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Justice Department Concludes Racially Biased Practices Prevalent Within Ferguson Police Dept.

Source: Michael B. Thomas / Getty 

On August 9, 2014, Lezley McSpadden’s world was shattered when Michael Brown, her oldest son, was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Through it all—questionable proceedings, an unfathomable outcome, rebellions and a stinging Department of Justice report on Ferguson’s police department and courts McSpadden has largely remained quiet. Until now.

In Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown (Regan Arts, $26.95), McSpadden (with coauthor Lyah Beth LeFlore) opens her soul, revealing a mother’s dreams for her family and the nightmare of losing a child to violence. Here, in an ESSENCE exclusive, McSpadden explains why it was time for her to speak now.

First off, I don’t tell lies, because I can’t keep up with them. My grandmother always said, “Don’t lie. Tell the truth and shame the devil.” She considered a lie a curse word and would be like, “Believe what you see and none of what you heard.” Your word is what you still got when you don’t have any money. That’s why if I give you my word, say I’m going to do something or tell you I got you, then I’m ten toes down. Anybody who knows me for real knows that. Feel me?

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