Families Speak Out At Justice For All March

by Lauren Barbato

The families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Amadou Diallo and John Crawford took to the stage at the Justice For All March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to share their experiences with the crowd of thousands. Organized by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, the march against police brutality against people of color attracted more than 5,000 people. "What a sea of people," Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, said when she addressed the crowd.

Following an emotional interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, which aired Friday night, McSpadden spoke publicly for the second time in two days, along with Eric Garner's mother Gwen Carr, Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton, and Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. The four women thanked the demonstrators for standing in solidarity with their grieving families, hoping their message would resound around the country.

Carr, who stood with Garner's wife, Esaw, said:

It's so overwhelming to see all of you that have come to stand with us today. I mean, look at the masses. Black, white, all races, all religion. ... We need to stand like this at all times. ... This is a great moment — a history-making moment.

"My husband was a quiet man, but hes making a lot of noise right now," Esaw Garner added. She and her daughter, Erica, then led the crowd in a chant of "I can't breathe" — Garner's last words that have become a rallying cry for demonstrators across the nation.

Fulton, whose son Trayvon was killed by volunteer neighborhood security patrolman George Zimmerman in 2012, told the crowd how important it was that they were standing in unity:

We are united. We are standing and we are going to fight this fight together. I truly believe that being here united. The light is shining on what's going on. This is not new. This has been going on...It's just that some folks have just woken up.

“Thank you for having my back," McSpadden added, as she raised her arms in the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture that has become emblematic of the movement.

Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., also attended Saturday's march, hugging and thanking protesters for their support.

Image: Getty Images