Trayvon Martin family attorney to represent slain Missouri teen
Tammie Fields, WTSP 12:14 p.m. EDT August 11, 2014
St. Petersburg, Florida - Michael Brown's family has hired the same Florida civil rights attorney who currently represents Trayvon Martin's family.
Brown,18, died Saturday after being shot multiple times by a suburban St. Louis police officer. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says it all began when Brown physically assaulted the police officer, pushing him into the officer's vehicle. He said there was a struggle inside the car, and at some point Brown reached for the officer's weapon. One shot was fired inside the vehicle.
Brown suffered fatal gunshot wounds outside of the vehicle, approximately 35 feet from the car. Belmar said multiple shell casings were found at the scene, and that Brown was shot more than once, but an exact number of shots fired has not yet been determined. All the shell casings came from the officer's weapon.
Belmar confirmed Brown was unarmed at the time of the shooting. He did not say what led to the struggle inside the officer's car.
Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, said Sunday she doesn't understand why police didn't subdue her son with a club or Taser. She said police have not explained why the officer confronted him.
"I would like to see him fired," McSpadden said. "I would like to see him go to jail with the death penalty."
"My son just turned 18 and graduated from high school, and he don't bother nobody," she said Saturday night. She said he was looking forward to starting at Vatterott College next week.
"They told me how many times my son was shot. Eight," McSpadden said.
She said he was visiting his grandmother, who lives in the complex, and was returning from the store.
The St. Louis County NAACP has called for an FBI investigation and Belmar has contacted the FBI.
Meanwhile Tallahassee civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and Brown's family are set to take part in a news conference Monday afternoon at a church in Jennings, Missouri where Crump will address the media.
Crump continues to represent Trayvon Martin's parents after their unarmed 17-year-old son was fatally shot on February 26th, 2012 as he walked from a convenience store to his father's Sanford condo during a visit from Miami.
Martin's parents accused Sanford police of botching the investigation and criticized them for not arresting 28-year-old George Zimmerman, who says he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.
Zimmerman was eventually arrested and went to trial but was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in July of 2013.