by Natasha S. Alford via thegrio.com
Lezley McSpadden says Michael would’ve wanted it.
The mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, unarmed Black teenager who was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson, is running for Ferguson City Council.
Four years after Brown’s death, McSpadden made the announcement Friday afternoon.
“Yesterday made four years for my son’s death. I thought that I would wake up and would be really sad… but when I woke up I had a different type of energy. I had a energy of get up out this bed and go. You have work to do.” McSpadden told theGrio in an exclusive interview.
“[Michael] was just speaking to me, ‘Mom it’s time for you to shake it off. It’s time for you to do what you say you want to do. And get justice for me.”
McSpadden’s announcement comes on the heels of another game-changing candidate, Wesley Bell, who beat out incumbent St. Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, in the Democratic primary.
McCullouch was criticized for how he handled Brown’s case and was accused of being “buddy buddy” with police. McSpadden says Bell supports her candidacy and inspires her. “Seeing him win for St. Louis County prosecutor gave me hope that I can do this. That I can state adversity in the face and be the change my son needs,” said the 38-year old McSpadden.
McSpadden says she wants to use her platform to advocate for economic equality, access to health care, and a topic which surely hits close to home — community policing. “One of the things that I know to be true; the people who are employed as police officers do not live in this area, they are not familiar with the community or a regular John Doe who walks to and from the store. That’s a big issue.” McSpadden told theGrio.
McSpadden says she will advocate for building better community relations. “That should keep down this repeated pattern of words we hear in encounters ‘I fear for my life.’”
Despite battling with depression, McSpadden has worked diligently through her grief, going back to school for her high school diploma, traveling the world to speak about her son’s death and even writing a book.
“The only thing that has changed within me is time. People say ‘time heals all wounds— I don’t know if this wound will ever heal, but I’ve gotten wiser and educated myself to know. I’m putting my faith into God. I have no doubt that I’ll be elected.”