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Al Sharpton Returns To Ferguson For 'Justice For Michael Brown' Weekend

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with Friday's leadership breakfast:

When the Rev. Al Sharpton came to Ferguson in August he promised that he would continue to support Michael Browns family as the sought justice. Today he reaffirmed that commitment at a speech in St. Louis.

Sharpton gave the keynote address to about 75 people at a leadership breakfast in St. Louis. The breakfast was part of four days of events being put on by Sharpton’s organization the National Action Network.

In his speech he briefly reiterated his desire for federal prosecutors to oversee Darren Wilson’s case. He expressed frustration over the leaks and the lack of faith he has St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch's ability to prosecute justly.

Sharpton said that the leaks and discussion over Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson resigning are distracting from the focuses of the movement: Michael Brown.

“Whether the police chief is going to quit, whether the cop is going to quit, that does not answer this having an investigation that leads to the prosecution and the direct lack of answers as to why Michael Brown is not in college, but in his grave. Don’t act like you can exchange a job for justice.”

The majority of Sharpton’s speech focused on Michael Brown and his family.

“I’m asking us to keep our commitment to this family, that if they would stand up we would stand with them,” he said. “And I’m asking for us, in these four days, to say to young people around this county and around here, that their lives are valuable to us and we will not abandon them. We will not let them be marginalized,” he said.

Sharpton also preached about unity with in the movement.

“This is about the values of young American and it’s about a criminal justice system being made to deal fairly. The battle isn’t between those of us that have tactical disagreements; the battle is not between generations. The battle is between those that believe in justice and those that believe in injustice.”

Michael Brown’s parents also attended the event. His mother Lesley McSpadden briefly reiterated her desire for protest to remain peaceful, asking that people continue to support and pray for the family.

Although Sharpton’s organization will hold events through the weekend, he left to return to New York and  will return on Monday for a get out to vote rally.

End of update

The Rev. Al Sharpton is returning to Ferguson for the National Action Network's “Justice for Michael Brown” weekend. Sharpton was last in town in August, when he delivered a eulogy at Brown’s funeral.

He will kick off the four-day event with a leadership breakfast Friday morning. Sharpton, as well as the parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., will speak at Friday’s event.

Sharpton will also instruct individuals on acting as moderators between police and the community, following the grand jury verdict.

Sharpton’s organization, the National Action Network, will also host several youth activities, a gospel concert and a get-out-the-vote rally.

See a full schedule of events below.

DAY 1 - Friday, Oct. 31

Leadership Breakfast

10:30 a.m. the Rev. Al Sharpton will keynote breakfast

11 a.m. Sharpton and the parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., will speak to the press.

Leadership Breakfast participants also include NAN Ferguson Chapter President the Rev. Carlton Lee and Brown Family Attorney Anthony Gray.

Location: Jonas Hubbard Community Center, 1629 Biddle St., 63106

Luncheon Meeting & ‘Justice Disciples’ Orientation

The luncheon will feature a Justice Disciples Orientation hosted by Sharpton at which he will deputize and instruct Disciples of Justice on their responsibility as volunteers to monitor police-community interactions after the grand jury verdict is released.

Location: Jonas Hubbard Community Center, 1629 Biddle St. 63106

Night out Youth Activity

6-8 p.m.:  NAN’s Youth Move leadership program will distribute candy, scarves and hats.

Location: Greatest St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glenn Owen Dr. 63113

DAY 2 – Saturday, Nov. 1

Youth & Hip-Hop Day

When 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Youth-led activities will include a fun day for youth between the ages 2-12 to have a day out and participate in artistic expression activities.

Location: Greater St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glenn Owen Dr. 63113

How to Get Away with Police Brutality

When: 1-4 p.m.

A workshop educating people on the laws that need to be changed that enable police brutality and don’t hold law enforcement accountable.

Location: Greater St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glenn Owen Dr. 63113

DAY 3 – Sunday, Nov. 2

Faith Engagement Day

When: 5-7 p.m.

Gospel Concert hosted by Mary Tillman/the Rev. Carlton Lee with STL New G Corey Barrett, Minister Sheldon Johnston and Love Fellowship, St. Paul A.M.E. Mass Choir, Amber Rose, Rodney Douglas, Michael Rainer and Spoken.

Location: Greater St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glenn Owen Dr. 63113

DAY 4 – Monday, Nov. 3

Community Get Out The Vote Rally

When: 6-8 p.m.

Participants include:Michael Brown’s parents Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., Brown family Attorney Benjamin Crump and Attorney Anthony Gray, Judge Greg Mathis, Iyanla Vanzant, Attorney Carol Lexing-Powell and NAN’s Rev. DeVes Toon.

Location: Greater St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glenn Owen Dr. 63113