Families of George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Eric Garner speak out: ‘Two systems of justice’

The Black men were killed or injured by police

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The families of George Floyd, Jacob Blake Jr., and Eric Garner share a common pain and the frustration that their humanity isn’t recognized.

Dateline‘s Craig Melvin sat down with the three men’s loved ones in a joint interview that will air Thursday on NBC in the Journey for Justice special. All three Black men became high profile examples of police brutality.

George Floyd Eric Garner Jacob Blake thegrio.com
(Credit: Floyd, Blake and Garner)

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“It’s one thing to talk to one or two people about your loss and what that person meant to you,” Melvin said in a preview that aired on TODAY. “Or in Jacob Blake Sr.’s case, not your loss, but having (your child’s) life changed in a dramatic way in a few seconds. But it’s another thing entirely when you are surrounded by other people who have similar stories.”

Floyd died last May after now-former police officer Derek Chauvin placed a knee on his neck and Garner died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold. Blake was left paralyzed last August after being shot by an officer seven times.

“When someone is talking about the death of a loved one, or someone’s talking about a loved one being injured in an unimaginable way, I never interrupt or stop a mother or father, sister, brother, a child from grieving during an interview,” Blake Sr. said as he began to break down in tears.

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The family members of George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Eric Garner (Credit: Dateline)

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Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, described the kinship felt like one of unity.

“We all have a certain bond now because we know what it is to lose a loved one or to get a loved one so severely injured that it takes a part of us.”

Blake Sr. added that these men were stripped of their very humanity.

“It’s so easy to look at each one of these people here and know they get it, man,” Blake, Sr. said. “They get it. Because you never asked to be in this situation. But for somebody else’s racism, we’re in this situation because we are not looked at like humans.”

The interview will air a day after there was an insurrection carried out by supporters of President Donald Trump who wanted to thwart the certification of President-elect Joe Biden. Despite the siege, police did not deploy similar harsh tactics used against Black Lives Matter protests who have taken to the streets for racial justice.

“There’s two systems of justice,” Blake Sr. said in the preview.

Journey for Justice will air tonight at 10 EST/PST on NBC.

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