Melissa Harris-Perry: This is The Takeaway. I'm Melissa Harris-Perry in for Tanzina Vega. On Friday, Minneapolis Judge, Peter Cahill, sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin to 22 and a half years for the murder of George Floyd. Chauvin's mother addressed the court prior to the sentencing. She described her son as a good and caring person, asked the judge for leniency. Despite a bystander video showing officer Chauvin kneeling on Mr. Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, she expressed her staunch belief in her son's innocence. Then, she addressed her son directly telling him this.
Chauvin’s Mother: Remember, there is no stronger bond or love than a mother's love.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Mother love. You can hear the mother love in the voice of Tamika Palmer, as she spoke to NBC News about her daughter Breonna Taylor, who was slain in March of 2020 by a team of Louisville, Kentucky police officers while she lay sleeping in her own bed.
Tamika Palmer: Breona was just full of life. She didn't deserve it. She was 26 years old.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Mother love. You can hear Samaria Rice's mother love as she speaks to theroot.com in June of 2020 on what should have been the 18th birthday of her son, Tamir Rice. Instead of reaching adulthood, Tamir Rice was killed by Cleveland police officers in November 2014 as he played in a park near his home. He was 12 years old. 12.
Samaria Rice: I am tired and I am numb because what law enforcement has done to my family. I'm not able to have no enjoyment out of life, for real. I've been in counseling off and on since Tamir's murder. It's going to be an ongoing thing because I suffer with PTSD in the most severe way, the most severe form. It's almost like I've been in a war.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Mother love. It is mother love that pierced the soul of Sabrina Fulton when she saw the video of officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd. Her own son, Trayvon Martin, was only 17 years old when George Zimmerman shot and killed him as he walked home from the store carrying only Skittles and iced tea. Here, Sabrina Fulton speaks to ABC News back in June of 2020.
Sabrina Fulton: I've been on a roller coaster. I've been up and down. There's been times where I just cried when I heard of George Floyd yell out for his mother. I cried because I imagine me being his mother, or my son, being there and calling out for me and I wasn't able to help him and he wasn't able to help himself.
Melissa Harris-Perry: Mother love, it is mother love that robs Lezley McSpadden of her voice in November 2014 as she learns the grand jury will bring no charges against the Ferguson Police officer who shot and killed her son Michael Brown, and even as crowds chant and national media cameras roll, she is left only with the anguish of tears.
Lezley McSpadden: [cries].
Melissa Harris-Perry: Her agony is the reminder that while a mother's love is unbreakable, mothers, ourselves, can break. No one has been charged for Breonna Taylor's death, no one has been charged for the death of Tamir Rice. George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin. No one has been charged for the death of Michael Brown, but still, this morning, Black mothers in Mississippi and New York, in Chicago and Los Angeles, in Denver and DC, in Atlanta and New Orleans did something of such unfathomable courage that it ought to leave us in awestruck silence. These mamas washed faces, lotioned arms, tied shoes, kissed foreheads, gave hugs, and with steel in their spines, they sent their children out into the world. This is The Takeaway.
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