The New York Times produced a long profile on Michael Brown Jr., the young black man shot by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo. It's a deep, sensitive, nuanced piece -- except, unfortunately, for you-know-what.
The story opens with a tantalizing "ghost": a spiritual experience by Brown, who was laid to rest on Monday:
FERGUSON, Mo. — It was 1 a.m. and Michael Brown Jr. called his father, his voice trembling. He had seen something overpowering. In the thick gray clouds that lingered from a passing storm this past June, he made out an angel. And he saw Satan chasing the angel and the angel running into the face of God. Mr. Brown was a prankster, so his father and stepmother chuckled at first.
“No, no, Dad! No!” the elder Mr. Brown remembered his son protesting. “I’m serious.”
And the black teenager from this suburb of St. Louis, who had just graduated from high school, sent his father and stepmother a picture of the sky from his cellphone. “Now I believe,” he told them.
In the weeks afterward, until his shooting death by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9, they detected a change in him as he spoke seriously about religion and the Bible. He was grappling with life’s mysteries.