Ferguson swears in 3 new city council members

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FERGUSON, MO (KPLR) – The newly elected city council members were sworn in Ferguson Tuesday night and immediately put to the test with a potentially divisive issue:  a call to remove the memorial to Mike Brown on Canfield Drive and replace it with permanent markers.

After getting input from Mike Brown's parents and federal officials among others, an organization called the Joint Council on Policy and Social Impact called for the memorial to be replaced with a bronze marker in the shape of a dove embedded into the pavement on Canfield, along with a roadside marker near West Florissant and Canfield.

The now weather-worn memorial of stuffed animals, candles, and ball caps on Canfield -- sooner or later is going to be removed.

History has played out there.  Thousands have gathered there.  The 18-year-old Brown died there.  The life of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed him, forever changed at that very spot.

People have come there from across the country and around the world to reflect and soak it all in.

“I’ve been there and there have been people from other countries who’ve come, just to stand in that space,” said Janie Jones, CEO of the organization calling for the removal and replacement of the memorial.  “In all of the conversations we’ve had, everyone has wanted something there, so that we don’t forget as a people, as a country, the humanity that’s associated with everything that has spun out of Ferguson.  So, it’s not a black issue or a white issue.  I think so many people just want us to come together.”

“It’s going down in history.  I believe something should be right there to let it be known that this is right here and this is where this went down in history,” said Canfield resident, Lewis Jones.

Janie Jones said there would be no cost to the city of Ferguson’ an anonymous donor had agreed to pay for the changes.  She also said the bronze dove design was not finalized; the organization could consider opening up the design phase to artists from around the world.

She said the organization is seeking council approval by May 19th, Mike Brown’s birthday.