Michael Brown’s parents tell Anderson Cooper they trust Eric Holder

The parents of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a white police officer, talk about their son and the pain of losing a child. (Reuters)

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. spoke with Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. — the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9 — on Wednesday.

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night, Brown Sr. revealed Holder “says he’s not going to stop until they help us all the way through.”

McSpadden told Cooper that Holder approached her and Brown Sr. as a fellow parent.

“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 that you lost,” McSpadden said. “And he did ensure that it will be a fair and thorough investigation.”

Lesley McSpadden, left, is comforted by her husband, Louis Head, after her 18-year-old son, Michael Brown was shot by police and killed in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. A spokesman with the St. Louis County Police Department, which is investigating the shooting at the request of the local department, confirmed a Ferguson police officer shot the man. The spokesman didn't give the reason for the shooting. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Huy Mach) Lesley McSpadden, left, spoke with Anderson Cooper about the killing of her son, Michael Brown, on Thursday night. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Huy Mach)

Amid uproar over the Ferguson police department’s investigation of Brown’s shooting, Holder was dispatched to Missouri by President Obama to oversee a federal investigation.

A grand jury has been appointed to determine whether charges will be filed against Wilson in connection with Brown’s death.

Since Aug. 9, one of the most striking images to emerge from Ferguson was a closely-cropped photograph of McFadden the day her son was killed, tears streaming down her face as she was embraced by her husband and Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head.

McSpadden is one of many who expressed distrust of the local and state investigations into Brown’s death after contradictory statements from Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson. Jackson told media that Brown was a suspect in a robbery case — and released security footage — then later said the robbery was not the reason Wilson pursued Brown.

“Up until yesterday, I didn’t [have confidence in the investigation],” McSpadden told Cooper. “But hearing the words come from his mouth, face to face, he made me feel like one day I will — and I’m not saying today or yesterday but one day — they’ll regain my trust.”

You can watch both parts of Cooper’s interview below:

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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Thomas Johnson · August 22, 2014