The mother of Trayvon Martin reached out to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, in an open letter published Monday.
“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 … But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son,” Fulton wrote in the letter, which was published at Time. “A son that barely had a chance to live.”
Fulton drew on her own experience in the spotlight after her teenage son was shot by George Zimmerman in 2012 to advise the Brown family on how to manage the intense and immediate media focus on their case.
“You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have,” she wrote. “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.”
Last week, Ferguson police released a report that named the 18-year-old Brown as the primary suspect in an alleged robbery that occurred at the time of the shooting. An anonymous leaker also told the Washington Post on Monday that a state autopsy showed Brown had marijuana in his system when he was shot.
But Fulton further advised the Brown family to “honor your son and his life, not the circumstances of his alleged transgressions.”
“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,” she wrote. “No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed.”
Read the whole thing here.