Michael Brown’s mother on authorities: ‘One day, they will regain my trust’
(CNN) — Twelve days after her son died — a period marked by large, emotional protests but not the arrest of the police officer who killed him — Michael Brown’s mother didn’t have faith in authorities.
But one day after meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, the top law enforcement official in the country, Lesley McSpadden held out hope that she could eventually believe in the investigations into the 18-year-old’s death.
“Just hearing the words come directly from (Holder’s) mouth, face-to-face, he made me feel like, one day, I will,” she said Thursday. “And I’m not saying today, or yesterday, but one day, they will regain my trust.”
McSpadden detailed her feelings on the Holder visit and the investigation into her son’s death in an interview with Anderson Cooper, which will air in full at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. Michael Brown, Sr., the late teen’s father, also took part in the interview.
Holder came to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, to check in on the federal civil rights investigation into Brown’s shooting as well as to talk to leaders, citizens and others in the middle of the prolonged, tense situation.
He met privately with Brown’s parents, promising them “that it will be a fair and thorough investigation,” according to McSpadden.
“You can read a person. And when you’re looking at them and they’re looking at you in your eyes, it puts some trust back there,” she said.
That said, federal authorities aren’t the only ones looking into the shooting. Plus, they have a higher standard than locals who are on the case, since the civil rights investigation requires proving that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson exhibited “racial hostility” — as explained by CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin — in the shooting of Brown. Wilson is white, while Brown was African-American.
The case is more straightforward for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch’s office, which began presenting testimony in secret to a grand jury Wednesday. Those grand jury proceedings — which McCulloch said could continue into the fall — could lead to an indictment against Wilson.
Many Brown family supporters have demanded that McCulloch be taken off the case, given his relationship with the African-American community and their claims that he is biased toward law enforcement.
McSpadden has said that she did not believe that those those pressing her son’s case will be able to achieve justice as she defines it — with Wilson being charged in her son’s death.
“Up until yesterday, I didn’t,” she said, crediting Holder with helping change her views.