Nearly five years after his passing, family and friends question mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of 29-year-old Ferguson activist Darren Seals.

Before Seals was brutally killed, he wholly dedicated his life to a single noble objective: uniting and freeing the Black community from racist oppression, especially police violence. “He just reminded a lot of people of Malcolm X,” said Seals’ mother, Mary Otis. “He wasn’t scared to die.”

A skilled orator, Seals empowered and mobilized members of the community to organize in the pursuit of justice and accountability. He raised awareness about police violence in the years before he was found shot to death in his vehicle in the Riverview area of St. Louis in 2016. He would have celebrated his 31st birthday on May 15.

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Three men at protest