Tags: Ferguson | Missouri | Brown family | street vendors

Michael Brown's Mother, Stepfather May Be Charged in Street Vendors' Assault

Image: Michael Brown's Mother, Stepfather May Be Charged in Street Vendors' Assault
Michael Browns mother Lesley McSpadden with her husband Louis Head. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 03:12 PM

Slain teenager Michael Brown's mother, stepfather, and several others are facing possible criminal charges after a confrontation with street vendors over merchandise bearing the 18-year-old's name, a spokesperson with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office has confirmed.

The Ferguson Police Department has released the results of a months-long investigation into the Oct. 18 beating and robberies of t-shirt vendors that left one hospitalized, reports The Smoking Gun,  and prosecutors are reviewing the evidence to determine whether to pursue charges.

The police report names Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, as one of the people who participated in the alleged assault, which police have classified as a felony armed robbery.

According to the report, the fight broke out in the parking lot of a barbecue restaurant in Ferguson where the three vendors had set up tables under canopy tents to sell t-shirts and other items related to Brown. One of those vendors was 54-year-old Pearlie Gordon, the mother-in-law of Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., who is divorced from McSpadden.

Police said that a large group of 20-30 suspects jumped from vehicles and attacked Gordon and vendors Tony Petty and Michael Cosey. Gordon said McSpadden, 34, approached her tent and told her she couldn't sell the merchandise.

Gordon replied to her, the report said, 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."

McSpadden's own mother, Desuria Harris, then began pulling down t-shirts that were hanging on a line, Gordon told police, and then other attackers started tearing apart her booth. Gordon added that the attackers knocked her down and repeatedly hit her in the head, alleging that McSpadden also punched her during the fight.

According to the report, "unknown subjects" stole $1,500 worth of merchandise, along with a suitcase containing about $400 in cash.

Gordon said McSpadden's husband, Louis Head, was also one of the attackers. Head is the person seen urging protesters to "burn this b---- down" after it was announced no criminal charges would be coming against officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown.

In addition, Petty was treated at a local hospital for injuries he got in the attack.

A witness told police she saw several people enter the tent and punch vendors, while another witness provided The Smoking Gun with a video showing a man being pinned down and punched by a larger man while a woman stood by holding a metal rod.

The news of the alleged vendor attacks was released on Wednesday, the same day a Justice Department report came out detailing why federal civil rights charges will not be filed against Wilson.

In its report, the Justice Department said Wilson's actions "do not constitute a prosecutable violation" and there "is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson's stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety," reports The Washington Post.

However, the DOJ report accused the Ferguson Police Department itself of a pattern of racial bias that included stopping drivers without reasonable suspicion of crimes, using excessive force, and making arrests without having probable cause.

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Slain teenager Michael Brown's mother, stepfather, and several others are facing possible criminal charges after a confrontation with street vendors over merchandise bearing the 18-year-old's name, a spokesperson with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office has confirmed.
Ferguson, Missouri, Brown family, street vendors
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2015-12-04
Wednesday, 04 Mar 2015 03:12 PM
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