In an interview with Al Jazeera America, the mother of Michael Brown has condemned the recent comments of Darren Wilson, the former police officer who killed her son last year in Ferguson, Mo.
“He’s evil,” Lesley McSpadden told Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris.
McSpadden’s comments came after the New Yorker published a lengthy profile of Wilson as the anniversary of Brown’s Aug. 9 killing approaches. In the profile, author Jake Halpern detailed Wilson’s “very quiet life” after Brown’s death and the subsequent protests that roiled Ferguson on-and-off for months: a life on “a nondescript dead-end street on the outskirts of St. Louis” filled with fears of death threats, dim prospects of a future in law enforcement and limited reflection on the man he killed.
“Do I think about who he was as a person?” Wilson told Halpern. “Not really, because it doesn’t matter at this point. Do I think he had the best upbringing? No. Not at all.”
In the Al Jazeera interview, McSpadden reacted with quiet anger when Wilson’s comments about her son were read by Harris.
“His acts were devilish,” McSpadden said, “and we definitely know he didn’t have the right upbringing, because those are words that you just don’t use, especially after you took somebody’s life and you know you had no reason to. You had no reason to do that.”
McSpadden, it should be noted, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wilson, the city of Ferguson and former police chief Thomas Jackson. Wilson, who has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in Brown’s death, pointed this out in the New Yorker piece: “You do realize that his parents are suing me?” he asked author Halpern.
“The bottom line is simply this … Officer Darren Wilson did not have to use this deadly force on that Saturday afternoon,” Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family, said in April. “We do not believe, based on the forensic evidence and the narrative given, that Michael Brown should have been killed.”
McSpadden, meanwhile, said that Wilson’s words meant “nothing.” In a partial transcription of the interviewed e-mailed to The Washington Post by Al Jazeera America, she described a Michael Brown different from the young man who was seen stealing cigarillos at a bodega in a widely viewed surveillance video.
“Michael was definitely a leader,” she said. “He was a big brother, so he was a protector. He was the first grandson, so he was a provider to elderly people that needed help across the street, bringing in their groceries, very respectable. He also was a first nephew for his aunts and uncle, so any kids that they had, he was like the big brother role model. He was the role model.”
Harris asked whether McSpadden had forgiven Wilson.
“Never,” she said.