Michael Brown's mother announces run for Ferguson city council

The mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, four years ago, said Friday that she is running for city council in the St. Louis suburb.

Lezley McSpadden announced her candidacy along Canfield Drive, near the exact spot where her son, who was black, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white police officer.

"Almost four years ago to this day, I ran down this very street, and my son was covered in a sheet," McSpadden said, fighting back tears. "I learned to walk again, and this is one of my first steps."

McSpadden said she plans to focus on three issues: community policing, economic equality and access to health care for Ferguson's young children.

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FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 08: Demonstrators march to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. Brown's death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 08: Demonstrators march to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. Brown's death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 08: Demonstrators march from the location where Michael Brown was shot and killed to Normandy High School where he was a student to mark the first anniversary of his death on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 08: Michael Browns Sr. touches a sign which honors his son, Michael Brown Jr., during a march from the location where Brown Jr. was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri to Normandy High Schoo,l where he was a student, to mark the first anniversary of his death on August 8, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 08: Demonstrators march from the location where Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed to Normandy High School where he was a student on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators march during a solidarity march on August 8, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. As the embattled community celebrates the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, there are a wide range of social events and civil disobedience actions throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Brown Sr., father of slain 18 year-old Michael Brown Jr., takes stuffed animals to a makeshift memorial prior to a march of solidarity in Canfield Apartments on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. As the embattled community celebrates the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, there are a wide range of social events and civil disobedience actions throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 08: Demonstrators march from the location where Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed to Normandy High School where he was a student on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. His death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police officers watch as demonstrators march during a march of solidarity on August 8, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. As the embattled community celebrates the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, there are a wide range of social events and civil disobedience actions throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Brown Sr., father of slain 18 year-old Michael Brown Jr., takes stuffed animals to a makeshift memorial prior to a march of solidarity in Canfield Apartments on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. As the embattled community celebrates the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, there are a wide range of social events and civil disobedience actions throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
Michael Brown, Sr.(R) father of slain 18 -year old Michael Brown Jr. speaks to the media prior to a march of solidarity at Canfield Apartments on August 8, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. As the embattled community celebrates the one- year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. by a Ferguson police officer, there are a wide range of social events and civil disobedience actions throughout the St. Louis, Missouri area. AFP PHOTO / MICHAEL B. THOMAS (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 07: A demonstrator holds American flags upside down as they protest in front of the police station to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown on August 7, 2015 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on August 9, 2014. Brown's death sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and drew nationwide focus on police treatment of black offenders. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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She said she anticipated that some people might ask why she was qualified to seek elected office.

In response, she said: "If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do?

"You would stand up and you would fight, too."

She was joined on Friday by friends and family, as well as Benjamin Crump, the prominent civil rights attorney who represents the Brown family. He led chants of "Run, Lezley, run!"

Crump said McSpadden's political bid was a way to "transform the pain to power."

McSpadden is also calling on Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to reopen the investigation into Brown's killing. More than 15,000 people have signed an online petition as of this writing.

The announcement comes just three days after Bob McCulloch, the seven-term prosecuting attorney in St. Louis County who handled the Brown investigation, lost a primary challenge to a black Ferguson councilman.

Wesley Bell, an attorney and former municipal judge and prosecutor, defeated McCulloch in the Democratic primary. Bell is all but certain to win in November as no Republicans were on the ballot.

Brown's death sparked protests and clashes with police in Ferguson. It also intensified a national debate on race and policing.

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