Moms of sons shot by police unite to help each other

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The mothers of Jordan Baker and Robbie Tolan are using their experiences to help other moms whose sons were shot by police.

Janet Baker never wanted her own radio show. She never liked microphones or the spotlight. And, surely, she never wanted to talk publicly about her only son's death.

But pain has a way of forcing people to face their fears.

"People used to always say, 'You're so passive.' Jordan used to always tell me that I was 'Big Friendly.' He would always nickname me that," said Janet Baker.

Jordan Baker was 26 and unarmed when he was shot and killed by a Houston Police officer two years ago. The officer reported fearing for his life and was never criminally charged.

Baker's son, Little Jordan, is now nine years old.

"As I'm trying to describe him, I'm careful but sometimes I smile because that's the energy and the essence of Jordan," Baker said.

After Jordan was killed, Janet was swamped with grief, legal issues and protests on behalf of her son.

Then her phone started ringing.

It was Marian Tolan, whose son Robbie was shot by a Bellaire police officer back in 2008.

"I was praying for a playbook," Baker explained. "Through experiences, there was my playbook. It's an extreme amount of comfort to have somebody to talk to who totally understands."

Baker now talks daily to Tolan and other mothers around the country who have lost their children in police shootings.

"It was a sorority that no one pledged but we tried to build, so that it is a sisterhood," she explained. "A sisterhood where the thread is just a tremendous amount of pain. That's what binds us. But it all strengthens us by being collectively together."

Baker's radio show, called "Journey to Justice," will air Friday afternoons on KCOH radio.
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