“Mothers of the Movement:” Maria Hamilton takes stage at DNC with those who lost children to violence

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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- A group of mothers who lost children to violence drew applause and chants of "black lives matter" at the Democratic National Convention -- and the group included Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot and killed by former Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney in Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee in April 2014.

Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland described watching her daughter being "lowered into the ground in a coffin" at the Democratic National Convention.

It was a powerful moment in the DNC program, and came as other speakers, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, focused on the need for policing reforms.

Flanked by fellow mothers in the nine-woman "Mothers of the Movement" -- whose unarmed African-American children have been killed by law enforcement or due to gun violence -- spoke Tuesday night, making their case for Hillary Clinton as a reformer.

"She was my fourth of five daughters, and she was gone," Reed-Veal said of her daughter, who was found dead in a jail cell after being arrested for a minor traffic violation.

"No, no -- not on administrative leave, but on permanent leave from this earth," she said. "Found hanging in a jail cell after an unlawful traffic stop and an unlawful arrest."

She added that "six other women have died in custody that same month," and listed the names of those women.

Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, who was 17 when he was shot and killed in a car after arguing with a man about the volume of his music, said she wants to see Clinton elected and police reforms enacted "so that this group of heartbroken mothers stops growing."

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, called herself an "unwilling participant in this movement."

"I would not have signed up for this," she said. "I'm here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who's in heaven."

She touted Clinton's support for gun reforms and plans to bridge gaps between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

"This isn't about being politically correct," she said. "This is about saving our children. That's why we're here, tonight, with Hillary Clinton."

The group has been among Clinton's top surrogates and supporters. The former secretary of state has met personally with the group and its individual members.

Earlier in the day, McBath praised Clinton's commitment to the cause.

"She's been dealing with these kind of systematic issues all along, so her records speak for itself. So she didn't just join the game. She's been doing the work already. She's been in the trenches, so she understands dynamically the way to move forward to be able to change this," she said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day."

The 17-year-old Davis was killed after Michael Dunn shot into an SUV that held Davis and his friends at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station following an argument over loud music from the teens' vehicle.

The "Mothers of the Movement" also includes the mothers of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and other men and women who died due to gun violence, while in police custody or as a result of police actions.

Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, said Clinton was the first presidential candidate to reach out to the mothers of these victims. Garner died following a chokehold from police attempting to arrest him for allegedly illegally selling cigarettes.

"She was the first candidate that ever reached out to these mothers," Carr told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "She was genuinely concerned about our pain and about what we were going through."

Carr said the former secretary of state met privately with about a dozen mothers who have lost their children to gun violence.

"She listened to our stories," Carr said. "She listens with compassion. She took notes, not her cabinet, not her press people. She didn't even have press with her."

Carr said Clinton understands that community policing is one of the solutions to problems and tensions between African-American communities and law enforcement.

"You should always know the people you are policing. If you form a relationship, there would be less violence," she said. "We have to get more respect, more consciousness in the neighborhood."


  • I have no job..blm

    Black on black crime bad..white on black..let’s protest. Cops on black crime..let’s protest. White on black..let’s protest

  • Opinion8d

    How absolutely pathetic. There are people out there how are dealing with real injustices, and we are glorifying parents that failed at teaching their kids basic respect and how to live in a law and order society. This isn’t about blacks, or whites, it’s about the social contract in America that respects that laws and understands the process involved with it all. Without it, anarchy and chaos would reign. They are not asking for fair treatment -but simply SPECIAL treatment/application of the law -one for ratchet blacks and the other for law abiding citizens! The tragic part of this is there are families out there that do need help, but are too proud or don’t have the ‘connections’ to get help. Kids who overcome the odds or are teetering on the edge….and instead of being helped forward by their own community, are often pushed back down for wanting to get an education and be someone in life.

  • Jim Smith

    Your son was a thug that YOU failed to get help for. You son attempted to take the officer’s weapon from him and got shot as a result.
    The officer lost his job because it was politically expeident for the police chief and the mayor.
    The msm criticized the republicans because they had the mother of a Benghazi victim on stage who died in the service of their country, but put the mothers of a bunch of thugs on stage and we hear….crickets.
    If Hillary gets in office it will ove

  • Klaatu

    The liberal agenda at it’s finest………..continue the anti cop sentiment. This will appeal to the minorities who feel they should be able to do what they want without consequence….keep pimping for votes Hillary, you criminal witch.

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