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Ferguson police request criminal charges against Michael Brown’s mother

Leslie McSpadden appears in a television interview. [Photo: KTVI]
Leslie McSpadden appears in a television interview. [Photo: KTVI]
The Ferguson Police Department has formally requested the filing of criminal charges against the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. and other family members in connection with an altercation last October.

According to a police report, Brown’s mother Leslie McSpadden, his grandmother Desureia Harris and more than a dozen other individuals confronted merchandise vendors outside a barbecue restaurant last October. Brown’s family members were upset that the vendors were selling t-shirts and other memorabilia bearing the words “Justice for Michael Brown” without the family’s permission.

The report says the argument became heated, with McSpadden accused of punching one woman during the incident. According to police, nearly $2,000 in cash and merchandise was stolen during the confrontation.  The report says an eyewitness shot video of the incident while waiting at a stop sign near the barbecue restaurant.

Ferguson police concluded their investigation earlier this month and sent their findings to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s office (SLCPA). A source with knowledge of the investigation told The Desk on background that Ferguson investigators have requested charges be filed against McSpadden and others involved in the altercation.

Edward McGee, a spokesperson for SLCPA, confirmed to The Desk that his office received a case file from Ferguson police, but declined to say whether the agency had formally requested charges be brought against Brown’s mother. McGee said no decision has been made by his office as to whether or not charges will be filed.

“Police present cases to us on possible criminal violations, felony or misdemeanors,” McGee told The Desk by e-mail. “Our office decides if charges are filed.”

A spokesperson for the Ferguson Police Department did not return a request for comment.

Brown was fatally shot by a Ferguson police officer last August. The shooting ignited weeks protests in the St. Louis suburb and across the country. In November, a grand jury declined to prosecute Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in connection with the shooting.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) also declined to prosecute Wilson. The announcement was made in tandem with the release of a separate DOJ report accusing the Ferguson officers of racial bias and constitutional violations of citizens in the community.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).