Lesley McSpadden announced this week that she is running for City Council in Ferguson, Missouri’s 3rd Ward, a position that would allow her to have oversight over the police department that was involved in the 2014 shooting of her son, Michael Brown.
“I wanted to go back and do something right in a place that did something so very wrong to my son, and I think that’s what my son would want as well,” McSpadden said in an interview this morning.
Police accountability will be McSpadden’s top priority if elected to City Council. “I think they should work much harder to prove that they are there to protect and serve, because no one believed that in August 2014 and people are still skeptical,” McSpadden announced. She moved from a neighboring community to Ferguson’s 3rd Ward a year ago in preparation for her run. She said that she “wanted to go back and do something in a place that did something so very wrong to my son, and I think that’s what my son would want as well.” McSpadden wants to see the police engaging with the community, especially the youth, and building stronger relationships “not just when something bad happens and you’re pressured to do it, but to be that civil servant in the community that you signed up to be.”
While McSpadden has never run for office before or held an elected position, since 2014 she has been increasingly more involved in politics: from the 2016 presidential election to testifying at the state house in favor of a bill to increase the use of police body cameras. She endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention as part of the “Mothers of the Movement.” McSpadden has also been at the front of the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson as well as across the country.
McSpadden said that she “wanted to come back to a place that caused [her] so much pain and did [her] so wrong, and to do something right.”
On August 9, 2014 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed following, what St. Louis County Police said, was a physical altercation between Brown and the officer. The unarmed teen was shot multiple times by local police. St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury would not charge the Ferguson police officer responsible for the death of the African-American teen. Within minutes, the announcement sparked demonstrations around the country.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 8/11/14; Feminist Newswire 11/26/14; Feminist Newswire 11/24/14; AP 4/2/19