Prosecutors are now considering criminal charges against members of Michael Brown’s family in connection with a violent confrontation over the sale of merchandise commemorating the late teenager, who was shot to death last year by a police officer.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney recently received the results of a months-long investigation by Ferguson Police Department detectives who probed the October 18 beating and robbery of t-shirt vendors, one of whom was hospitalized following the assault.
A prosecutor’s spokesperson told TSG that lawyers are now reviewing material forwarded by police, a package that addresses charges that could be filed against the suspects.
The decision on whether to pursue charges in connection with the ransacking of the “Justice for Mike Brown” merchandise operation is particularly sensitive since Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, is named in a police report as one of the “attackers” who participated in the assault, which cops classified as a felony armed robbery.
Additionally, prosecutors are mulling charges in the face of a Department of Justice probe that has concluded that Ferguson cops have engaged in a “pattern and practice” of discrimination against African-American citizens, whose rights have routinely been violated by members of the Missouri city’s predominantly white police force.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney also handled the grand jury presentment in the Brown case, which ended when jurors declined to vote indictments against Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop who killed the unarmed teenager.
As detailed in a Ferguson Police Department report, the fight over the sale of Brown merchandise occurred in the parking lot of a barbecue restaurant, where three vendors set up tables under a pair of canopy tents. One of the vendors was Pearlie Gordon, 54, the mother-in-law of Michael Brown Sr. (who is divorced from McSpadden).
According to the report, a group of about 20-30 suspects “jumped out of vehicles and rushed” Gordon, Tony Petty, and Matthew Cosey. Gordon told police that McSpadden, 34, approached her tent and said, “You can’t sell this @!#*.” Gordon replied, according to the report, that “unless McSpadden could produce documentation stating 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 to rip down t-shirts hanging on a line, Gordon told police. Other members of the group then began “tearing her booth apart,” added Gordon, who said she was knocked to the ground and repeatedly struck in the head.
Gordon told Ferguson police that McSpadden “ran up” and punched her during the melee, while also instructing a cohort to “get her ass.”
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SOURCE: The Smoking Gun