'We Need Justice, Too' Say Families Of People Killed By Police
Robyn Scott thought she wouldn't be able to get out of bed for a demonstration against police brutality on Saturday. The depression she's experienced since her son Melvin Murray died during a police chase was gripping her. She didn't think she could talk to a crowd of people in Roselawn about what happened.
"It hurts when you can't touch your child, when you can't hug your child, when you can't talk to your child. It hurts. I couldn't get out the bed ... But I got the strength to get up because I was thinking about my child," she said, calling for the crowd to help take on police brutality and demand accountability.
Scott was one of three mothers who spoke to a crowd of more than 50 people Saturday at New Prospect Baptist Church. The rally was part of a National Day of Action meant to bring attention to the families of people killed by police. Demonstrators called for the reopening of cases involving people who've been killed by police.
The rally was scheduled in the wake of Derek Chauvin being found guilty this week of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
Scott's son Murray died after crashing his car during a police chase. Though dash-cam footage does not show the police ramming the vehicle, Scott says she thinks police somehow caused the wreck because she alleges her son's bumper was dented and later missing.
A crowd of people under a covered walkway and under shade canopies held signs and chanted Murray's name. The steady rain kept people from marching, but they held signs calling for justice and the prosecution of local police officers who have killed people.
Audrey DuBose and Anternitia O'Neal were the other mothers who spoke on behalf of their sons.
DuBose's son Sam was shot and killed by a University of Cincinnati police officer in 2015. While a settlement in a civil case was reached roughly a year later, former officer Ray Tensing has not been convicted of wrongdoing.
Anternitia O'Neal says monetary compensation for deaths don't matter "because my son was worth more than that."
In 2012, Cincinnati Police Officer Orlando Smith shot and killed Dontez O'Neal in Avondale, saying he had a weapon. His mother disputes that. She wants the case to be reopened and investigated.
"There's no justice," she said. "Once you take a life you can't bring them back. But he needs to be accountable and responsible for the wrongdoing that he did to my child."
Several speakers during the rally said the Chauvin verdict was welcome, but it doesn't create the systemic change they want to prevent deaths caused by police.
"We got a verdict, and I'm happy that we got the verdict," O'Neal said. "So there was accountability on that and with that cop... You know, there's thousands of families, thousands of families all across the world that want that same justice. We're excited about what happened. You know, we're excited. But we are suffering ourselves. We need justice, too. It's a lot of George Floyds."