LaTonya Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, said at a press conference recently, “When Floyd said “I can’t breathe” and called for his mother, he was calling for all of us mothers. All of us!”
Mothers and spouses and relatives of loved ones lost to police violence have heard his call. “MN Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence,” “Justice Squad,” and other groupings of families and anti-police violence organizations around the country have come together under the umbrella of “Take A Knee Nation.” They are responding to Floyd’s call by inviting families who have experienced loss as a result of police violence to join a National Mothers March and weekend in Minneapolis/St. Paul on July 11-12.
The march will raise a few demands including: prosecution and conviction of the police who killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks, an end to police violence and the system of policing as we know it and that all cases involving police violence be reopened and the police involved be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The weekend will start on Saturday in Minneapolis with a series of workshops for the families and spouses and relatives who have lost a loved one to police violence. The workshops include: “Dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one to police violence,” “DO’s and DON’Ts of organizing for families,” and “How do I tell my story?”
Following the workshops will be a convening of the families who have lost loved ones to police violence, giving them the opportunity to support one another in their advocacy for justice for their loved ones, share one another’s grief, organize and unite as one voice.
On Sunday, July 12 the weekend will culminate with the National Mothers March Against Police Violence starting at 12 noon. Mothers are calling on all Twin Citians, and especially mothers, to come out and march and rally with them. The march will start at noon from the corner of Dale and University in St. Paul to the Minnesota capitol.
Police violence has particularly affected the Black community, traumatizing and devastating many families, especially mothers. “This gathering allows all the families to focus on all the fights for justice,” said Toni Taylor, whose son Kerry Ball was killed by St. Louis police on April 24, 2013.
“It will help put the demands of the families front and center of this fight. It’s time we come together because we have been fighting by ourselves too long,” Taylor said.
Take A Knee Nation is well known for bringing the impact of police violence on families to the attention of the nation during its 2018 Take A Knee Conference on Super Bowl weekend in Minneapolis.