In episode 4 of The Mothers Podcast, Montye Benjamin recounts the story of her son, Jayvis Benjamin, who was killed by Avondale Estates Police Officer Lynn Thomas in 2013. Benjamin was involved in a car crash that Thomas responded to and was unarmed when Thomas fatally shot him. Benjamin, 20, was a youth worker, artist, and audio engineer for his church.
Many of the trademarks involved in many police killings across the country were prevalent in Benjamin’s case: ‘fear of the Black man,’ demonization the victim, no accountability and a promotion for the officer involved (Thomas was promoted to police chief, only to have recently been forced to retire after his department failed to pass accreditation).
Montye told us who her son was and spoke about her quest for accountability that she has yet to see. Jayvis Benjamin’s case was one of 43 police killings heard during the United Nations’ International Commission Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States of America and the testimony of Patrick Megaro, Benjamin’s attorney, is also featured in this episode.
Listen/watch Episode 4 with captioning below:
The Mothers Podcast is a 10-episode series that puts a spotlight on mothers from across the U.S. whose children have been killed by police violence. Becoming members of a club that NO ONE would wish to join, these mothers’ stories go beyond the headlines of each case, dissecting the pain, aftermath and the struggle for accountability for the killing of their child. This exploration unveils mothers supporting mothers to overcome grief and create change within their communities all across the country.
The Mothers Podcast features the work of Unicorn Riot interviews going back to 2018 and is a precursor to Unicorn Riot’s upcoming full-length documentary film, ‘The Mothers.’
We’ll be releasing new episodes of the podcast every Sunday for 10 weeks, starting on Mother’s Day. Listen to all the episodes here.
The podcast series is hosted by independent journalist Georgia Fort and Niko Georgiades of Unicorn Riot. Each episode is edited and mixed by DJ Skizz who provides original music along with original songs by MC Longshot and recorded and engineered by Malcolm Wells, along with editing and producing by Tarik Thornton (Different Worlds Music Group).
Part of the funding for this podcast is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.