Michael Brown's parents speak at UN

The parents of Michael Brown, the Ferguson Missouri man who was shot by Officer Darren Wilson following an altercation, spoke before a UN Committee yesterday, pleading for the world to note what was happening in Ferguson and around the country.

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. spoke to the United Nations Committee Against Torture -- which also works against cruel or degrading treatment or punishment by government authorities.


"We need the world to know what's going on in Ferguson and we need justice," McSpadden told CNN in Geneva, Switzerland.

"We need answers and we need action. And we have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what's going on in small town Ferguson."

Accounts differ as to what led to the August shooting of Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer.

While their testimony to the committee took place behind closed doors, the delegation that organized their trip said the couple would read from a statement submitted by the Brown family and organizations called HandsUpUnited, the Organization for Black Struggle, and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment.

The document says Brown's killing and force used by police officers during protests that followed the killing "represent violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment."

It requests that the U.N. panel recommend the immediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson, who killed Brown, as well as an end to "racial profiling and racially-biased police harassment across the jurisdictions surrounding Ferguson."

Ferguson authorities have repeatedly denied similar accusations in the past.

The statement also calls for recommendations that would apply to the entire United States, including that the attorney general and Department of Justice "must conduct a nationwide investigation of systematic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities, and youth in particular. Methodology and findings of this investigation must be made publicly available."

No mention was made in the CNN article, nor anywhere else reporting this story as far as I can tell, that Leslie McSpadden may be indicted for robbery and assault stemming from an incident that occurred on October 18 when a brawl broke out between Brown family members over the sale of Michael Brown merchandise:

The report says that Pearlie Gordon, 54, and two men were selling “Justice for Mike Brown” shirts on a Saturday when “a large group of about 20-30 subjects ‘jumped out of vehicles and rushed them.’” Gordon is the mother-in-law of Michael Brown Sr., McSpadden's ex-husband.

Gordon told law enforcement that McSpadden, 34, told her, “You can’t sell this shit.” Gordon then replied, according to the report, that “unless McSpadden could produce documentation saying that she had a patent on her son’s name she (Gordon) was going to continue to sell her merchandise.”

At that point, McSpadden’s mother, Desureia Harris, began tearing down t-shirts that were hanging on a line, Gordon told officers. Then, Gordon explained, other members of the group started “tearing her booth apart.” As the rush ensued, Gordon said she was repeatedly hit in the head and knocked on the ground.

Gordon claims she heard McSpadden “yell to an unknown subject, ‘That’s Calvina’s mom, get her ass.” According to TSG, [Calvina is the first name of Michael Brown Sr.'s wife.] “McSpadden then ran up and punched Gordon,” the report said.

A real piece of work, that one.

The idea that UN member states should be lecturing the US about police brutality is absurd. But hypocrisy never stopped the UN before so don't expect that to change with this incident.

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