Michael Brown Memorial Tree Destroyed After It Was Planted In Ferguson

Michael Brown
A tree dedicated to the memory of Michael Brown has been destroyed by vandals just hours after being planted.

The sapling was planted in January-Wabash Park in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday as a dedication to the teenager, who was gunned down in the street by a police officer last August.

It was called 'a symbol of peace, comfort and hope for all who gather around its branches' at a small ceremony led by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, which donated the tree.

But by Sunday morning, the branches had been stripped, leaving behind just a shard of the trunk.

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Before: The Black Caucus of the American Library Association donated the tree and memorial plaque and it was planted in January-Wabash Park in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday (pictured)

Before: The Black Caucus of the American Library Association donated the tree and memorial plaque and it was planted in January-Wabash Park in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday (pictured)

Destroyed: But by Sunday morning, the tree had been ripped down, leaving just a shard of the trunk

Destroyed: But by Sunday morning, the tree had been ripped down, leaving just a shard of the trunk

The metal dedication plaque at the base of the tree had also been removed. It had read: 'In Memory of Michael Brown Jr Dedicated Tree 04/15.' 

'I can't understand why someone would want to cut down the tree,' one man in the park told KMOV. 'What, they want to start something back up again?'

'It's real sad day when a tree is dedicated and the next day someone comes along and destroys it just for the heck of it,' Gerald Brooks of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association added to Fox2.

A second tree that was close to the Brown memorial and had been dedicated by a Ferguson resident to their dead pet was also vandalized. The plaque on that tree was also stolen.

On Monday, both of the saplings were replanted and the memorial plaques will be replaced later this week, KSDK reported.  

New: By Monday, the tree - and another tree that was destroyed nearby - had been replaced at the site

New: By Monday, the tree - and another tree that was destroyed nearby - had been replaced at the site

Taken: The memorial plaque, pictured, was also removed but should be replaced later this week

Taken: The memorial plaque, pictured, was also removed but should be replaced later this week

The Ferguson Police Department is investigating the incident as an act of vandalism but they do not have any suspects.

'Officers canvassed the area talking to anyone who might have seen or heard anything related to the incident,' the city said in a statement.

'No witnesses were located, and at this time police have no leads. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the City of Ferguson is replacing the trees today [Monday].'

The incident is the third time that a Brown memorial has been destroyed.

In September, a memorial that included stuffed toys, images and notes close to where Brown died was destroyed by a fire.

Darren Wilson

Killed: Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson, right, in the street last August

And in December, a car hit and destroyed a memorial. There was speculation that the driver purposefully hit the memorial, but the police department said it was not being considered a crime. It was later rebuilt.

Brown, 18, was shot dead by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson as he responded to reports of a theft on August 9, sparking massive protests against police brutality across the country.

More demonstrations erupted in December, when a St Louis County grand jury ruled that Wilson would not be indicted in the killing. In March, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared him of civil rights violations.

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By Mathias Dillion 04/21/2015 13:00:00
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