The memorial burned to ashes on Tuesday, which resulted in a night of fresh protests and general unrest for the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri.
Over the summer the town came to represent a major racial divide in the United States.
The tensions are a far cry from the often triumphant declaration that we live in a “post-racial” society thanks to the election of a non-white president.
Could the destruction of the memorial have been racially motivated?
There is no clear answer.
Some believe that the current grievance is the result of a misunderstanding, with the actual blaze blamed on a candle located at the Michael Brown memorial.
If the memorial candel somehow fell over, it’s argued that this could be the source of the unfortunate fire. This would mean that there was no perpetrator or perpetrators behind the incident.
The theory that the Michael Brown memorial fire was an accident is currently the subject of a great deal of criticism.
Local activist David Whitt said that there was “no doubt” about the actual cause of the memorial’s destruction.
“Someone waited until everyone was asleep and set it on fire.”
Residents also claim that they could smell gasoline.
Local tensions are not aided by the fact that differing stories have emerged as to how authorities responded to the blaze.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that the first officer who arrived tried and failed to put out the fire.
Meldon Moffitt, who lives not too far from the memorial site, disagrees with this claim.
“The police came here and watched it burn.”
— Complex (@ComplexMag) September 23, 2014
Despite the unfortunate event, it appears that residents have already replaced the destroyed memorial with a new one.
By late Wednesday morning, there was a new blanket, new signs, and stuffed animals.
It was a clear indication that for the affected residents of Ferguson, Michael Brown is gone but not forgotten.