[There was a video here]
This morning, Quinyetta McMillan—the mother of the oldest son of Alton Sterling, the black man who was shot and killed by two white cops in Baton Rouge late Monday night—held a press conference about Sterling that everyone should watch.
“I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father,” McMillan says, about their son Cameron. Cameron had began the press conference consoling his mother as she spoke, but after a few minutes he broke down into the arms of supporters standing behind the two of them.
In the wake of police killings like those of Laquan McDonald, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, we are confronted with images of the dead. Their families are required to publicly perform strength in the face of unimaginable pain. Those of us who primarily view police killings through the media are rarely exposed to the raw grief those families are incentivized to bury as they become reluctant public figures in their own right.
McMillan talks candidly about the despair her son and her community feel, about how police fatally wronged her husband, and why she won’t allow his story to be “swept in the dirt.” She speaks forcefully for six minutes, but as she walks away from the podium it’s clear she can barely hold herself up.