Cries of “Black Lives Matter” echoed around Democratic National Convention hall Tuesday as the Philadelphia crowd welcomed the “Mothers of the Movement,” a group of seven black women whose children were killed as a result of police brutality or vigilante justice.
“I am voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a leader and a mother who will sing our children’s names,” said Geneva Reed-Veal, whose daughter, Sandra Bland, was found hanged in her jail cell following an arrest at a traffic stop.
“What a blessing to be here tonight, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama. And what a blessing it is for all of us that we have the opportunity — if we seize it — to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change.”
Joining Reed-Veal to speak were Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis who was shot at a gas station following an altercation over loud music, and Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin.
“Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say that Black Lives Matter,” said McBath, before adding that “the majority of police officers are good people doing a good job — and we won’t let the bad apples take away from that.”
Fulton added that Clinton “has the compassion to comfort a grieving mother. She has the courage to lead the fight for common sense gun legislation. And she has a plan to repair the divide that so often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
Also on stage was Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton; Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown; and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, mother of Hadiya Pendleton.
The inclusion of the "Mothers of the Movement” on the DNC speakers list was initially met with pushback in the form of an official statement from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, which decried the lack of police officers on the list.
The roster was since amended to include Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former NYPD police officer Joe Sweeney.
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