita Davis’ cousin.

“She’s a single mom.  She has two boys. He’d take them to the store; just do little things with him.  He was just a sweet kid, who didn’t deserve this,” Davis said.

Just before his death he’d begun recording rap music at his grandmother’s house.

True, there were songs that including profanity laced lyrics common in rap.

But he also recorded music about his family.

Mull remembered challenging Brown to “bust a rhyme” about getting young people to vote – on the spot.

“Doing something, see something positive.  ‘Can you bust something positive?’ He’s like, ‘yeah, I got you.’ On the drop of a dime he did it,” Mull beamed.  “The thing is he made a mark in history and not just a mark on the street.”

Brown would be in his first week at Vatterott College, looking to learn the heating and cooling trade while also working on his music.

Follow Andy Banker on Twitter and Facebook:
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29 comments

  • Steve

    So sad. Pretty little picture of a good kid. OK, now what’s his middle name so we can dig a little deeper on our own?

  • Terri

    Rip Van Winkle, maybe you need to sleep a little longer and check your facts before you make assumptions and make disparaging remarks about a deceased young man. The Michael R. Brown you found on case net is NOT the same young man (Michael Brown Jr.) who was killed on Saturday. If you click the “Parties and Attorneys” tab, you’ll clearly see that the address listed for that Michael Brown is in Troy, Missouri. Not only that, but the birth year listed is 1997, which would make him 17 or 16, depending on when his birthday is. The Michael Brown that died Saturday was 18.

    • Billie

      Uh yeah it was the same person and maybe you should get YOUR facts straight by checking with the ST. ANN police department. Some things aren’t always on or correct on casenet, that’s why you verify it!

  • KRAFTIG

    I think what you have here is a young,towering, indiviual and a wanna be real cop. Barny, acting on his authority,told the youngster something that didn’t sit well with Mike and it all escalated fom there. Bad situation gone really bad, no race thing or anything else just plain ol’ “I’m tougher than you !

    • Nope

      You might want to wait for all the facts. If the investigation exonerates the officer, you should feel just the right amount of stupid.

  • Jo

    I can say that I 100% believe this was a good kid and something went very wrong! I am white, my kids are good white kid poster children, yet even I tell them time and time again, never give an officer a reason to think you are someone you are not! Kids today, black or white, are just awful! No respect for adults or authority. I raised some of the good ones but to a cop, when they are acting stupid, they all look the same, they all look like stupid teens that don’t think bad things can happen to them.

    This is very sad and I don’t see how painting Michael as a villain is going to help anyone. I also don’t think the cops were bad guys in this either. They just made the wrong judgment call.

    • BEC

      That’s a terrible generalization. Kids are not awful. Yes, there are some who show no respect. I work with kids every day and they are from from “awful”.

      • Jo

        Do you have kids? Ever picked them up from the movie theater? mall? The way they act is awful. I am sure there are a lot of good kids in that crowd but they all look awful because they are around their friends and just acting stupid. They show off, they do stupid things, and they mouth off without thinking.

        Good luck looking at a crowd of teens and picking out which are the good kids, which are the thugs. You can’t pick out the good ones by attire, I know straight A students that dress like corpses, torn clothes, just crazy. Can’t pick them out by their hair style, same reason. Best you can do is guess.

        Sorry but my kids are taught if someone with authority singles them out you leave your attitude with your friends and make it clear you are one of the good kids.

  • Mary

    This young man made mistakes in his life. He had facebook postings with gang signs, he had a criminal record. Right or wrong those are facts and its public knowledge if you check your social media and the web. Funny that everyone is upset about this death but what about all the daily deaths in North St Louis no one is concerned about? Why is Obama weighing in on this when he remains silent about the Chicago black on black crime that has taken so many? This event gives no one the right to attack innocent store owners, ambulances, other people trying to enter that neighborhood and do their jobs. These people are simply breaking the law and giving an excuse. In the end we all pay for it in higher insurance rates, higher prices for consumer goods. They can not follow Martin Luther King’s ways because they do not know them.

    • Jo

      Why do people keep saying he had a record when the police have said from the beginning he didn’t? Why on earth would the police lie and say he had no record? They would have loved to say he was a thug, they couldn’t because he wasn’t.

      I agree with everyone he has some part in this. Doesn’t matter if he was almost at his grandma’s house. She either lived on the left or the right, pick a sidewalk and go there. He would still be alive. Still stupid decisions shouldn’t carry a death penalty but isn’t it so much easier to push the blame off on the cops. How many teens make the stupid decision to drive drunk? That is another stupid decision that sometimes carries the death penalty. We all need to teach our kids to own their choices, to make good choices, to understand they are not immortal.

      We also need to give the police the tools to better access situations. No officer should lose his life because he erred with caution but young adults shouldn’t die because they had a stupid moment. Something is broken but it has nothing to do with race.

  • Ken

    If “Big Mike” truly was a “gentle giant”, he and his “buddy” would have said “Yes officer, I’m sorry officer.” and immediately headed for the sidewalk as lawfully ordered and this story would have had a very different ending.

  • John

    Ken, You nailed it. If he wouldn’t of acted like a thug showing off in on front of his friend, he would be walking today. If they want to be respected they have to show some too.

  • 911

    First off to the guy above on the first comment . i work as a police dispatcher and you have to verify a date of birth or a SSN number before you go confirming shit. you said foun the first micheal brown on casnet and assumed since he was black that was him well. Im Sorry to bust your bubble but the information you have is in no way correct. so quick trying to incrimate someone to throw salt in the game. When the last time you been pulled over or had a warrant? clean in front of your own front door instead of worrying about somebody else.

  • Jac

    Did anyone stop to think this may have neen one of those things that became a perfect storm of bad decisions? Who knows maybe they were both just having one of those days were nothing was going right and both just reacted poorly instead of thinking things through. Like maybe the officer was hassaled all day by other people and was all ready aggrivated. And Michael was having a rough day as well. So when the cop asked/ told him to get on the sidewalk it was just enough for him to get angry and mouth off. Then from there both made the mistake of escalating it. Not as officer and citizen. Or as race if applicable, but as emotionally strained people. That is my take on it. And my opinion. There are to many holes in both stories, and there is always 3 parts to a story. “your” side, “my” side, and the truth. And that is why everyone needs to relax and let the investigation run it’s course.

  • Love Conquers All

    WHY ARE YOU ALL TRYING TO VILIFY THIS MICHAEL?? DO YOU ALL KNOW HOW COMMON MICHAEL BROWN IS!!! YOU ALL ARE FULL OF HATRAD AND IS GLAD THAT THE POLICE OFFICER KILLED HIM ! YOU ALL WILL WEEP WHAT YOU SOW!

  • Love Conquers All

    AND STEVE, GO READ A BOOK, YOU ARE ALWAYS PUTTING YOUR TWO CENTS INTO THINGS! YOU PEOPLE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE SETTING UP A FUNDRAISER FOR THE POLICE OFFICER AND AGREEING FOR WHAT HE DID BECAUSE YOU ALL DO NOT LIKE BLACKS! I WILL NOT BE SURPRISED IF THIS POLICE OFFICER BECOMES A MILLIONAIRE SUCH AS ZIMMERMAN FROM PEOPLE ALL AROUND SUPPORTING THIS MAN FOR KILLING A YOUNG BLACK MAN!

  • Leeroy Jenkins

    so if you say he had no adult record adult record he just turned 18 what about his juvenile record recordI know several area police that say he has a juvenile record a mile longand I love her media post all the innocent pictures why don’t think it on Facebook and show the pictures he had posted hostedtalk to the medic the treated the poor officer they had his face bashed by innocent little mike. the media doesn’t they tell you what sells and what will make them money.

  • Leeroy Jenkins

    so you say he had no adult record adult he just turned 18 what about his juvenile record?? I know several area police that say he has a juvenile record a mile long and I love how media post all the innocent pictures why don’t they look on Facebook and show the pictures he had posted!! talk to the medic the treated the poor officer they had his face bashed by innocent little mike!!! the media doesn’t they tell you what sells and what will make them money!!!!!!!

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