Lesley McSpadden, 39, is one of three candidates up for election Tuesday in Ferguson, Missouri, for a City Council seat in the 3rd Ward, the Associated Press (AP) reports. She is the mother of Mike Brown, the unarmed teen who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in 2014. The teen's death sparked nationwide protests and propelled the Black Lives Matter movement.
During an interview with the AP, McSpadden opened up about her reasons and motivations for running. "I wanted to go back and do something right in a place that did something so very wrong to my son, and I think that's what my son would want as well," she said.
She has been a political advocate since the death of her son. McSpadden appeared as one of the seven "Mothers of the Movement" who appeared onstage during 2016's Democratic National Convention. The organization was founded by mothers who lost their children in police shootings, police custody or gun violence.
The author of a self-titled autobiography, McSpadden endorsed former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and testified in favor of a Missouri Senate bill to increase the usage of police body cameras.
If elected, McSpadden wants to use her platform to help improve police relations with the community in Ferguson. She also wants to encourage engagement with the youth so that they have positive interactions with law enforcement.
According to the AP, McSpadden moved to Ferguson a year ago based solely on her intention to run for a City Council seat. "I wanted to come back to a place that caused me so much pain and did me so wrong, and to do something right."
McSpadden now joins the likes of Lucia "Lucy" McBath, who pursued a career in politics following the death of her unarmed son. The mother of Jordan Davis, McBath is now a member of the U.S. House representing Georgia's 6th congressional district.