Carolyn Johnson-Turner drives the car in which her son was shot to death. She wears buttons bearing his picture. She visits his grave almost every week. She doesn't know who killed him, or why. "I wake up every day in a nightmare, and I fight to go to sleep," says Johnson-Turner, whose 20-year-old son Rodreckus was killed while parking his car. She is one of many people who have lost a loved one in Birmingham.
Parents Against Violence Foundation (PAV) was founded on March 1, 2004, by Johnson-Turner as a result of the devastation she experienced when her son, Rodreckus, was shot and killed on November 22, 2003 while attending a birthday party. According to Johnson-Turner, she will never recover from her son’s death. So in order to cope, she is on a personal mission to prevent other deaths. At the same time, her activities serve as therapy to deal with the overwhelming grief. Can Johnson-Turner and PAV really make a difference? The core of Not My Son can be viewed as microcosm of the violent epidemic occurring in the nation’s urban areas.
“There are people behind Birmingham's murder rates, lives that are changed forever. Not My Son gives us a view of the lives that are changed forever by the violence that has become an everyday occurrence. The answers to urban violence are not simple. This documentary untangles some of the complexities associated with fighting crime through the stories of mothers who have turned their grief into action.” George Daniels, Professor of Journalism, The University of Alabama.
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