A law enforcement officer watches Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, as tear gas is fired to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting of teenager Michael Brown last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Violence in Ferguson didn’t have to happen

Published: Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 - 5:05 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 - 5:15 am

The Rev. Tommie Pierson was meeting in his church a week ago Saturday when, only blocks away, multiple bullets fired from a Ferguson police officer’s pistol pierced the body of Michael Brown, leaving the unarmed African-American teen dead on the street.

“Not until I saw the news that night and saw how many times the boy had been hit, and that they left him in the street for hours, did I know this was going to be something more than average,” Pierson said.

But by that time, anger in this St. Louis suburb had begun to boil.

No one reached out to Pierson. Not the mayor. Not police. Not county officials. But the pastor at Greater St. Mark Family Church knew he needed to do something.

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