Friday, August 15, 2014

Honoring Michael Brown: Why One Man Marched in Ferguson on Horseback

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge "Hooves up, don't shoot!" - RAY DOWNS
  • Ray Downs
  • "Hooves up, don't shoot!"

When protesters gathered in Ferguson Thursday night, they were prepared for tear gas, smoke bombs and canine units -- the go-to tools of the heavily militarized security force that has ruled the streets here for four long nights.

Instead, the streets were clear of police blockades and armored vehicles, finally clearing the way for one of the most unique remembrances for Michael Brown, the unarmed teen whose death set off a wave of unrest and anger, that Daily RFT has seen yet.

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Django rode the streets of Ferguson on his black and white horse, Shiloh, Thursday -- the first night in Ferguson without major police intervention. Wearing a T-shirt with the name "Mike Brown" airbrushed in intricate cursive, he rode Shiloh to the spot where Brown was shot multiple times by a still-unidentified Ferguson Police officer and spent a moment honoring his memory.

click to enlarge Django and Shiloh. - JESSICA LUSSENHOP
  • Jessica Lussenhop
  • Django and Shiloh.

"Whenever teenagers lose their lives, I do a ride," Django tells Daily RFT.

He first started after he lost his teenage nephew in a car accident, and he keeps a picture of his nephew where he'll see it every day, on his phone's home screen.

  • Jessica Lussenhop
Django and Shiloh quickly became crowd favorites as Thursday's protests took on the tone of a "partest," a term coined by a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer combining a "protest" and a "party." Finally it was safe enough for Django to ride without fearing for the flash-bangs of tear gas canisters and sound cannons. Django and Shiloh weren't the only ones riding through Ferguson on less-than-conventional transportation. Click to the next page to see photos of Thomas the Tank Engine rolling through the St. Louis suburb.

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