Sybrina Fulton (L), mother of shooting victim Trayvon Martin, endorses U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a town hall meeting at Central Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 23, 2016.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner voice support for Hillary Clinton


Hillary Clinton on Tuesday was joined by the mothers of Trayvon Martin and others killed by gun violence at a roundtable discussion at which she urged the public to make gun control a voting issue.

Gabby Giffords, the former U.S. representative who survived a 2011 assassination attempt, and the mothers of Eric Garner and Dontre Hamilton, who were killed in encounters with police, also spoke at the event in Columbia, South Carolina.

The mother of Sandra Bland, the woman who died in a police holding cell after a traffic stop in Texas, also spoke at Tuesday’s event and thanked Clinton for her support.

“Something is very wrong when we have these incidents where kids can get arrested for petty crimes and lose their lives,” Clinton said.

South Carolina’s primary is Saturday. Clinton has made gun control a point of her campaign, and has called for the end of legal immunity from some lawsuits enjoyed by firearms manufacturers, and for tighter rules over gun sales at gun shows and online.

“This isn’t just an urban problem as some like to say. It’s a problem for our entire country,” Clinton said, referring to Saturday’s apparently random shooting spree in Michigan in which a gunman killed 6 people.

U.S. presidential candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens as Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, speaks at the Central Baptist Church February 23, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, said Clinton was the only presidential candidate who contacted her after Garner’s death following a police chokehold in Staten Island, New York.

“We didn’t have to go looking for her. She came to us,” Carr said.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Martin, said of Clinton and the election: “We have an opportunity to have someone who is going to stand us for us as African Americans, for us as women.”

Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders have been jockeying for approval of black voters in South Carolina and elsewhere. On Tuesday, the Sanders campaign released an ad featuring director and activist Spike Lee endorsing the Vermont senator.

And the Garner family is apparently not united in their politics: Eric Garner’s daughterendorsed Sanders earlier this year.

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