Brown was 'little kid in big body'

Teacher says 18-year-old had to break free from being around 'too many thugs'
Associated Press
Aug 24, 2014

Michael Brown Jr. was on the verge of starting college, eager to launch himself into the adult world. Instead, on Monday he'll be mourned at his funeral, more than two weeks after his fatal shooting by a white police officer— an act that ignited days of violent protests and reawakened racial tensions that still linger in the nation.

Brown, who was unarmed when he was killed, became an instant symbol of racial injustice as protesters flooded into the streets after his death. Civil rights leaders said the shooting in this predominantly black St. Louis suburb revived long simmering questions about police treatment of minorities across the country.

During more than a week of demonstrations — marred by Molotov cocktails and billowing clouds of tear gas — Brown's name and face were frequently visible on T-shirts and picket signs. Some also chanted: "I AM MIKE BROWN!"

Even as the details of what happened during the Aug. 9 confrontation remain unclear, a portrait has emerged of the 18-year-old Brown.

Family and friends recall a young man built like a lineman — 6-foot-3, nearly 300 pounds — with a gentle, joking manner. An aspiring rapper who dubbed himself "Big Mike." A fan of computer games, Lil Wayne, Drake, the movie, "Grown Ups 2" and the TV show "Family Guy." A kid who was good at fixing things. A struggling student who buckled down to finish his courses, don his green graduation gown with red sash and cross the stage in August to pick up his diploma.

"My fondest memory of Mike is seeing a big kid coming in with a smile on his face, his headphones on and a big can of iced tea ... and say, 'Hey, Coach K, What's going on? .... What do you need me to do this morning?'" recalls Charlie Kennedy, a Normandy High School health and physical education teacher. He says Brown was the kind of kid who'd hold court with "four or five kids around him, cutting up and having a good time."

Kennedy became acquainted with Brown while running a credit recovery program the young man was enrolled in that allowed him to catch up so he could graduate with his class. Brown, he says, could be led astray by kids who were bad influences but by spring, he became focused on getting his degree.

Kennedy also would bring in recording equipment Brown could use for rapping — he wanted to perform and learn a trade to help support himself. "His biggest goal was to be part of something," the teacher adds. "He didn't like not knowing where to fit in life. ... He was kind-hearted, a little kid in a big body. He was intimidating looking, but I don't think he ever was disrespectful to me."

Brown loved music even as a young child. Ophelia Troupe, his art teacher for five years in elementary school, remembers a reserved, polite little boy — he'd always respond "yes ma'am" or "no ma'am." He kept to himself but lit up when she'd play her son's beats — which make up the backbone of hip-hop and rap songs — in class as a reward if the students behaved.

"Michael was the one to say, "Be quiet so Ms. Troupe can play the beats,'" she recalls.

Troupe hadn't seen Brown for several years until they crossed paths at his high school graduation. After the ceremony, they hugged and he told her he'd like to be a rapper and asked if her son would work with him.

Slightly more than a week later, Brown was shot while walking down the street with a friend. Police have said a scuffle broke out with Officer Darren Wilson after he asked the two young men to move. Some witnesses have reported seeing Brown's arms in the air — an act of surrender. An autopsy concluded he'd been shot at least six times.

Ferguson police identified Wilson at the same time they released a video of an alleged theft showing Brown snatch some cigars in a convenience store just minutes before he was killed. In the video, Brown is shown grabbing a clerk by the shirt and forcefully pushing him into a display rack.

Brown's family angrily denounced that video as character assassination.

They've portrayed Brown as "a gentle giant," who liked to post photos on his Facebook page of himself with young relatives, a kid who tried football his sophomore year but abandoned the idea before his first game, fearing he might hurt someone.

"He was funny, silly," his father, Michael Brown Sr., recently said. "Any problems that were going on or any situation — there wasn't nothing he couldn't solve. He'd bring people together."

Tim Sneed, a 23-year-old neighbor of Brown's grandmother, says the young man was so low-key he seemed almost invisible. "When he came to my house you wouldn't even notice he was there," he says. "That's how quiet he was."

Brown had been staying at the apartment of his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, this summer. She said Brown was excited about his future.

"My grandson never even got into a fight," she says. "He was just looking forward to getting on with his life. He was on his way."

Brown was preparing to attend Vatterott College, where he planned to study to become a heating and air-conditioning technician.

Kennedy, his teacher, says Brown had to break free from being around kids who "caused him to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of times. .... He had been around too many thugs."

After the two had many talks, Kennedy says, Brown became more serious and was the first one at school at 7 a.m. "Mike was getting ready to do something with his life," he adds.

As friends and family now prepare for Brown's funeral, a memorial stands on Canfield Drive at the site of the shooting. A sign reads: "Hands Up, Don't Shoot, Aug. 9, 2014, RIP Michael Brown."

Brown's great uncle, pastor Charles Ewing, who will deliver the eulogy, remembers a conversation he had with his nephew.

"He said, 'One day the whole world is going to know my name.' Isn't that something? Not knowing that this was going to happen, and that's what touched me — 'the whole world will know my name.' "

 

Comments

YoMamma

He looked like a real gentle person when he robbed the store! But I bet that was not his fault.

sugar

All actions have consequences, too bad we learn some too late.

Tyrion

"Little kid in a big body" bag. No still means no and freeze still means freeze.

ladydye_5

"Little kid in a big body" that shattered an orbital socket with one hit.

deertracker

That story has been debunked.

MiddleRight

Yes, right here.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/ferguso...
If this is "debunked" what photo are they showing the grand jury?
Please note this is from ABC News.

The Big Dog's back

Right wingnuts heads will explode showing them facts deer. Pop. Boom. It's started already.

Mystery_Cheese

So someone links an article where the information is from an "anonymous" source, and you link 2 more articles that are also from an "anonymous" source? I'd say both of you need to reserve your judgments about what happened until the court case starts revealing these unknown, but important details.

YoMamma

Don't let the details get in the way though!

The Big Dog's back

I'm sure am glad you right wingnuts have all the "facts". Why are we even convening a grand jury?

freespeech1

Um puppy poo the video showed him shove the store owner around. Wake up. Keep defending trash its what u libs do.

freespeech1

Hey puppy what about Dillon Taylor? Unarmed white man shot by black police officer! Wheres your outrage? Why didn't obummer send some whitehouse aids to that funeral?

http://www.inquisitr.com/1430653...

8ballinthesidepocket

Ever get a response from Puppy Poop? Guess what, not a single store was trashed, no looting, no gun fire, molatov cocktails, tear gas...NOTHING and we all know why!!

FalconBall

Good kids do stupid things.

Even the worst people have a good side.

The whole night changed the lives of far too many people and regardless of what anyone here may think we will never know what really happened to cause this horrible outcome for his family and the police officer and his family as well.

CommonsenseNow

Wise sentiment. Something i would say. Everyone has a good and bad side. The question is ... how bad is the bad?

knowitall

Y'all need to settle down and let the facts come forward before presuming innocence or guilt. The young man did a stupid thing. Did he deserve to get shot. Let the facts point all to the truth. Some of you are pretty callous in your comments regarding the dead man.

YoMamma

Just for fun. Let's say the facts come out and the shooting is found justified due to this fine mans actions. Will everyone who has condemned the officer eat their words? Just wondering.

getit right be4...

Did they eat there words with TM? Nope and I don't believe they will ever eat them.

The Big Dog's back

That's a stupid example. zim turned out to be a fine outstanding citizen, didn't he. How many times has he been arrested since then?

Julian

My question is this: if the officer is found justified, what does that say about our country?

Donegan

It might say that if a 6'4 300 pound guy that bust you up turns around and is going to mess you up some more, you are allowed to defend yourself. It may also mean the cop over reacted and killed a kid but all the facts are not out.
If you are referring to the racial aspect of this case it points out that race baiters will show up anytime they can get some mileage out of color and division. If this society was truly Color blind Al Sharpton ,Jesse Jackson and posters on here (Big dog, Coaster, Deer )would be out of a job and might have to find something constructive to do. So until we get rid of the morons and gullible who are easily whipped into a self righteous frenzy about something they know nothing about, This stupidity will continue.

lifetimeresident

6 foot 3? 300 lbs? I would shoot him or even a woman coming at me beating me up. Dont care about any color either. If I was a policeman.

Whiskey Tango F...

HATER! Beating up on black, overweight, women are we??? That's how bad the media twists words in our country to get a response. Go on google maps and see how far San Francisco is from napa and then read the head lines! Sad sad sad!

deertracker

All those screaming let's wait for the facts aren't waiting. I will not define him by one incident. There's more to all of us than that. Whatever happened it has been proven that at the time he was killed he was not resisting. Whiskey is correct. You youtubers just have to watch it.

Regardless of what happened the actions after the incident by the looters and the police is totally unacceptable.

Yes Yomamma, I think most will eat their words if proven wrong by a fair investigation. Will you eat yours if it deemed unjustified?

mimi's word

How about the drunk driver that kills someone or the drug addict that kills someone or the mental ill person that kills someone? doesn't their one act define them? They were drunk or high or ill and killed someone. Their actions put them in a postition to do what they did. Unfortunately his actions put him in a place for the wrong thing to happen.

deertracker

There you go again assuming facts not yet presented. The mentally ill person can be defined by their mental illness but the drunk driver was just being irresponsible. IF he put his hands up what does that tell you? Black men don't have to be doing wrong to end up dead by a cop.

mimi's word

I am not assuming anything. You said "I will not define him by one incident." I was asking what and how do you define the above single situations? Are those people not as responsible for the situations as well? I am tired of anything that happens it is always someone else's fault. And white men end up dead too. No one cares then though.

deertracker

You also said "unfortunately his actions put him in a place for the wrong thing to happen". What actions? Sometimes it is someone else's fault. Seemed like people cared when Burdine died. When Dunn was killed and Limberios too.

The Big Dog's back

deer, you are talking to right wingnut mimi?

mimi's word

I am far from right wing anything...I just want to know why because he is so against the officer and that none of this situation was Mr. Brown's fault I wanted to know what his opinion was. Mr. Brown is very much to blame for this situation. Had he got up on the sidewalk when told to none of this would have happened. PERIOD. I am sorry he is dead but, I also feel it amazes me that it is only when a white person or police officer kills a young black man are there any riots or people screaming justice. How about the 1,000's of young black men who are killing each other daily??? Where is their justice? Where is their riots? So go back to your cage dog...your bark is just annoying...

mimi's word

I am not assuming anything. You said "I will not define him by one incident." I was asking what and how do you define the above single situations? Are those people not as responsible for the situations as well? I am tired of anything that happens it is always someone else's fault. And white men end up dead too. No one cares then though.

Tool Box

Funny the SR didn't use the picture of Brown with a stack of money in his mouth while aiming a glock at the camera. Now I would have thought that pictures says a lot more toward his character given the fact that he just committed a robbery before he was killed!

deertracker

Why would they? Brown had no criminal record, guns are legal and so is money.

Your point?

Tool Box

I didn't say a thing about his criminal record. Try to pay attention, you might actually sound intelligent when posting. I was talking about his character.

whattheBucks

+1

deertracker

The fact that he had no criminal record speaks directly to his character. A picture on social media does not. Do you own a gun? Ever touched money? The fact that you want to portray someone in a certain way because of a picture speaks to your character or lack thereof!

freespeech1

Perception is reality!!

deertracker

What exactly is the perception and the reality?

jazzb0

So you are saying , how YOU ( freespeech1) perceive something is reality ?

That's scary , based on the way YOU see things.

Licorice Schtick

What passes for journalism today is pathetic.

"... Brown was shot while walking down the street with a friend."

Huh?

What a weird mix of facts and distortions. Why would any reputable newspaper pick up this article? If to incite outrage and profitable clicks, then, mission accomplished. Fellow commenters, we're suckers.

We're missing some facts we may never have, but Brown appears be a victim in an outrageous tragedy and martyr to police excesses. If there ever proves to be justification for Brown's end, it will be a surprise.

Sadly, we will never know his potential, whether he could have redeemed himself with great contributions to mankind. But how is Truth served by ignoring his mediocre and checkered life in order to deify him? That's absurd.

SamAdams

Whatever Brown did or didn't do, I doubt any of us can pretend it warranted capital punishment! That being said, until all of the facts are presented, we can't know for sure whether or not the shooting was justified. At this point, the best I can say is, "MAYBE."

But no matter what happened, presenting a 6'3" nearly 300 lb. MAN as a child; insisting the shooting, justified or not, simply had to be racist; or pretending Brown was innocent of ALL crimes is just plain wrong. There's no question that there's a very real and incendiary agenda there! And whoever ultimately benefits (or intends to benefit), it's the media that's fanning the flames.

freespeech1

It seems Sam that some didn't learn a lesson after the lacrosse rape scandal. Jumping to conclusions like so many did in this case is a dangerous thing. And we see Al Sharptongue at the helm once again spewing hate before any facts have been released.

knowitall

I agree Al Sharpton seems to take the low road. I admire and had a lot of respect for Martin Luther King. He accomplished a lot using non violence. Some of his cohorts wanted a more violent approach but he refused.

deertracker

You both are incorrect. Sharpton was contacted and asked to get involved. Should he have denied the request. NO, he is a civil right's activist. No one related to him or involved with his network wanted violence. There were several calls for calm by him the President and others. Some of you do realize your civil rights can be violated and race not be involved?

https://www.youtube.com/results?...

Donegan

Civil rights are guaranteed under the constitution, The same document your President and government are trying to dismantle. You will get what you deserve after all you elect these fools.

The Big Dog's back

You do realize you sound like a dope dunagain.

Donegan

To someone like you who hates the constitution and civil rights i expect it from you. As i said before you are a greater threat to our society than any terrorist.

deertracker

Quit while you are behind dummy!

Donegan

The racist are all out tonight!

jazzb0

'Being dumb ' is not racist.

William Jeffers...

I agree we have to look at the facts. He committed a strong-armed robbery and then had an "unrelated" face to face altercation with law enforcement a few hours later. That's just not the norm for a decent kid. However, I'm still sorry for the end result because of his age as kids do dumb things (black, white, or purple). It may be determined that it was the choices HE MADE that day that led to an increased probability of something like this happening, but if deemed as an excessive use of force, I believe his stature of 6'3" and 300lbs worked against him more than his race. If he were 5'6" and 160lbs, he would most likely still be alive.

deertracker

It was not hours after the robbery it was minutes. His size is irrelevant. Are we to be afraid of every big guy? Why do none of you address the fact he was shot in the top of the head from feet away?

Tool Box

He was shot in the head because he put his head down and bum rushed the officer!

deertracker

From feet away? You must enjoy the WWE! LMAO!

Tool Box

All I know is, the next time I get involved in a strong arm robbery, I'm gonna make sure I walk down the middle of the street and punch a cop in the face while wrestling for his gun and then bum rush him! Because that seems to be the thing to do if I'm looking to die and have my neighbors act like animals and burn down a quickie mart!

The Big Dog's back

Bum rush? Every right wingnut publication has the same story, but no real publication has that. Once something gets in right wingnut it's like a Ferris wheel. It keep coming round and round and round.

Tool Box

It's plain and simple, you bum rush a cop, you die! Why can't you lefties understand that?

The Big Dog's back

And your proof that he did? No right wingnut media allowed.

Donegan

Big dog is a racist so it does not matter what proof you have.

deertracker

He has no proof. PERIOD! You don't either!

Donegan

I am willing to wait till the jury gets back with the evidence unlike the racist that need no evidence or reason other than race to condemn someone.
Are you?
Al Sharpton gets people ramped up about race till they riot and you people still wonder why we all call you gullible. The guy was shot in the top of the head. That we know. As to how that happened who knows but I am willing to see the cops side and look at it objectively. Are you?

Donegan

Some do address that fact that he was shot in the top of the head from several feet away. It is one of those facts that they claim demonstrates that he was charging the officer instead of running away. He really could not have been shot in the top of the head unless he was facing the officer, That would say he was not running away and instead bowing/charging towards him.
Size does matter if the guy was in fear of his life and was already beaten by the guy already. The fact is we will never know what actually happened because the facts are too clouded by emotion and racial rhetoric.

William Jeffers...

You can no better dispute the relevancy of his size or age than you can his race as a proximate cause to any POTENTIAL OVER REACTION during the "heat of the moment". If being attacked, I could care less about the assailant's color, but his size, age and whether he is armed will instantly compute on what are my best options are to survive the situation. Again, this is predicated on the fact that I'm being attacked....all TBD, but if determined he was an aggressor, his size will be completely relevant as a defense against overuse of force.

danbury dad

lets see he robbed a store, punched out a police officer and broke his eye socket and rushed the said police officer. Yep, that sounds like a little boy to me. Or maybe the libs are still trying to get more black votes by crying racism. this supposed race war is being used only as a political tool by the left to gain votes. Until the black populace figures this out they are destined to remain slaves to the liberal party.

The Big Dog's back

Another right wingnut gets on the Ferris wheel.

Tool Box

We will see who is still riding the ferris wheel when no charges are brought up against the officer. Good shooting is what it will be ruled. Just wait and see. And Eric Holder can go have dinner with his new friends and try to explain that we had to go by the facts, not the ridiculous witnesses.

deertracker

Answer this Tool. How many cops have been deemed to have killed someone unjustly in the last 125 years?

NONE!

deertracker

They should be soooooo dizzy by now!

deertracker

Let's see, no proof he punched anyone, the store owner said it wasn't Brown in the video.....but I do think it was...and no proof anyone's eye socket was blown out or that he rushed the officer. You obviously don't know the meaning of the word fact. He was not a little boy in size but his mind was only 18 years old. We have All the Black votes needed obviously. There is no race war and the Black populace is no longer slaves to anyone. People like you have to face facts since that's what you are all about supposedly.

Babo

So may I conclude from your statement that you believe 18 year old black males to be "little boys" and therefore they should not be allowed to vote, enter into contracts, the military, or marriage?

deertracker

No you shouldn't nor did I suggest that! All 18 yr. olds have young minds.

danbury dad

lets see I post facts and big dog just attacks anybody he does not agree with. typical liberal, will not post facts just attacks. this is why I rarely bother with these posts. at least come up with something to bolster your argument.

deertracker

You failed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Good Doctor

Most of your "facts" have not been proven as such. Indeed, the information you cite has been leaked, but not substantiated. At least one of these facts(the fractured orbital) has been rebutted according to CNN.

DO YOU ANY REAL FACTS?

knowitall

Until FOX refutes it, they won't believe it. You know, that fair and balanced "news" network.

knowitall

Danbury dad......Typical liberal? Does that mean you are a typical conservative? What is a typical conservative anyway? Rush Limbaugh. You can do better than that.

YoMamma

Talking about ferris wheels.... George Bush, George Bush, George Bush, George Bush, George Bush, George Bush, George Bush!

ladydye_5

Agreed, seems there are a few on their own Ferris wheel.

knowitall

Yo.....please don't write it more than once. That is all we can take. Lol.

WaterStreetCooncat

When Randleman murdered Andy Dunn there were no whites rioting.

deertracker

No reason to riot.

Julian

Whys that?

The Big Dog's back

Because justice was being served.

lunchtime 175

can't people just let this go??? Millions of people have been killed in wars, etc. etc. over the years and no one kept talking about who killed them in wars or who killed who on the streets, etc. etc. Just because a black person is killed people think it is wrong?? What about all the black people killing white people???? works both ways doesn't it?