Ten mothers who belong to a club no mother wants to be a member of took their stories of heartbreak to Washington DC yesterday.
They demanded more accountability from police officers and police departments around the country.
They stood in front of lawmakers and cameras and shared the agony of losing their unarmed sons to altercations with police.
“He ran away. He was not under arrest. He had every right to leave whenever he wanted and that officer chased him down like an animal like he was a casualty of war. And after shooting himself in the foot my son tripped and fell. And he was yelling “I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything.” And when he fell the officer stood over him and shot him center mass. And his last words he said why did you shoot me? And today I’m here to talk to you and demand justice for my Alan and demand justice for us all.”
That was Jeralynn Blueford.
She founded the Justice4AlanBlueford Coalition in 2012 after her 18-year old son Alan was shot and killed by police in East Oakland.
Blueford and seven of those mothers joined me on CNN last night.
She told me that she will always live in pain.
“The pain will never go away Don. It is a pain that is so deep and burns so fierce, to have something that you love so much ripped away from you and stolen. I’ll never get to see his children. Alan was two weeks away from graduation. He was so proud that he accomplished that. And he didn’t even get a chance to walk across the stage. My husband and I accepted his high school diploma on his behalf. And every day I wake up with the heartache.”
It is a heartache many of them have been dealing with for years along with the feeling that no one cares.
“It’s tragedy because no one is trying to hear us. We have been out her fighting for our sons, being our son’s voice and no one is listening. And we have young boys being killed time and time again and nothing is being done.”
They say every time it happens, like Ferguson or Staten Island, they relive their son’s death all over again.
They say they want transparency in police involved shootings, civilian review boards to investigate officers, a change in existing laws that provide legal loopholes for officers who kill unarmed men.
They also want a review of federal programs which supply local police departments with military gear.
Yesterday they met with members of congress and The Department of Justice.
Today they are scheduled to meet with members of the Obama Administration.
Finally their voices are being heard.
Surely something positive is bound to come of their efforts because, as we all know, there is nothing fiercer than a mother fighting for her children!