Late teen’s kin could face arrest for ransacking of t-shirt stand
MARCH 4–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 (seen above) 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 barbecuse 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 shit.” 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.”
In addition to McSpadden and her mother, the raiding party included McSpadden’s husband, according to Gordon. Louis Head, McSpadden’s spouse, is an ex-con best known for urging protesters to “Burn this bitch down” after prosecutors announced that no criminal charges would be filed against Wilson. Head is seen at right.
Petty was transported by EMS workers to a local hospital for treatment of “injuries sustained during the assault,” noted cops, who reported that suspects “fled the scene prior to police arrival.” More than $1500 in merchandise and $400 in cash “was stolen by unknown subjects” during the assault, according to investigators.
A witness cited in the police report told cops that she watched the attack from her car while at a red signal. The woman said she saw several individuals enter the tent from opposite sides and begin “assaulting (punching) the vendors.” In a video provided to TSG by another passing motorist, a man–apparently one of the vendors–is seen being pinned to the pavement by a larger man who is throwing punches. Standing next to the attacker is a woman holding a metal rod. (3 pages)