Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, the teenager who was killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in August 2014, is running for a city council position that has oversight over the police department. According to the Associated Press, McSpadden is one of three candidates running in Ferguson’s Third Ward.
“I wanted to go back and do something right in a place that did something so very wrong to my son, and I think that’s what my son would want as well,” McSpadden told the AP.
McSpadden will face two other candidates in Thursday’s election: ten-year incumbent Keith Kallstrom and community organizer Fran Griffin. Kallstrom has a record of supporting salary increases for police officers.
McSpadden told the AP that she moved to Ferguson last year, so that she could qualify to run for city council. Her platform largely focuses on police accountability — in 2014, the Department of Justice chose not to indict the officer who shot her son on any charges related to his death.
“I think they should work much harder to prove that they are there to protect and serve, because no one believed that in August 2014 and people are still skeptical,” McSpadden said.
McSpadden has been highly involved in politics in the five years since her son’s death, supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and being a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. With her city council run, she’s trying to focus her political power in a city she wants to change.
“It took me a while to figure out how I can be most helpful in returning to some light after being in so much pain,” McSpadden told Essence. “I’m wanting to save a life, save another child’s future which means helping the children, helping the mothers and helping the families.”