Family members of the victims of police brutality spoke during an intimate dialog at the annual National Action Network convention
The NAN national convention took place April 8 through April 11 at Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. The annual convention is sponsored by Reverend Al Sharpton and The National Action Network (NAN). Sharpton critics where protesting across the street from the hotel while supporters attended panels in large numbers throughout the week.
Among the many panelists were the family members of those who have been assassinated by the hands of police throughout the years. During the panel moderated by Youth Move entitled “The Impact of Police Brutality: The Victims Speak”, the public had the opportunity to hear the voices of Delores Bell sister of Sean Bell, Laura Diallo Brown sister of Amadou Diallo, and the daughter and wife of Eric Garner.
Hearing the testament of the families brought tears to eyes as the siblings of those lost struggled to keep their composure. The parents of Sean Bell were present as his sister tried to hold it together, being that this was her first time speaking publicly since the trial. Both sisters agreed that the solution for stopping these tragedies from continuing starts at home, where parents must educate their children on how to react toward authorities when approached. Another point made was the need for regular training for police on how to treat the community. Delores Bell stated,
Police need to grow, and we are all human.”
David Mims NAN Youth Huddle counselor and brutaility victim, along with the Moderator made a point that police are afraid to report police corruption. We must find a solution to bridge the gap between police and civilians. Mims suggested to protest together with police stating “all lives matter”, even police.
Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner, was not a scheduled panelist but she did speak briefly addressing how they raised their children; they didn’t want them to be statistics and required at least a High School diploma. Thier son is attending college on a full basketball scholarship with a 3.8 average in Newark.
Its all about how you parent they are a reflection of you.”
Diallo’s sister made a point to say the media does slander the character of their deceased loved ones, and that he was not a street peddler without ambition. He came to America and spoke 5 languages to follow his dreams. There’s a scholarship for African descendants set up in his honor, along with a outreach program in memory of Eric Garner being set up with the help of NAN.
Moderator Reverend Kevin McCall closed by giving tips on how to deal with police; Have I.D., ask for your attorney to be present, don’t run, be respectful, and change the system of police policing themselves. We must educate ourselves on police policy. Lastly police in our community should reside in the local community they patrol not outside so respect levels can rise. The question and answer phase was brief, but a point was made that a human rights violation claim should be presented at a high level at the United Nations to address Police Brutality on an international scale.