Who killed their children? Black mothers are determined to break a culture of silence

“I feel so frustrated cause I can’t get anyone to come forward and give me any information to figure out what exactly transpired. I guess I’m just looking for some closure.”

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By Nirma Hasty

CHICAGO — Sonia Davis is a familiar face on the block where her son was killed.

Each week, Davis walks through the neighborhood posting reward flyers and trying to talk to neighbors. Her mission is clear: She is searching for justice.

This has been her routine since her son, Tyrone White, 42, was shot to death on Oct. 4, 2016, while driving in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

His case remains unsolved.

She hopes that someone in the neighborhood will see the flyers and share information that may lead to finding her son’s killer.

A member of the community holds Edwin Cook's reward flyer that was handed out by his aunt who hopes to finding the person who murdered her nephew and left the case unsolved.Nirma Hasty / NBC News

“I feel so frustrated cause I can’t get anyone to come forward and give me any information to figure out what exactly transpired. I guess I’m just looking for some closure,” Davis said as she walked around the community slipping flyers in mailboxes and under doors.

Davis isn’t the only mother taking action. She’s part of Purpose Over Pain, a support group for parents in Chicago who have lost children to gun violence. The group was founded in 2007 by Pam Bosley after her 18-year-old son, Terrell, was shot and killed outside a church in Chicago.

Bosley hoped to turn her grief into hope.

In the meantime, Davis has met other moms who are dealing with a similar pain.

On a sunny summer afternoon, Davis teamed up with Joanne Hill, who lost her son, Timothy Hill, 25, to gun violence on May 3, 2016, and Johnecee Cobbs, whose nephew, Edwin Cook, 19, was fatally shot on Jan 21, 2015. Their cases also remain unsolved.

The women supported each other as they posted reward flyers in the neighborhoods where their loved ones were killed, hoping to gather information that could be helpful for detectives working on the cases.

“One thing that gives me a little comfort is that I'm helping them, they're helping me and we're supporting each other and building each other up,” Davis said. “Hoping that if it's not me, maybe one of the other parents will get a lead that will solve their child's case.”

In Chicago, only 21 percent of nearly 500 first-degree murder cases last year resulted in an arrest.

Davis and the other mothers of Purpose Over Pain are trying to raise those numbers in the hope that they will be able to find closure and solve their cold cases one day.

But she admits, it’s an uphill battle.

“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable with the police,” Davis said. “So that makes them more hesitant to sit down and actually go to them and give them some information.”