Ceremonies and celebrations underway before anniversary of Michael Brown shooting

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - With the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown Junior coming on Sunday, ceremonies and celebrations were already getting under way on Friday.
St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley Campus hosted two of those events.

One was a meeting of the Governor’s Ferguson Commission. The other was an NAACP Community Leadership brunch.

Attendees at the brunch were both white and black, democrat and republican, and cops and civilians.

“I have been a policeman for 29 years,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. “We’ve known about a lot of these situations that have existed my whole career, yet until Michael Brown was killed, there was no political will to do anything about it. “

Speaker after speaker remarked on all the changes that have been made over the past year, but many also reminded the audience of the work that remains to be done.

“We have a mission to accomplish, and that mission does not stop tomorrow, it does not stop at the end of the year, it is not celebrated just once a year on August 9,” said State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. “It is celebrated everyday through your actions and if you do not act in a way that makes our community better, shame on you,” she said.

Another familiar face in the crowd was Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol who took over security operations in Ferguson soon after the first riots.
“I do see healing, listening to the voices here today and the smiles and he hugs we have made some gains,” he said.

Meanwhile, across campus the Governor Jay Nixon’s Ferguson Commission was in session, whittling down the 200 recommendations it has developed into a list of 28.

Their report is due on the Governor’s desk September 15.