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Michael Brown's Family Got Into A Huge Brawl Over Memorial T-Shirt Sales

The brawl happened on Oct. 18 just a few blocks from where Brown was killed. It involved Brown's mother and paternal grandmother, as well as dozens of others.

Posted on November 6, 2014, at 11:38 p.m. ET

The Washington Post/The Washington Post / Getty Images

Michael Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden at his funeral on Aug. 25.

On Oct. 18, Michael Brown's paternal grandmother, Pearlie Gordon, was selling T-shirts in Ferguson.

Gordon — who is the mother-in-law of Michael Brown's father — was selling the shirts with two men, according to a police report posted by The Smoking Gun. The trio had set up a tent in the parking lot of Red's BBQ on the corner of W. Florissant and Canfield Dr., just down the street from where Brown was killed on Aug. 9.

The T-shirts had the words "Justice for Mike Brown" printed on them.

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A Google Street View image of the parking lot where Gordon was selling the shirts.

As Gordon and the others were selling the shirts, 20-30 people showed up and "jumped out of their vehicles and rushed them," the police report states.

A witness later told police she saw the people entering the tent and "assaulting (punching) the vendors," the report reveals. The witness shot video of the incident but has not turned it over to police.

Jim Dalrymple II

A man sells a different "Don't Shoot" shirt on Aug. 20.

Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, was among the group and yelled, "you can't sell this shit."

The police report states that Gordon responded by saying "she was Michael Brown Sr.'s mother-in-law and unless McSpadden could produce documentation stating she had a patent on her son's name" the sales would continue.

McSpadden's mother, Desureia Harris, is then quoted in the report as saying "you don't know my grandson like that. I'm gonna tear this shit down."

A brawl apparently ensued. According to the report, McSpadden and others punched Gordon, as well as the two men who were also selling the shirts. One of the men was taken to the hospital as a result of his injuries. The group then fled.

Gordon told police the group ultimately tore her booth apart and knocked her down. Before fleeing, people also grabbed a suitcase with $400 inside, as well as $1,500 worth of shirts and afghans, the police report states.

McSpadden's attorney Lynne Perkins did not immediately return calls from BuzzFeed News, but told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "my client denies she assaulted anyone." News of the incident has only just come out because, at McSpadden's request, police did not originally release information to the media. A Fox 2 News reporter later obtained the police report.

Jim Dalrymple II

A woman with a "Don't Shoot" bandana at Michael Brown's funeral on Aug. 25.

The police report does not make clear why the shirts were being sold, or offer additional details on the alleged attackers intentions.

BuzzFeed News reached out Wednesday to the various parties involved seeking clarification on what happened, but did not immediately hear back.

However, Michael Brown-themed shirt sales have been common on W. Florissant since the most intense days of the protests in August. The shirts have various origins and purposes; during conversations with BuzzFeed News in August, some people said they were trying to make money and others were trying to raise funds for charity. Many of the vendors were local, but some also said they came from out of town.

Jim Dalrymple II

A man sells a "Don't Shoot" shirt on W. Florissant on Aug. 21.

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