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Michael Brown’s mom: Ferguson decision ‘heartbreaking’

Associated Press

St. Louis — Michael Brown’s mother says it has been a “sleepless, very hard, heartbreaking and unbelievable” time for her since the announcement that a grand jury didn’t indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson for killing her son.

Lesley McSpadden said during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that she also felt that Wilson’s description of her son as looking demonic during their Aug. 9 confrontation was disrespectful and “added insult to injury.”

McSpadden said she hadn’t seen video of her husband, Brown’s stepfather Louis Head, yelling “Burn this b---- down” to angry protesters after the grand jury decision was announced Monday night.

She says the crowd “was already stirred” up by that point and that she holds the authorities, not her husband, for the violent night of protests.

National Guard reinforcements helped contain the latest protests in Ferguson, preventing a second night of the chaos that led to arson and looting after a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson.

Demonstrators returned Tuesday to the riot-scarred streets. But with hundreds of additional troops standing watch over neighborhoods and businesses, the protests had far less destructive power than the previous night. However, officers still used some tear gas and pepper spray, and demonstrators set a squad car on fire and broke windows at City Hall.

The shooting also has given rise to a national protest movement, with thousands in U.S. cities rallying behind the refrain “hands up, don’t shoot,” and drawing attention to other police killings.

The toll from Monday’s protests — 12 commercial buildings burned to the ground, plus eight other blazes and a dozen vehicles torched — prompted Missouri governor Jay Nixon to send a large contingent of extra National Guard troops. The governor ordered the initial force of 700 to be increased to 2,200 in hopes that their presence would help local law enforcement keep order in the St. Louis suburb.