This post was originally published on Defender Network
By Aswad Walker
Most people can’t fathom the pain RowVaughn Wells is currently going through in the wake of the gruesome murder of her son Tyre Nichols. However, far too many people are all too familiar; namely, the mothers of other victims of police violence.
Here’s what they had to say about dealing with the loss of their child, and Black youth, in general.
“My heart is hurting. It’s like a piece of my heart was taken from me on April 27, 2022. It happened on a Wednesday roughly around 2:45 p.m. Jalen (Randle) was shot and killed by Officer Shane Privett. We are still waiting on justice.”
-Tiffany Rachel, mother of Jalen Randle (29) – April 27, 2022
“You may not understand the pain that a mother endures when she loses a child, particularly a child who was unarmed and innocent yet was murdered by police. For me, it felt like I went into labor all over again. There is an emptiness in your stomach where you secured that child for nine months… If these tears do not shake America, the tears that we shed as mothers will be the tears that break America.”
-Allison Jean, mother of Botham Jean (26) – Sept. 6, 2018.
“Ahmaud didn’t deserve that. No human being deserves that… When there’s a new victim of police brutality or hate crime, it makes me angry – angry that another family has to go through what I’ve gone through.”
-Wanda Cooper Jones, mother of Ahmaud Abrey (25) – Feb. 23, 2020
“I don’t think I ever really understood my position in this fight prior to what happened to my daughter. Of course, I always had opinions and I always was worried about what was happening to the Black community, but I have Black daughters, and sometimes I think that we don’t think that it can happen to them. People don’t hear these stories about these Black women. But I’m now learning that I have a higher position in this fight and, and whatever I have to do to remain in it is what I’m going to do, because it should never happen to another Black daughter, another Black person, period.”
-Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor (26) – March 13, 2020
“I don’t want any mother to listen to what people have to say about the way you should heal and the amount of time it should take for you to heal. Don’t feel any pressure from anybody that you should forget, that you should heal, that you should be happy… I still cry eight years later and I don’t apologize for crying. Those are my tears. That was my son. You have to know that you have to allow yourself to be sad on that day. And then you have to allow yourself to know that a brighter day is coming.”
-Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin (17) – Feb. 26, 2012
“Being a Black mother in America is stressful. I’m nervous and scared all the time. What America had done by killing our children, a lot of us walk around angry. I have taken my anger and created something positive… Tamir is in high demand and I’m his voice, so that keeps me really busy in wanting to give back to the community with his foundation.”
-Samaira Rice, mother of Tamir Rice (12) – Nov. 22, 2014
“After my son was murdered I had to take a stand. I’m the only one who could tell his truth and my truth. I have to tell the world who my child really was.”
-Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner (27) – July 17, 2014