Michael Brown's Mother Named As Robbery Attacker
Ransacking prompted by sale of t-shirts
NOVEMBER 6--A police report detailing a fight last month between members of Michael Brown’s family over the sale of commemorative t-shirts identifies the late teenager’s mother as one of the “attackers” who beat and robbed vendors selling the merchandise from a tent in a Ferguson, Missouri parking lot.
A copy of the Ferguson Police Department report was provided yesterday by city attorney Stephanie Karr. When TSG requested the document two weeks ago, Karr noted that Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, was “described in the report” and had “specifically requested that the report be withheld from the media.”
Karr added, “Knowing this, do you still want a copy of the report?”
The violent October 18 ransacking--which police have classified as felony armed robbery--remains under active investigation, said Karr. “No charges have been filed yet and no decision about charges will be made until the investigation is concluded,” the lawyer told TSG yesterday.
The police probe of the attack, which left one victim hospitalized, is occurring at the same time a grand jury is weighing possible criminal charges against the Ferguson cop who shot the unarmed Brown during an August confrontation.
According to the report, Pearlie Gordon, 54, and two men were selling “Justice for Mike Brown” merchandise on a Saturday afternoon 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 police that McSpadden, 34, approached her 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.”
McSpadden’s mother, Desureia Harris, began to rip down t-shirts hanging on a line, Gordon told officers. Then, she added, other members of the group began “tearing her booth apart.” Gordon (seen at left) said that during the melee she was repeatedly struck in the head and knocked to the ground.
At one point, Gordon recalled, she heard McSpadden “yell to an unknown subject, ‘That’s Calvina’s mom, get her ass.” [Calvina is the first name of Michael Brown Sr.'s wife.] “McSpadden then ran up and punched Gordon,” according to the report.
Gordon’s male associates were also beaten--reportedly with a pipe--during the confrontation, and one of the men was transported by EMS workers to a local hospital for treatment of “injuries sustained during the assault.”
Gordon identified McSpadden (seen below), McSpadden's spouse, Harris, and several others as the “attackers.” More than $1500 in merchandise and $400 in cash “was stolen by unknown subjects” who fled before police arrived, the report notes.
A witness whose name was redacted from the 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.”
The witness said that she began recording the incident and “would provide this department with a copy of the video via e-mail.” However, as cops noted, the witness had not provided the video or a witness statement at the time of the report’s preparation. (3 pages)