By Brandie Piper
Published Sept. 23, 2014 on USAToday.com.
FERGUSON, Mo. — Residents rebuilt a memorial to a teen fatally shot by a police officer just hours after it was turned to ashes.
The fire started around 6:45 a.m. CT Tuesday on the street where Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, 18, on the afternoon of Aug. 9, said Capt. Jeremy Corcoran with the Ferguson Police Department. The fire’s cause is under investigation, and amid the debris was evidence that candles were used within the memorial.
“To anyone who believes we didn’t do everything in our power to put this fire out, I want to apologize and let you know that was not the case,” Police Chief Tom Jackson said in a statement.
The blaze angered many people who live near the scene. One man said it was like a grave being desecrated.
The first officer who arrived tried to extinguish the flames but was unable to, Jackson said. The city’s fire department eventually put it out.
Brown’s death led to weeks of protest and unrest in the St. Louis suburb. After a month without an arrest, Brown’s parents and activists questioned why Wilson had not been indicted in connection with the killing of the unarmed, college-bound teen.
More than six weeks now have passed without any additional action from authorities.
At the time of the shooting, witnesses in the area said Brown had raised his hands to surrender as he was shot. A state grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice are continuing to investigate.
Contributing: The Associated Press