Michael Brown’s mother spoke out after the riots that followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who fatally shot her son on Aug. 9. She said the announcement felt like a bullet to her heart.
"This could be your child. This could be anybody's child,” Lesley McSpadden told CNN Wednesday. "We heard this and it was just like, like I had been shot,” she said. “Like you shoot me now -- just no respect, no sympathy, nothing.”
The mother reminisced about her beloved son who, she said, was nothing like the aggressive person portrayed in Officer Wilson's version of the fatal encounter. "He was different, but he still was like any other teenager -- wanted to explore different things, do different things, be around different people," she told CNN.
In his first interview since the shooting, Wilson said he had a “clear conscience” after killing Brown. It was a comment that left the teen’s parents “taken aback,” Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said, according to ABC News. "It was very hurtful to the parents when he said he had a clear conscience,” Crump said. “They thought he had no regard for their child.”
Wilson did say he was sorry and that it wasn’t his “intention” to kill Brown. "I expected him to say my heart is heavy, my conscience is troubled,” Crump said. “He didn’t say that.”
The grand jury decision also outraged McSpadden's husband. While she wept on Monday evening, Louis Head, Brown’s stepfather, said, “burn this b*tch down.” Some observers have blamed him for sparking the riots. McSpadden explained he didn’t mean to incite violence. “We've all spoke out of anger before,” she told CNN. "When you're that hurt and the system has did you this wrong, you may say some things as well.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sent 2,200 National Guard troops to the embattled St. Louis suburb to try to restore order. The strategy appeared to work, and Tuesday night was calmer than Monday. "The ramped up presence and action of the Missouri National Guard has been helpful," Nixon said Wednesday, according to Reuters.
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