Interviews with Families of Individuals Who Died in Police, Jail, or Prison Custody

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Interview with Angela Brown

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Angela Brown is the sister of Kevin Brown, who was shot and killed in 2007, by Austin Police Department Sergeant Michael Olson. In this interview, Brown shares the trauma of losing her brother to police violence and her mother to cancer within months of each other. She discusses her work with Texas Advocates for Justice (TAJ), fighting for justice in the midst of grief, and other losses her family has suffered due to police violence. She shares what advocacy and justice mean to her, and her thoughts on the relationship between black communities and police in America. This interview took place on July 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas, at the residency of Angela Brown.

Interview with Melanie Young

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Melanie Young is the sister of Vincent Young, who died while in the custody of Harris County Jail on February 13, 2017. Melanie has been actively trying to get answers from jail and county officials about the circumstances surrounding Vincent’s death. Through the family’s “Justice for Vido” campaign, they have organized several rallies and protests in the ongoing quest for truth and justice. Melanie discusses growing up with Vincent, his impact on their community as an adult, his death, and finally her experiences trying to find truth. This interview took place at the home of Cinitra Resby in Houston, Harris County, Texas, on September 16, 2017. Melanie’s cousin, Cinitra Resby, also appears in this interview.

Interview with Sara Mokuria

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Sara Mokuria saw her father, Tesfaye Mokuria, killed by two police officers in Dallas, Texas in 1993, when she was ten years old. Mokuria went on to co-found Mothers Against Police Brutality and is a prominent community organizer in Dallas. Mokuria is also the Associate Director for Leadership Initiatives with The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas. In her interview, Mokuria recalls her parents’ personalities, her eclectic childhood, and their family life. She discusses details of the night her father was killed, and explains the impact the circumstances of his death had on her family as well as its changing impact on her in the years since it occurred. She describes meeting one of the officers who killed her father, and concludes the interview by discussing Mothers Against Police Brutality and the importance of changing policies and envisioning a radically different police force for the future. This interview took place on July 17, 2017, at the home of Sara Mokuria in Dallas, Texas.