Police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement are making front page headlines, nationally and internationally every day. The movement continues to grow larger, as more people recognize the institutionalized racism within our police force. We’ve all seen traumatic things happen to people such as Eric Garner, Walter Lamar Scott and Freddie Gray. What about black women? Are they being targeted as well?
I was talking with two friends the other day. One argued, “Black women are the lowest on the totem pole of society.” The other argued, “No, black women are not getting killed almost every day by police! Black men have it so much worse!” My mind immediately thought of Sandra Bland, the black woman that was found hung in a jail cell in 2015. But is Sandra Bland the only black woman that has lost her life due to the hands of brutal police officers?
The answer would be no.
Korryn Gaines, a black woman that lived in Baltimore, Maryland, was the ninth black woman shot and killed by police officers in the year of 2016. Her 5 year old son was shot as well, thankfully not fatal. Yvette Smith is another woman that lost her life, who was fatally shot in the doorway of her home when she dialed 911 in response to a fight breaking out between men on her residence. Darnesha Harris was another black woman who lost her life. The 16-year-old female was shot and killed by police officers of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in December 2012. The police officer, Officer Guillot, who shot her had three orders of misconduct when he shot Harris; an inmate in a jail had died under his custody due to cocaine intoxication, he had been
Darnesha Harris was another black woman who lost her life. The 16-year-old female was shot and killed by police officers of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in December 2012. The police officer who shot her, Officer Guillot, had three orders of misconduct when he shot Harris; an inmate in a jail had died under his custody due to cocaine intoxication, and he had been charged for fondling and sexually assaulting female inmates and shooting a dog while on patrol.
Shelley Frey. Another woman that lost her life in 2012, while caught shoplifting from a Walmart. An officer working as a security guard, shot into her car in the Houston Walmart parking lot, striking her twice in the neck.
Alesia Thomas. Arrested from her home because of child endangerment, Thomas left her children at a police station after not being able to take care of them anymore. The LAPD officers found her, handcuffed her and put her into a squad car. Officer O’Callaghan proceeded to kick Thomas in her abdomen and groin seven times. She later died in the hospital.
These are just a few black women that have fallen because of police officers. But remember, this is not a competition between black men and women. We all need to stick together; black, white, Asian, Latinx, and every race, against racism amongst the people who are supposed to protect us. Let’s just not forget the names of the black women victims as well.
**You can watch the Instagram video Korryn Gaines filmed with her son, only minutes before she was shot here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BIktcsVgxyy/?taken-by=shesyourmajesty