Lezley McSpadden, the bereaved mother of Michael Brown, announced during a panel discussion on police violence at Harvard University on Monday that she is thinking of running for a seat on the City Council of Ferguson, Missouri.
Mother Jones reports that McSpadden told the audience on Monday, “We have to get behind people who look like us and get them in these elected seats so that they can really do what’s right by the community, and I’m going to start with me by running for Ferguson City Council.” According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, McSpadden said, “What I’m contemplating is running for City Council of Ferguson,” an announcement that was met with copious applause and calls of “Run, Lezley, run” from the audience.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for McSpadden’s family who was also participating on the panel, added words of encouragement to the room’s growing enthusiasm: “What a legacy that would be—elected to the City Council and supervising the same police department that killed Michael Brown.”
The killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in 2014 by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was a flashpoint for the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking protests that lasted for months. At the time that Brown was killed, Ferguson’s police department was predominantly white (Ferguson’s residents are predominantly black), Mother Jones reports. Following Brown’s death, Ferguson elected two black City Council members in 2015, bringing the number of black members to three out of a total of six seats.