Lezley McSpadden, whose son Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, announced Friday that she is running for Ferguson City Council.
Four years and one day after her son’s death, standing near the spot where her son was shot, McSpadden announced her campaign, saying she intends to focus on community policing, economic equality, and access to health care, particularly for young children in the city.
“Almost four years ago to this day, I ran down this very street, and my son was covered in a sheet,” McSpadden said Friday, according to an NBC News report. “I learned to walk again, and this is one of my first steps.”
McSpadden, who has never run for office before, said she expects to get questions about what makes her qualified for the job.
“If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do?” she asked. “You would stand up and you would fight, too.”
McSpadden was joined at her announcement by friends and family, including Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents her family. He started cheers of “Run, Lezley, run!” according to the NBC report.
Crump reportedly called her campaign a way to “transform the pain to power.”
McSpadden’s announcement comes just three days after Wesley Bell, a black Ferguson councilman, beat prosecutor Bob McCulloch, known for botching the investigation into Brown’s killing, in a primary challenge.
Bell won by nearly 25,000 votes. There is no Republican on the ballot, all but guaranteeing he will win the general in November.
McSpadden joins Lucy McBath, who is running for Congress in Georgia, as a mother driven to run for office after losing her son to violence. In 2012, McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was killed while sitting in his car at a gas station in Florida. The shooter tried to use the state’s Stand Your Ground law to defend himself but was convicted of first-degree murder two years later.
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