(BBC) – There is still no headstone in the place where 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr is buried.
Those who wish to pay their respects have to ask for a map inside the office at St Peter’s Cemetery, a verdant swatch surrounded by a low stone wall in the middle of urban north St Louis County. From the gates, visitors go straight, down a slight slope, make a right at the flower planter, pull over and walk a few short paces to section 10, block F, lot 12, grave number four, where the dirt has settled over the past 12 months and the grass is beginning to take root.
There’s a cement base on the spot with the initials “MB” spray-painted on it in orange. The permanent monument is supposed to be installed any day now.
One year ago this August, former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, six times. His body lay in the street for four hours. In November, the St Louis County prosecutor announced there would be no charges for Wilson. In response, protesters hit the streets and vandals torched local businesses.
The movement that rose around Brown’s death was held together by the idea that “black lives matter” – that the lives of African Americans not be so easily snuffed out, and that their deaths should not go unpunished.