LINDEN, NJ —Gwen Carr, whose son Eric Garner died at the hands of NYPD officers in 2014, was joined in New Jersey Sunday by other grieving mothers who've lost children in police-involved incidents.
With a heavy heart, she laid flowers on her son's grave and released balloons into the sky.
“It’s just so hard but I have to do this,” Carr said. “It’s so hard not having him - it’s the 4th year and we’re still looking for justice."
Before the somber visit to Rosedale Cemetery, Carr sat with over a dozen mothers from around the country at New Hope Baptist Church in Elizabeth, NJ, who also lost their sons after police-involved incidents.
“When you see these mothers who are missing their sons and daughters because he did not do what he was sworn to do it breaks my heart,” said Pastor Steffie Bartley, New Hope Baptist Church.
The strong, yet heartbroken women - including Sean Bell’s mother - wore white and red, prayed together and uplifted one another.
Valerie Bell lost her son back in 2006, a day before his wedding, after officers fired dozens of shots at the car he was in.
“I don’t think of the 50 shots anymore I think of the life he lived - keep Sean Bell’s name out there, and other names who lost lives unjustly - that’s what keeps me going,” Bell said of her son.
Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, but no criminal charges have been filed against any of the officers involved including - Officer Daniel Panteleo.
Over the weekend, the NYPD announced it has begun disciplinary proceedings in the 2014 chokehold death.
“I’ve been hopeful since the day I’ve been out here - I’m not giving up hope on my child,” said Carr.