Murder victim's mother loses Detroit lawsuit over Facebook post

Image 1 of 2

A Detroit mother continues her desperate fight for justice after her missing son was found dead in a Detroit sewer. She's just one of several activists in Detroit who say their voices aren't being heard, and that their civil rights are being ignored. 

A group gathered Tuesday outside the Spirit of Detroit to demand answers in support of Brenda Burton, whose 19-year-old son O'Sean Locket went missing in July of 2015. His body was found two months later in a Detroit sewer - by Brenda - after a city employee posted about it on Facebook.

"My son's aunt's best friend was drinking her coffee on Facebook," said Brenda Burton, Lockett's mother. "And [saw] that a gentleman that works for Water Board Department had posted on Facebook, 'How ironic is it I went to work today, I found a body floating in the sewer?'"

Burton says she then went to the scene but police and DWSD employees were already gone, when she says she spotted her son's body under a manhole cover.

"We lifted the top off the sewer and it wasn't even all the way on," Burton said. "And there's my son's body, as white as snow, at the top of the sewer." Lockett was shot four times in the head.

"Here is a parent who lost her son," said Rev. W.J.  Rideout at the rally Tuesday. 'What are you going to do about this, City of Detroit?"

Burton since sued the city and that employee calling the Facebook post reckless, but Burton lost the lawsuit.

| MORE: Missing Osean Lockett found dead in sewer
| A mother's outrage: Man accused of son's murder takes plea deal, gets 2 years in jail

"We believe that we met that hardened burden of gross negligence - or at the minimum recklessness - in this particular instance," said attorney Vanessa Fluker. "And we also sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress."

The Michigan Court of Appeals denied her request to reinstate the lawsuit, saying the post may have been "thoughtless" but it wasn't "utterly intolerable in a civilized society." Burton's attorney filed another appeal last week.

"Now no one wants to be responsible for what I call dropping the ball," said Burton.

FOX 2 reached out to the city's Water and Sewerage Department but has not received a comment yet. Detroit police were also unable to comment much further, saying they can't comment on pending litigation.

And that's not good enough for the folks who protested Tuesday, calling for the city and the police department to investigate.

"I am calling on them to look into this matter," said Rideout. "To find out which officers dropped the ball. Find out which police officers didn't do their job that day."

"Produce the records from that day and then I want it to be taken care of," Burton said. "I want justice."