In a new interview, NBC News Anchor Craig Melvin sits down with relatives of George Floyd, Eric Garner, and Jacob Blake for an emotional conversation on police brutality in America.
The hourlong “Journey for Justice,” Dateline NBC special aired Thursday (January 7) and included a joint interview with the siblings of Floyd, Blake’s father and sister, and the mother and son of Eric Garner.
“History keeps repeating itself over and over,” Blake’s sister said.
Last summer, the death of George Floyd sparked global protests and reignited the call for an end to police brutality. Blake was left paralyzed after being shot by a Wisconsin police officer in August.
Garner was killed in 2014, his murder was captured on video and shared on social media. His final words, “I can’t breathe,” becoming a rallying call in the Black Lives Matter movement.
“They choked my father out on the ground, and they expect us to be calm, when we have every right to be mad,” Eric Garner, Jr. said.
“I knew that once we got these families in a room together, it was going to be emotional and raw,” Melvin said, per a report by USA Today. “We wanted them to talk about being a part of this club that no one wants to be a part of, but we also wanted the conversation to be an impetus for a larger conversation about solutions,” he added.
The interview wanted to acknowledge the humanity behind the hashtags that police violence often generate. “It’s one thing to talk to one or two people about your loss and what that person meant to you… But it’s another thing entirely when you are surrounded by other people who have similar stories.”
Melvin went further to get the families talking about solutions they hope to see as America ushers in a new presidential administration and reckons with its history of police violence.
“It was important to us to not just focus on the retelling of stories that we’ve become familiar with, but to focus on solutions to problems that we can all acknowledge exist,” Melvin said.
Photos: Getty Images