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Sybrina Fulton to family of Michael Brown: Your lives are forever changed

Miami Times staff report | 8/19/2014, 12:28 p.m.
Mother of slain Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, writes to the family of Michael Brown, a teen recently executed by police ...
Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Jahvaris Fulton and Florida Memorial President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis were among many who helped open the Trayvon Martin Foundation headquarters at the historically Black school.

In a TIME exclusive, mother of slain Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, reaches out to the family of Michael Brown, a teen recently executed by police in Black suburban Ferguson, Mo. Fulton offered her prayers and empathy, speaking to the humanity of children killed unjustly.

To The Brown Family,

I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.

I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is that so many of these gun violence cases involve children far too young. But Michael is much more than a police/gun violence case; Michael is your son. A son that barely had a chance to live. Our children are our future so whenever any of our children – Black, white, brown, yellow, or red – are taken from us unnecessarily, it causes a never-ending pain that is unlike anything I could have imagined experiencing.

Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don’t want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. You may find yourselves pulled in many different directions by strangers who may be well-wishers or detractors. Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in “the system” and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed.

However with those changes come new challenges and opportunities. You will experience a swell of support from all corners of the world. Many will express their sympathies and encourage you to keep fighting for Michael. You will also, unfortunately, hear character assassinations about Michael which I am certain you already have.

Read the rest of Fulton's letter to the Brown family here.