Madison residents honor Michael Brown with moment of silence

100 people participate in vigil downtown
Madison residents honor Michael Brown with moment of silence

Anger over the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old St. Louis teenager Michael Brown resonated in a crowd of more than 100 Madisonians taking part in the 2014 National Moment of Silence outside of the City County Building Thursday night.

The most profound moment of the night came at 6:20, when vigil goers sat down and silently reached up to the sky.

“We will do that for one min. in honor of Michael Brown,” organizer Bob Reuschlein said.

Dane Co. Boys & Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson, himself a former St. Louis NAACP vice president, seemed to speak for the heartbroken crowd.

“This is not just happening in Ferguson,” Johnson says. “This is happening in communities all across the united states. And that cannot continue to happen.”

While former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray is waiting for all the case’s facts to come out, he says right now it provides an important takeaway.

“The incident occurred less than one week ago. But the seeds were planted before then,” Wray says. “Those seeds that were planted, you’ve got to have those relationships in the community.  You’ve got to be there before there’s a tragedy like this.”

After a request from Johnson, many in the crowd collectively opened their wallets, altogether donating $500 to help the Brown family pay for their son’s funeral.

Johnson will be traveling Saturday to St. Louis and personally present the money to the local Urban League, who is helping the family with funeral expenses.