Black moms whose children were killed by police share tragic bond, fight for justice

Eric Garner and Botham Jean's mothers talk about losing their children and the meaning of Derek Chauvin's conviction for George Floyd's murder in the fight for justice.
8:52 | 04/22/21

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Transcript for Black moms whose children were killed by police share tragic bond, fight for justice
I was overwhelmed after I heard the verdict and that they were actually doing the right thing this time. Convicting the police officer who actually murdered George Floyd. Reporter: When Derek chauvin was led away in handcuffs, many across the nation felt a sense of relief. Tears just came to my eyes and I says, all three? They convicted him on all three? I've never heard this before in a case like this. In fact, most of the people I know never got any type of justice. Reporter: But for Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, the verdict also offered a glimmer of hope she had longed for. And I just said, wow, maybe things are changing. Because it just seemed like no one was listening before. No matter what happened. Reporter: Her 43-year-old son dying after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes in 2014. His final words, a cry echoed by George Floyd, as he was dying. Avenge me, avenge me! There is video of your son on camera saying he can't breathe. Then there's video of George Floyd on camera saying he can't breathe. What was that like, seeing similar situations? Just to know that this man echoed the same words that my son said. It just -- was heart-wrenching. It was like -- wow. They're still killing us. This man is begging for his life, like my son was begging for his life. Reporter: Carr, like so many others who have lost a loved one at theands of police, says chauvin's conviction is bittersweet. Is the chauvin guilty verdict about justice, is it accountability? It's about all of that. Justice and accountability. Because we usually get none of that. And sometimes it's not even justice, it's closure for the families. Because there's no justice for the ones whose life you have taken. They're not coming back. They die once. And we die a little every day. Reporter: A grand jury declined to indict the officer involved in her son's death. And Derek chauvin is just one guilty verdict in a tide of police shootings in black and brown communities. In the past weeks alone, more cases gripping the mission. Daunte Wright in Brooklyn center, Minnesota. 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago. Just yesterday, 16-year-old mic mikiha Bryant. When our culture and society at large sees the grief of the family, it humanizes the story. We live in a violent country. People die every day. But when you see the mother of a victim, it feels different. Reporter: George Floyd's family been front and center since he was killed last may, helping to sustain the movement that his death sparked. He helped change the world. He made people realize that people's lives matter. Reporter: His brother grateful that today the man who killed George is behind bars, facing up to 40 years in prison. I watched him put his hands behind his back and I was like -- he had it a lot easier than my brother, because my brother's hands were pinned. But it was accountability. And I think that America, you know -- they feel that they can be free because this is the last of the free. Reporter: Laura king's been fighting for change for years. She was just 7 years old when her father, Rodney king, was beaten within an inch of his life by four white police officers in Los Angeles. Even though I was young, I remember it very vividly. Very vividly. Reporter: That famous encounter caught on camera 30 years ago by a bystander. Police had pulled king over after a high-speed chase. After a mostly white jury acquitted the officers on charges of assault, long-simmering racial tensions exploded in Los Angeles, the city consumed in unrest for five long days in 1992. More than 50 people died. No justice in America, not for the blacks! The justice is for the other men, not for the brother man! Reporter: Yesterday, decades later, a very different outcome in the chauvin trial. Yeah! It was a historical moment. Something that African-Americans -- something that everybody has never witnessed. And that is three charges, guilty. I can't even describe into words what I feel. Reporter: Upon her father's passing in 2012, Laura started the Rodney king foundation to promote peace in his honor. Many people would be surprised to know that your foundation is also trying to link arms with We need police. I couldn't imagine a world without police. However, we need like-minded police. We don't need police that are racist. I've done -- basically bridging the gaps with people. With learn hog understand, learning culture. Because oftentimes if you're not used to that culture, of course you're going to be terrified. Reporter: Alison John lost her 26-year-old son botham at the hands of police in 2018. He was shot and killed in his own home by off-duty Dallas officer amber guyger, who says she mistakenly entered his apartment thinking it was her own. Their family, like Floyd's, won a guilty verdic in court. What do you think they must be feel something. A sense of relief. I heard his brother tonight saying he could finally sleep. Although I could tell you, up to now, I have not been able to sleep properly. Because with every other death of a black man at the hands of police, it brings back that old wound. Reporter: I first met Alison Jean last summer, one ofn mothers, most of whom lost children to police violence, who were feeling renewed pain. I didn't even want to see other people happy. I didn't want to see people laughing. Because I lost a son who did not deserve to die in the way that he did. Reporter: Their bond of anguish rooted in pain, but marked by action. Wanda cooper Jones and tamecka palmer, members of this tragic sorority of sorts, one they prayed they'd never join. Cooper Jones' son Ahmad arbery killed in Georgia while jogging last spring. Palmer's daughter, breonna Taylor, killed last March after three Louisville police officers executed a no knack warrant, looking for a suspect that didn't live there. You've got so much anger inside of you. So much disbelief for what happened to your child. To know that she talked about, you know, having the best day that day, going out to dinner with her boyfriend, going home to watch movies. To know she was in her house, in her own bed, and someone kicked in her door and killed her. To know that she didn't deserve it. Reporter: Alison Jean the only mother in the group to see a conviction after her son's death. We have to remember that for every Floyd family that sees their loved one's killer go to prison, there is an overwhelming majority of families who never get that. They don't get a conviction. They don't get a charge. They don't get an indictment. They don't get an arrest. Reporter: For Alison Jean, Derek chauvin's guilty verdict signalling that work lies ahead. What does this verdict today say to America, to you? Look out. Change is on the way. I don't see it around the corner. But every -- we're taking small steps towards the bold change that is required in America. Reporter: In the nearly seven years since Gwen Carr's son Eric died, she's become an advocate and activist. Where do we go from here? We know there are other cases. Keep fighting. We keep fighting those other cases. We keep hoping for other guilty verdicts. Because we know there are other guilty police officers out there. So we don't just sit back now. We can't. There's too much work to do.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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