Sybrina Fulton, whose son Trayvon Martin was shot by a neighbourhood watch volunteer, has written a letter offering her "heartfelt support" to the family of Michael Brown after he was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.
Fulton's 17-year-old son was shot by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012. In her letter to Brown's family, Fulton expresses her wish that "all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours", following the teenager's death in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of a police officer.
Published in Time magazine, the letter also warned the family that people will attempt a "character assassination" against the teenager which will "continue long after you have had the chance to lay your son to rest".
Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter after shooting the unarmed black teenager Martin due to Florida's "stand your ground" law.
Highlighting the comparisons in the two cases, Fulton tells Brown's family that:
No one will ever convince me that my son deserved to be stalked and murdered [and] no one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed".
The letter was published following days of protests and disorder in the town of Ferguson in the wake of Brown's killing.
Fulton wrote: "I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don't. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can't. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won't.
"What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.
"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. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young.
"But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live."
She added: "Facts, myths, and flat out lies are already out there in Michael's case. Theories, regardless of how ridiculous, are being pondered by the pundits. My advice is to surround yourselves with proven and trusted support. Through it all, I never let go of my faith, my family, or my friends.
"Long after the overwhelming media attention is gone, you will need those three entities to find your 'new normal.' Honour 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. No one can convince you that Michael deserved to be executed."
Fulton concludes the letter by reassuring the family that neither Martin's nor Brown's life's "shall be in vein".
"We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fights for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light," she said.
"I would hate to think that our lawmakers and leaders would need to lose a child before protecting the rest of them and making the necessary changes NOW."