In an emotional showing of camaraderie, the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Sean Bell came together for one interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.
The mothers have one tragic thing in common — each of their sons were gunned down in circumstances that lead to public outrage and a national outcry for reform in our justice system.
Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown — the 18-year old African American male who was fatally shot by Ferguson, MO. police on Aug. 9 — arrived somberly to the interview to immediately be embraced by Sabrina Fulton and Valerie Bell.
Bell, the mother of Sean Bell who was also fatally shot in 2006 by New York City policemen shortly before his wedding, has only encouraging words for McSpadden, “Keep the memories in your heart. That’s going to help you keep carrying on with your son. Believing in and having faith in God, that’s also going to help you,” she says. “It’s okay to cry and scream — I still do after 8 years — but you got this.”
Fulton, whose son Trayvon made national headlines last year when he was gunned down by George Zimmerman under Florida’s “Hold Your Ground Law,” tells McSpadden to remember the happy memories. “You have to focus on when he was smiling. You have to focus on his first day of school. You have to focus on Christmas Day. You have to focus on the happier times. Put a picture up of when he was happy and you have to focus on those. Just don’t focus on the death because that’s going to eat away at you.”
When asked about character assassination in light of footage showing Michael Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store moments before his death, McSpadden is speechless. Fulton steps in to answer for her, “People that don’t even know her son are going to say negative things about him just to portray him in a different light — in a negative light — just to try and justify what happened.”
Lemon asks if that’s the worst part of losing her son, to hear what negative things people are saying about her son. McSpadden simply shakes her head.
“The hardest part for her is going to be the home-going service. As I have said, that is the absolutely worst day of her life as a mother,” Fulton explains. “There are no words that can bring comfort to her as a mother seeing her son in a casket.”
McSpadden spends most of the interview drying tears from her eyes and being comforted by the two other mothers who have had more time to adjust to life without their sons.
McSpadden, who buried her son Monday (Aug. 25), was grateful for the kind words from both mothers, “[They’re] speaking to me from experience. They offer me something right now but I can’t tell you what it is — but it’s something. Something is more than nothing.”
Though all parties are emotional during the interview, it is a comfort to see these women come together when the country stands divided and heartbroken over the death of their sons.