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A former top aide to President Obama on Tuesday said the Democratic National Convention would have been “more powerful” if it had included widows of fallen police officers alongside black mothers whose children were killed by gun violence.
Moments after the group Mothers of the Movement finished speaking at the convention in Philadelphia, David Axelrod tweeted: “Mothers of Movement were incredibly moving, but it would have been powerful to have included widows of fallen police officers.”
Mothers of Movement were incredibly moving, but it would have been powerful to have included widows of fallen police officers. #DNCinPHL— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 27, 2016
He repeated the criticism during a segment on CNN, calling it “a missed opportunity.”
"The families of police officers grieve for their losses as well, and it would have been a healing moment to get everyone on the same stage to say we have to stop the violence,” Axelrod said.
The mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin all spoke Tuesday evening at the Democrats' nominating convention in Philadelphia.
Bland died last year in her Texas jail cell in what police have ruled a suicide — but her family has contested that conclusion. Davis died when a Florida man shot into a car that was playing loud music, and Martin died in an altercation with a neighborhood watch volunteer.
The string of black men and children killed by gun violence, many in incidents with police officers, has prompted outcry. But the strife has also been connected to recent ambush-style shootings of police officers — including an attack this month in Dallas that killed five officers — which have deepened the divisions.
The speakers at Tuesday's convention echoed calls from the Black Lives Matter movement to address the violence against blacks in America.
Many Republican National Convention speakers last week tweaked the slogan to support police officers, saying instead "blue lives matter."