- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin, has penned an open letter to the mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot to death by a police officer during an altercation more than a week ago.

“I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence,” Miss Fulton wrote to Lesley McSpadden in a letter published Sunday by Time magazine.

“Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger,” she wrote.

Miss McSpadden’s son, 18-year-old Michael Brown, was walking with friend Dorian Johnson on Aug. 9 when they were stopped by Officer Darren Wilson for jaywalking. The teen’s death is still under investigation, police said an altercation ensued between Brown and Officer Wilson that left the officer with a swollen face.

Mr. Johnson and others have said that it was a case of racial profiling and police police brutality, the New York Times reported. Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot at least six times, including twice in the head, according to autopsy reports.

The death has sparked violent unrest in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb. After two days under a curfew, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered National Guard troops into the area Monday night to help quell the chaos. More than 30 people were arrested in clashes Monday night.

“Many will express their sympathies and encourage you to keep fighting for Michael,” Miss Fulton wrote. “You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have. This will incense and insult you. All of this will happen before and continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest. I know this because I lived and continue to live this.

Miss Fulton’s son, Trayvon, 17, was also unarmed when he was followed and fatally shot in Sanford, Florida, in 2012 by a neighborhood watch coordinator. She co-founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation, which provides support and advocacy for families impacted by gun violence. 

“I have always said that Trayvon was not perfect. But no one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered,” Miss Fulton continued. “No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed. But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain. The galvanizations of our communities must be continued beyond the tragedies.

“While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy,” she wrote. “If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us. Some will mistake that last statement as being negatively provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light. I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW…”