*In the midst of seeking a new investigation into the death of her 18-year-old son Michael Brown, Lezley McSpadden announced that she plans to run for a seat on the Ferguson City Council in April.
McSpadden, who has been speaking out about the criminal justice system since her son’s death, has never held public office. On Friday, she said had been surrounded by people who provided her with support and motivation, and they “knew what happened was wrong and didn’t give up the fight.”
“I learned to walk again,” she said. “And this is one of my first steps: running for Ferguson City Council.”(Watch above.)
The Missouri governor’s office said Friday it doesn’t have the authority to appoint a special prosecutor to reinvestigate the 2014 fatal police shooting of Brown in Ferguson, despite pressure from Brown’s mother to do so, reports the New York Post.
McSpadden’s son was unarmed when he was fatally shot during a confrontation with Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who is white, on Aug. 9, 2014. Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson police force that November, was later cleared of wrongdoing by a St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Justice Department.
McSpadden’s appeal to reinvestigate the case came days after longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch lost his seat in the Democratic primary to Wesley Bell, a black Ferguson city councilman. McCulloch’s announcement in 2014 that no charges would be filed against Wilson sparked widespread protests.
McSpadden’s petition says Bell’s win “is a clear mandate from the people of St. Louis to reform the criminal justice system, which first begins with securing justice for my son.”
McCulloch, first elected in 1992, drew considerable criticism for not charging Wilson himself and relying on a grand jury to consider the case. He was also accused of guiding the grand jury to its decision, a charge he has strongly denied.
Calls to reopen the Brown investigation also came Friday from Justin Hansford, the executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center. He wrote in an op-ed in a Washington Post that Bell’s win over McCulloch “is a sign of hope and change” and that Bell should reopen the case when he becomes prosecutor.