More than 4,500 people gathered on Monday for the funeral of Michael Brown, the black unarmed teenager shot to death by a white police officer.

Among the mourners were activists, politicians and speakers including the Rev. Al Sharpton as well as filmmaker Spike Lee. They joined Brown's family in mourning the 18-year-old, who was described by relatives as a "gentle soul."

Rev. Al Sharpton called for more peaceful participation in the fight against racial injustice during his 30-minute eulogy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Michael Brown does not want to be remembered for riots," he said. "He wants to be remembered as the one that made America deal with how we are going to police in the United States. ... We're required to leave here today and change things. ... We're required in [Michael's] name to change things."

Brown's family also called for an end to the violent conflicts with police and requested a "day of silence" to honour the teenager, who graduated from high school just days before his death. He had planned to attend Vatterott College in the fall and had hoped to become an electrician.

The mostly black crowd that gathered for the teenager's funeral sang along with a choir to Every Praise, by Hezekiah Walker, at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

One young man wore a red shirt with an image of a person holding his hands up, to highlight what many protestors believe - that Brown was surrendering at the time of his shooting.

Several Obama administration officials attended, including Marlon Marshall, deputy director of the White House's office of public engagement and a St. Louis native who went to high school with Brown's mother.

Over the past two weeks since the shooting, law officials still trying to establish how Brown, an unarmed man, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson.

There are conflicting reports of what happened, with St. Louis County police saying Wilson was pushed into his car and assaulted in a struggle over his gun before shooting Brown. A lawyer for the black teenager's family has disputed this account.

A grand jury is meeting to determine whether Mr. Wilson, who hasn't spoken publicly, will face charges.