On Tuesday, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden addressed the United Nations Committee against Torture, in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a delegation of human rights advocates, in an attempt to raise awareness about the death of their son Michael Brown.
Although he was unarmed, Michael Brown (18) was shot and killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson (28), during a confrontation on August 9, which sparked riots that were met with a militarized police force in the town of Ferguson, Missouri.
According to CNN, the teenager’s parents reached out to the U.N. Committee against Torture, which “works against cruel or degrading treatment or punishment by government authorities,” because they want the world to know “what’s going on in Ferguson.”
“We need answers and we need action,” said McSpadden. “We have to bring it to the U.N. so they can expose it to the rest of the world, what’s going on in small town Ferguson.”
Michael Brown Sr. said they hoped to offer an outlook “on what’s going on in the United States and all over the world with the police, police brutality, no justice.”
Regarding their trip to Geneva, McSpadden said that it had been a “great experience.”
“We’ve been received very well,” said McSpadden. “They’ve given us a lot of love and support since we’ve been here. Everything seems to be positive.”
As the grand jury determines its verdict on whether Wilson will be indicted on murder charges for Brown’s death, Ferguson residents prepare for the worst.
ABC News reported that Metro Shooting Supplies, a store in a town near Ferguson, “has been selling between 30 and 50 guns daily,” for the last three weeks, which is a “nearly 300 percent increase” over regular sales of 10 to 15 guns per day.
According to the Huffington Post, while Brown’s parents are saying “Wilson got away with murder,” and they are calling “for his immediate arrest,” they are also asking Ferguson residents to “pause, plan and prepare” in response to the grand jury decision, rather than acting out impulsively.
“We don’t want anyone acting irrational or acting before thinking,” said McSpadden, who went on to say that those actions wouldn’t serve a purpose. “We’re trying to get a message across,” McSpadden explained.
USA Today reported that Brown Sr. and McSpadden believe that if Wilson is indicted, it will “send a message around the world that police must change their tactics.”
“We are praying for an indictment,” said McSpadden. “To me that would mean that the police did do their investigation fairly and it was unbiased.”
When asked about life after the death of their son, Brown Sr. told CNN that he and his wife are staying strong.
“It’s a situation where I’m surprised we haven’t even lost our mind yet,” said Brown Sr. “But we’re being strong. Hopefully, justice will prevail.”