POLITICS
08/19/2014 09:51 am ET | Updated Aug 21, 2014

Inspiring Scenes Of Kindness In Ferguson

Following the death of Michael Brown, an African-American teenager, at the hands of a white police officer on Aug. 9, police in Ferguson, Mo., have cracked down on protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Amid the chaos, however, there have also been inspiring scenes of kindness and generosity. Here are some of the ways people are helping each other in Ferguson:

Handing out food, water, diapers and other supplies to those in need:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Sunday that a group of volunteers grilled more than 300 hot dogs for the Ferguson community and the police.

"We're offering free lunch to anyone who comes by and the police," Ferguson resident Mary Skees told the paper.

Helping protesters hit with tear gas:

"It felt like my eyes got knocked out of my head," Cassandra Roberts, the woman in the above photo, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "My nose was running and I couldn't breathe."

Roberts said she was marching in Ferguson for the first time on Sunday, to show solidarity with the protesters. After she was hit with tear gas, a member of the crowd grabbed her and helped her to the McDonald's.

"We thought it could be a peaceful night," Roberts told the paper. "I just came down here to support my people. What the hell is going on in this world?"

Sheltering strangers in their homes:

Giving rides to strangers:

Letting someone borrow a phone to call their mom:

Protecting stores from looting:

Helping to clean up:

Outside groups are pitching in, too:

  • With the start of school delayed, fundraising campaigns are underway to benefit hungry kids who rely on school-provided meals. HuffPost Impact runs down the ways that you can help.
  • ESPN reports that the St. Louis Rams gave free tickets to the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers this weekend to three Ferguson high school football teams.
  • A "concerned citizen" in New York has launched a Kickstarter campaign to purchase gas masks for the Ferguson protesters.

Some police officers have also been helping to reduce tensions:

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol has walked side by side with the protesters, giving out hugs and kisses. A Ferguson native, Johnson was credited with sharply changing the tone of the relationship between the police and the protesters. The night of Thursday, Aug. 14 was the first night since the protests began that no violence was reported (though the peace was short-lived).

Observers have highlighted the efforts of other law enforcement officials as well:

If you've seen any random acts of kindness in Ferguson, please let us know.

See updates on the situation in Ferguson below:

08/26/2014 7:49 AM EDT

The Toll On Michael Brown's Family

USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:

Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.

In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.

"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."

Read the rest at USA Today.

08/26/2014 7:44 AM EDT

New Audio Allegedly Captures Moment Michael Brown Was Shot

New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.

CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.

Read the rest here.

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Funeral Program Includes Tribute From Michael Brown's Parents

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