'Black Lives Matter' Chant Erupts as 9 Moms Who Lost Children to Police and Gun Violence Speak at DNC
It was a powerful moment at the DNC as 9 mothers who lost children in police shootings and other violent acts spoke out before eventually throwing their support behind Hillary Clinton.
The “Mothers of Movement” addressed the convention to discuss the deaths of their children and endorse the former secretary of state.
As they took the stage, the crowd began to chant: “Black lives matter!”
The mothers held back tears as they spoke about the deaths of black men and women at the hands of law enforcement as race relations have become a national debate.
Most of the mothers wore black and all had giant red carnations on their right lapels to honor their kids.
"So many of our children gone but not forgotten,” Geneva Reed-Veal, whose daughter Sandra Bland, died in jail after being pulled over last year. “I'm here with Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will say our children's names. Hillary knows that when a young black life is cut short, it's not just a personal loss. It is a national loss. It is a loss that diminishes all of us.”
Lucia McBath, whose teenage son Jordan Davis was killed in Florida in 2012, said: “I am still Jordan Davis' mother. His life ended the day he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn't.”
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012, said she “didn’t want this spotlight” but praised Clinton’s efforts on gun control.
Fulton was joined by Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who was shot by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. Wilson was not charged in Brown's death and says he acted in self-defence when he feared for his safety in the August 2014 incident.
Other mothers gracing the stage in Philadelphia included the following:
Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died after he was put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in Staten Island.
Maria Hamilton, the mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot by police in 2014 in Milwaukee.
Annette Nance-Holt, the mother of Blair Holt, who died on a Chicago bus in 2007 while trying to protect a friend from gang-related gunfire.
Wanda Jackson, the mother of Oscar Grant, who was gunned down by a Bay Area Rapid Transit Officer on New Year’s Day in 2009 – his story was depicted in the film, Fruitvale Station.