“You Would Stand Up And You Would Fight, Too” Michael Brown’s Mother Announces Run For Ferguson City Council
Just four years ago, Lezley McSpadden lost her son Michael Brown when he was gunned down by police in Ferguson, MO. Today she is taking the tragedy that is her son’s death and using it as motivation to make a difference in the lives of her friends, family and neighbors.
NBC News reports that on Friday, McSpadden announced her candidacy for city council along Canfield Drive, not too far from the exact spot where her son was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white police officer. Fighting back tears she recalled what she felt the moment she heard her son had been shot by police:
“Almost four years ago to this day, I ran down this very street, and my son was covered in a sheet.”
“I learned to walk again, and this is one of my first steps.”
McSpadden was joined by her friends, family and members of the community, as well as Benjamin Crump, the prominent civil rights attorney who represents the Brown family. He led chants of “Run, Lezley, run!”
In early spring, McSpadden announced she was contemplating the idea of running for city council in a panel discussion at Harvard University. With her official bid, McSpadden says she intends to focus on three key issues: community policing, economic equality and access to health care for Ferguson’s young children.
McSpadden stated she anticipated some people would question what makes her qualified to run for an elected office. Her response alludes to the idea that when those elected to positions of power fail to make change, it is the responsibility of the community to elect someone who will:
“If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do?”
“You would stand up and you would fight, too.”
Crump says McSpadden’s decision to run was her way of transforming pain into power.The run wouldn’t be McSpadden’s first move in fighting for social justice. As one of the “Mothers of the Movement” she’s been speaking out against police brutality and racial profiling for some time. In addition to her political work she’s also launched the Michael O.D. Brown | We Love Our Sons And Daughters Foundation which focuses on building capacity at the intersection of 4 core outcome components: Justice, Health, Education and Family. She’s also an accomplished author writing the memoir Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown.