ORLANDO, Fla. – A mother whose son was shot and killed by Orlando police after a short pursuit in 2013 had tough words for the department on Monday night.
Jacqueline Spencer attended "Orlando Speaks," a meeting designed to increase the community's understanding of how police officers do their job and to strengthen relationships.
"My name is Jacqueline, and I lost my son at the age of 21 by the hands of Orlando PD," she told the room, which was full of officers and Orlando residents.
"Profiling is real," she said. "I would like to say that. Profiling is real."
Marquis Spencer was shot near the intersection of Kirkman Road and Raleigh on May 3, 2013.
Orlando police said they tried to stop the car driven by Spencer's son, but they said he would not stop his car.
At the time, police said they thought he was reaching for a gun, and they opened fire, killing him.
On Monday night, Spencer's mother sat at a table with an Orlando police officer and two other Orlando residents, talking about how they felt and ways to heal.
Jacqueline Spencer's decision to attend the meeting came just weeks after another officer-involved shooting in the parking lot of Colonial Plaza, which involved another unarmed man.
She said the incidents concern her.
"I’m very concerned because it’s like, we’re going to shoot first and ask questions later," she said. "But again, that child is not going home to his mother, but the officer is going home as if it’s OK, and it’s not OK."
Spencer said she attended the meeting with the intent to expose what she and her family went through.
She said she walked away feeling accomplished and loved.
"I found a lot of love in this room," she said. "I found a lot of compassion. I found a lot of officers -- they have pain, too, just like we do."