Last night, Anderson Cooper sat down with the mothers of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown for an interview to discuss a myriad of topics, most importantly, how big a role they believed race played in the deaths of their sons, all of whom were killed by law enforcement with the exception of Martin–Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was a neighborhood watch coordinator.
Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, had this to say about the role of race in her son’s death, which occurred in 2012.
I think absolutely my son’s race and the color of his skin had a lot to do with why he was shot and killed. In all of these cases, these victims were unarmed. These victims were African-American. That needs to be our conversation.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, had this to say about her son’s death. Her son, Eric Garner, was physically taken down by police in a chokehold after they accused him of selling illegal cigarettes in Staten Island. Medical examiners determined that it was the chokehold that resulted in the heart attack that killed Garner.
If Eric Garner was a white man in Suffolk County doing the same thing that he was doing — even if he would have been caught selling cigarettes that day — they would have given him a summons and he wouldn’t have lost his life that day. I believe that 100 percent.
You can watch a clip of the interview above, and read the full story here.