Fatal police shootings this week in Louisiana and Minnesota have sparked outrage on social media and throughout local communities. FOX4 sat down Thursday with two mothers of African-American boys in Oak Cliff to listen to their concerns.
Shameka Easterling and Olinka Green had never met before Thursday. But they share a common concern: an everyday fear for their sons. They said they are tired of seeing violent police encounters that result in deaths of black men and boys.
“I don't want him to look at everybody with a badge and disrespect them,” Easterling said. “But at the same time, how do I teach him that you have to respect somebody, but you also have to fear them enough to make it back home to me.”
Jay’Leon Easterling, Shameka’s son, said his mother has told him to stay calm in any police encounter.
“My objective is to come home every day, just come home,” Jay’Leon, 18, said. “Even if (police) are in the wrong, just say, 'Yes sir, no sir.' I just want to get home."
Green has two adult sons and a nephew, Derek Blakemore. Blakemore is heading to Prairie View A&M University in the fall.
“I talk to them every day,” Green said. “They talk to me and say ‘Mom, guess what? You have to accept that this is a normalcy now, this is normal.’ This is how we live now.”
Easterling worries about police profiling of her sons and nephew.
“If you're riding, he and a friend, two people in the back seat and you've got music going, you're having a good time,” she said. “But your seat is laid back a little too low and your cap is to the side. He's looked at and he's profiled."
Police profiling and police danger worry Easterling’s 14-year-old nephew, Narada.
“It’s scary,” Narada Easterling said. “I shouldn't be worried about these types of things at my age."
Easterling and Green want to encourage positive action after the recent police shootings.
"We have to raise our voices and let these people know and let this society know, and this government know, that you cannot continue to kill our sons and go home and eat a sandwich and hug your children,” Easterling and Green said together.
Green was part of a group organizing a demonstration in Dallas on Thursday to protest the Baton Rouge shooting death of Alton Sterling.