It was just another normal day on August 9, 2014. Lezley McSpadden went to work as usual to work her shift, probably thinking about what she would cook for dinner and etc. What she didn’t expect to happen that day was to receive a call (that no parent in world would ever want to receive).
Lezley McSpadden was taking a cigarette break from her grocery store job when a friend called to tell her that someone had been shot near the Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson, MO. Thinking that maybe it was just another shooting that was happening in the neighborhood, Lezley shrugged it off. That was until she received another phone call this time from a family member stating that the victim shot was McSpadden’s 18yr old son, Michael Brown. And to make things even more unsettling, the shooter was a police officer.
Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson, felt Brown fit the description of a robbery that happened at a local convenient store minutes earlier. According to Wilson, he then asked Brown and his friend–whom were walking in the street to get out the road–Brown and his friend didn’t pay attention to the officers request and stayed in the street. Heated words transpired and a scuffle broke out between Brown and Wilson within the police car. According to stlouis.cbslocal Wilson stated that the then 6’5, 300pd Brown charged at him once he got out of the car and that he shot him in self defense.
In light of the controversy that rocked the nation with the #HANDSUP-DON’TSHOOT mantra, McSpadden decided to tell her story. In her book, Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil, McSpadden chronicles life growing up in St. Louis, her experiences, raising her son, Michael and the events, emotions and dialogue that all lead up to the day her son was fatally shot and killed.
“I’ve always just wanted to be treated fair and equal, and that’s what I’m fighting for; for my son right now.” — Lezley McSpadden
Since that terrible day, McSpadden has spoken to the United Nations committee in Switzerland, she’s appeared in Presidential Campaigns with Hilary Clinton and was featured in Beyonce’s video. Beyonce’s video also featured Trayvon Martin‘s mom–who’s son was gunned down by George Zimmerman a white male whom was the neighborhood’s “watch” captain. Common also featured McSpadden during the BET awards by paying tribute to Michael Brown during his song “Kingdom.”
Snippet from Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Lezley McSpadden
“I caught a glimpse of a blood-covered white sheet laying over the form of a motionless body stretched out on the ground and screamed, throwing my arms in the air, ‘Naw, naw, naw, that ain’t my child! It can’t be.'”
Darren Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department in November 2014. McSpadden’s family’s wrongful death lawsuit is still making it’s way through the court today. McSpadden said she had hoped Wilson would have apologized but to this day he still never has.