Michael Brown Family: We "Reject" Ferguson Police Version of Teen's Death

Categories: Michael Brown

mikebrown3.jpg
Jessica Lussenhop
NAACP President Cornell Brooks, Michael Brown Sr., Lesley McSpadden and attorney Benjamin Crump.

Hours before another long evening in Ferguson that included looting, arrests and police firing tear gas at crowds, Michael Brown's parents pleaded for a return to order. They also asked for more information about the shooting death of their son in an emotional press conference at a Jennings church.

Michael Brown, Sr. and Lesley McSpadden stood at a table at the front of a sweltering chapel room at Jennings Mason Temple holding a large photo of Michael Jr.

"If you have any information please, please give it to us," said Michael Brown Sr. "We want everything. We want this done. We want to do this right. I don't want no violence -- we don't want no violence."

"Michael wouldn't want that," said McSpadden.

It was the first time the parents appeared with their new attorney, Benjamin Crump, who also represented the Florida family in the Trayvon Martin case. In his remarks, Crump made it clear that the family does not believe the version of events that the Ferguson and St. Louis County police are putting out in the death 18-year-old Michael.

See our extended coverage of the shooting and the subsequent unrest in Ferguson:
-- Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life
-- FBI Launches Independent Investigation into Shooting Death of Michael Brown
-- Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage

A still-unnamed Ferguson police officer shot and killed Brown on Saturday, August 9, around noon. Brown and a friend were walking toward his grandmother's apartment when the officer confronted them. According to some witnesses, the officer shot Brown multiple times while the teenager had his hands in the air. According to the police, Brown pushed the officer back into his squad car and the two wrestled for the officer's gun. St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters on Monday that a single shot went off inside the car and that after Brown fled the vehicle, the officer shot him "more than a couple" times. Brown died in the street. He did not have a weapon. There was no ambulance or EMT effort to resuscitate, one of the many reasons the family is upset with authorities.

"In broad daylight, he had his t-shirt, his shorts, his sandals, just walking with a friend, minding his business and in broad daylight -- where it is clear he has no weapon -- that he would be chased and shot, and then when he puts his hands up that the police who were suposed to protect him repeatedly shoots him?" said Crump.

"Oh, god," sobbed Desuirea Harris, Brown's grandmother, from the front pew.

"I don't want to sugarcoat it. Their baby was executed in broad daylight," continued Crump.

mikebrowngrandmother.jpg
Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown's family wept as Benjamin Crump spoke of the shooting.

Both the teen's father and Crump repeatedly implored witnesses who might have filmed the shooting on their cell phones to come forward. Yesterday, it was also announced that the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice will be running a concurrent investigation, and Crump expressed optimism that the witnesses will be able to go to these federal authorities with less fear of intimidation or retribution. However, Crump also mentioned that the family is contemplating a second autopsy.

"We want to know and see exactly what happened because this family rejects what the police authorities said at their press conference about how this played out. The witnesses reject what the police said at their press conference, how this played out," said Crump. "These parents know in their heart and they reject what the police authorities said at their press conference, how this played out. So they expect -- they demand and they will not shut up until they get the truth, because they knew who their son was."

McSpadden, who wept silently throughout the press conference, clearly found it difficult to speak about who Michael, or "Mike Mike," was.

"That's my first born son and anybody who knew me knew how I felt about my son," she said. "I just wish I could have been there...he didn't deserve that. My son..."

There she broke off and Crump ended the event soon after. Outside the church, Brown's grandmother was so overcome with grief she had to be held up and helped to a vehicle.

At another church about ten minutes southwest of Jennings Mason Temple, a overflowing community meeting with the NAACP convened. We'll have a link to our coverage of that event here soon. Hours after that, marchers and residents confronted police near Highway 270 and West Florissant, and were met with tear gas. Read our reporter's firsthand account of those events here.

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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185 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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markie1918 hours ago


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bookz.active
bookz.active

First of all if he got killed execution style it wasn't right. Other than that this whole rioting and looting is dumb and pointless. His parents didn't care about him right up until they saw this as an opportunity to bank$$ it in. Now she cares about her looks and making her son seem so nice and full of future. The NAACP is behind it as usual trying to play the race card every time they get a chance. Now we all have to feel sorry for her loss and pay some cash for her loss. I'm sure that with in a couple months after settling, she wont even remember who ''Michael Brown'' even was. Notice how they always hold baby pictures, hold a recent picture hugging and kissing your son at his current age of loss, oh wait, don't think he might have been in his life up until this. But hey i don't blame em for trying to secure the rest of their lives.

Robin Blanc
Robin Blanc

And even if he did grab for the gun in the car, it is still unacceptable for the officer to follow him and shoot more than what would keep him from running away. Proportionate response is all that is required.

Phoebe Landrum
Phoebe Landrum

Some good friend /family probably wanted to take care of her distressed mother who just lost her son. How disgusting that this is what comes to mind and in such an ugly way. I'd go there and take care of her myself just on principle, hair, nails, hugs and all.

goodguess
goodguess

speak truth to power and you will get knocked in the head for it! Vote the bastards out, protest the bastards out. put the murderers on trial and apply justice with impunity, too often people of color receive a different justice or none at all....just look at the way the execute such a high proportion of minorities not just in st Louis, but everywhere.  Here in AZ not long ago the took almost two hours to kill someone and are now saying it was a proper legal execution. poor Michael brown didn't even have the benefit of a trial, just a cop who decided he was judge jury and executioner. An eye for an eye? sadly, no again....


clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

Tuesday, August 12, 2014: Key witness Dorin Johnson

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar spoke as if he was on the scene when he was describing at the press conference what happened. Everyone who has paid even the least amount of attention certainly knows that the only story that the police chief was giving out is the story of the still unnamed police officer. I don't see how forensic evidence (since it's been handled by the St. Louis County Police Department & others) can even be trusted. Why do you not want to speak to a key witness? For some this is a race issue, but it goes further than that, this is a human issue! For too long these small municipalities in St. Louis County have treated the people who live in St. Louis County as well as the people who transport through St. Louis County as their own personal banks. They hand out tickets to the tune of millions of dollars per year. St. Ann police chief has bragged on local TV, that they have collected so much money for the city budget, that his problem now is what to do with all the money that they have collected! Corruption runs deep at every single one of these municipalities in St. Louis County, so how can anyone really trust anything that the local authorities are doing? It looks as though they have wasted no time in tracking down people that were looting and filing charges against them.

goodguess
goodguess

wow seems like quite a few folks believe that line of crap about the cop being assaulted and having his gun grabbed...I got a bridge I would like to sell to you folks, CHEAP...the body count grows higher every day as more citizens, especially citizens of color are murdered by those in authority.  Its my feeling that this will continue until the police are made accountable by the courts, until they understand that MURDER is not your job, nor will it be accepted by the citizens of this country.  I also believe that the law enforcement should be held to a standard even higher than the average joe, they should be ethically above reproach, to include cameras and citizens reviews.  If we were to see more of these LEGITIMIZED MURDERERS doing the perp walk, it might in fact deter this kind of unbridled violence and death at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. Ferguson, the whole country is watching you take back your streets and we are behind you. Prayers to the family of Michael Brown.

Luke Lachmann
Luke Lachmann

They have already stated that police cruisers in Ferguson are not outfitted with dash cameras, and the police took the phones to see if anyone caught the incident on film....so they have proof of what happened. I don't deny that corruption does still exist, but stating that all police are corrupt is naive

Jerry Oakley
Jerry Oakley

Nooo it just cant be right, just like trayvon martin couldn't have attackes george zimmermann either. Ijs

Tammy Dunn
Tammy Dunn

Oh for gods sakes people, stop it already. This is the kind of reactionary rhetoric that is causing problems. You're creating more problems. As far as rejecting evidence. Good luck with that. Why don't we wait for the facts.

Derek Qualls
Derek Qualls

If your gonna be a thug no matter race or age and you assault an officers and break his jaw and assault the officer again you deserve to be shot right is right and wrong is wrong those officer are taught to make split second life or death desigions and he's not a boy he's a man

Derek Qualls
Derek Qualls

I'm around 2000 thugs a day and they are enrolled in GED and college courses so yes thugs can be enrolled

Kelsey T. Fluekiger
Kelsey T. Fluekiger

Now excuse me, I'm a white female and I need to go watch the Kardashians and keep my mouth shut. ^_^

Timmy Duly
Timmy Duly

Grabbing a cops gun seem like a perfect reason to get shot to me

Tom Jamieson O'Connor
Tom Jamieson O'Connor

Really, Mr. Todaro? When did everyone on the internet become such an extreme jerk?

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Kelsey I think what you meant to say was that FOR YOU this is not about Michael Brown anymore (and was it ever?) because you don't like the rioting and you are scared that you might get caught up in it. Yes, people looted and rioted in the wake of this. Michael Brown was already dead when it happened, so no need to mix him up with the looters. And the cop was already on paid leave, so no need to mix him up with the looters either. You must be one of those shallow people that for whom EVERYTHING is just a hashtag or superficial, and can't understand that many, many people find this kid's murder horrifying and overwhelming. If you'd rather watch Duck Dynasty or the Kardashians I doubt anyone will miss your comments.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Just read the thread. So you were just commenting innocently about this very heated event that has caused rioting, and you are so smart-- and Native American to boot-- that you didn't have the brainpower to think that maybe you sound like a self-righteous racist asshole? So you are just innocently thoughtless and stupid instead?

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Well maybe someone did her hair for her. Maybe she has friends that wanted to help her and comfort her. When a lot of women get upset we soothe ourselves by grooming and taking care of ourselves. You just want to belittle her love for her son and make her seem shallow. The only person you insulted was yourself.

Brendan De Luca
Brendan De Luca

EVERY white woman who loses her son PUTS ON MAKE-UP and DOES HER HAIR and makes herself look presentable before she gets behind cameras for a press conference. The fact he is picking on Michael Brown's mother is obviously indirect, thinly-veiled, pure fucking racism. I hope Anonymous sees this, targets your personal shit through your facebook page and fucks your life for making such a cuntly fucking comment. You're a fucking coward and human garbage.

Brendan De Luca
Brendan De Luca

A great example of a thinly-veiled racist comment. Todaro: burn in hell you piece of shit.

Virginia Superwolf
Virginia Superwolf

She made herself look presentable for media. How dare she.... Nobody else has ever done that before when they just lost someone and had to keep appearing at press conferences. The nerve!

Kelly Blake Hamlyn
Kelly Blake Hamlyn

Why oh why are you people not waiting to hear from the officer. You are all jumping to the end and forgetting the details in the middle. The reason you havent heard from him is because you heathens have threatened to kill him and his family. This is the 21st century. Try acting like it.

Jason Lachance
Jason Lachance

One, maybe. But there are many. Either way, the kid was unarmed and 35 feet away from the cop when he was killed. That adds up as a bad deal.

Patrick Ritchey
Patrick Ritchey

Well, at least they have a brand new state of the art crime lab to do the important forensic work. Hopefully if it floods again they'll still be able to...im bettin the pig is an apocoliptical christian tryin to bring the end times. Though he could just be another psychopath with a badge who doesnt want to wear a camera during every shady movement in his type a fantasy.

Jason Lachance
Jason Lachance

The people that saw it happen say that the cop shot him while both his hands were outside the car. Hard to grab for a weapon inside the car that way. Cops are liars, they are trained to incriminate people. They are also violent. The majority of police have been militarized by....... Being in the military. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this cop was a veteran if our current wars. Wether we rush to admit or not, our veterans are trained to be violent and have less value for human life. And we, over and over again, hire them for a profession that should not have that as a prerequisite.

Colby Graeler
Colby Graeler

I live here. Thats what happened. He deserved to be arrested. Not shot 9 times

Janeyre Bronte'
Janeyre Bronte'

I am pleased, his mother didn't come on TV, looking like a poor, unkempt woman. Ever notice how the people holding the mics, always find a Black woman, who looks like she never combed her hair? Good for her... May the cop, get a fair trial. Then may he get prison time...

Brian Schmitt
Brian Schmitt

Considering that the vast majority of the public doesn't know that the cops were looking for him, for robbing a convenient store then fist fighting the cop who found him and trying to take his gun; yeah, Mike would have wanted it the way people have been taking it. As violent as possible. Revenge basically. He's the new black Jesus though. To rival Trayvon Martin. Yet another upstanding young man targeted for nothing. Hands in the air saying don't shoot. Fuckin retarded ass people

Jon Todaro
Jon Todaro

Debbie, I actually agree. I just noticed it and thought I originally saw someone different both times, which is why i ASKED. I immediately got called an asshole just for asking. It definitely escalated from there.

Debbie Wolfe
Debbie Wolfe

Good grief! Most women groom differently than most men. With hair it's usually more than wash and comb. Of course she wants to look/feel better. Yes, she is grieving. She has a funeral to prepare for. She will dress nicely and her hair will look good. No shame in that. Jon, you must not understand women well. Can't believe how far off track you all took this one. And the NA comment didn't help. Some of you need a reality check. Respect this lady.

Todd Cooper
Todd Cooper

Tired of political mouths,media mouths, And most of all facebook mouths...!!!

Todd Cooper
Todd Cooper

This is my first post on situation and last..!!!. So comment away cause i know you can't resist. Its in ur nature..!!!

Todd Cooper
Todd Cooper

Oh and by the way bofore any u dumbaas say anything...!!i have a 18 yr old Son..!

Todd Cooper
Todd Cooper

Why dont u all shut the fuck up. Nobody here knows fucking anything yet.All speculation on bothsides lol. U all play into the our fucked up culture...!!!!

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

No one ever wants to believe their kid is capable of violence but then again most parents try to be their kids friend instead of kicking their butt into line. That's where the problem is. Lack of parenting

Craig Kahn
Craig Kahn

Police say, and we all know we can trust what the police say because they have been trained to lie to get confessions and share intelligence. I mean why would they lie. Over a multimillion dollar lawsuit? Because one of they're beloved brothers will go to prison for 20 plus years? Of course not. There will be no cover up because they're the government and we can all trust the government.

Matt Bruneel
Matt Bruneel

Most the people looting and rioting came from other areas of the area, not ferguson. They saw an opportunity to cause some shit an they did.

Janice Gray
Janice Gray

No one really know. The whole story unless they were there so to say he didn't respect authority. Is crazy no one no so if you not sending prayer or condense. Then you should not say anything a mother has loss her child behind the gun of a cop so no one knows her pain I send my prayers to the family

Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood

Hmmm so they reject that story. Of course what if it is the right one? Justice is what they make of it.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

I think you would have owned slaves in the 1800's and you hide behind a picture of a Lamborghini because you wouldn't say any of the horrible shit you say on a daily basis in public.

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