Ferguson makes history: Michael Brown’s mom for city council; prosecutor ousted
Hillary Clinton meeting Michael Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden
(Photo Credit: Lezley McSpadden)
The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is once again making wide-reaching headlines with the help of two community leaders carrying the torch. The first is Lezley McSpadden, the mother of slain teen Michael Brown who was brutally killed by police and inhumanely left on the street for over hour hours after he was killed. McSpadden is running for a 2019 Ferguson city council seat so she can make a difference and she said at a press conference, “Almost four years ago today I ran down this very street and my son was covered in a sheet. It broke me you know? It brought me down to my knees and made me feel cripple as if I could do nothing else any more from that moment.”
She adds, “But as time went on and I stayed surrounded by support and motivational people who knew what happened was wrong and didn’t give up the fight; I learned to walk again and this is one of my first steps running for Ferguson city council of 2019.”
The other change-maker is African American prosecutor Wesley Bell, who was recently elected as the top prosecutor for St. Louis County in Ferguson, Missouri. Bell wasted no time in his new role as he made one of his first orders of business the ousting of the prosecutor in Michael Brown’s case, for poorly handling the case.
The common link between the two community leaders making history in Ferguson today is the Michael Brown case, where approximately four years ago, the tragic killing of 18-year-old Brown sparked national fury and a series of violent protests. The accused officer in question was police officer Darren Wilson and the presiding prosecutor was Robert McCulloch. McCulloch, who triggered national outrage when he chose not to indict Officer Wilson for shooting Brown six times and killing him, served as St. Louis county prosecutor for over 25 years. However, on August 7, 2018, Bell, a Black democrat, made history as he successfully unseated McCulloch for the first time in decades, during the primary elections.
The city and people of Ferguson still have a long way to go to heal the open wounds of another young Black man being shot down by a police officer. But, newly elected prosecutor Bell is helping the recovery efforts with many plans to upwardly advance his community, and he has a proven track record to get the job done. Bell is a former city councilman, an attorney, educator and advocate dedicated to serving his community and criminal justice reform. He plans to eliminate cash bail bonds for non-violent offenders and he also plans to appoint independent prosecutors for allegations of wrongdoings by officers.
McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, has firsthand experience when it comes to the deficient support from the criminal justice system, which is why she chose to run for Ferguson city council. One of her desires is to reform police brutality in Ferguson, and the Ferguson community fully stands behind her. If elected, McSpadden intends to effect change in the areas of “Community policing, economic equality and access to healthcare for all of Ferguson’s young children and everyday people.”
Despite the senseless and tragic killing of her son at the hands of a Ferguson police officer, McSpadden plans to reconnect the Ferguson community with the police officers saying, “We absolutely know that [for] the community and the police; that bridge has been burned and I want to work on rebuilding it.”