Today is #SayHerName National Day of Action. Activists all around the country gather together to honor Black women, girls, and femmes killed or injured by police. The recent death of a young Black mother, Symone Nicole Marshall, in a Taxes jail, proves the importance of the #SayHerName movement. BlackMattersUS gathered the most evident cases of injustice against Black Womanhood in America.
1. #RekiaBoyd, 22. Died March 22, 2012, Chicago.
#SayHerName National Day of Action was born out of the murder of Rekiya Boyd. Rekiya was unarmed when she was shot in the back of the head by Chicago cop Dante Servin, who was off-duty at the time. Servin mistook a cell phone in the hands of Rekiya friend for a gun and shot at him injuring the man and accidentally killing Rekiya.
In 2013, Servin was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. He has been stripped of his police powers, and the city awarded Boyd’s family $4.5 million as part of a wrongful death settlement.
2. #SandraBland, 28. Died July 13, 2015, Waller County, Texas.
On July 10, Sandra Bland was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change, and, as a video of her arrest shows was pinned to the ground and surrounded by police officers. Bland was heard questioning
the officers about why they had slammed her head to the ground and complaining that she could not hear. Officers charged her with assault and held her in the Waller County Jail.
Bland was found dead in her cell three days later. Officials still maintain that her death was a suicide and refuse to punish anybody, but Bland’s friends and family members adamantly reject this explanation and suspect foul play.
3. #AiyanaStanleyJones, 7. Died May 16, 2010, Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley shot and killed seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in her sleep during a raid on her grandmother’s
home. Weekly claimed that he pulled the trigger accidentally during a struggle with the girl’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones. Jones reported
that she was reaching out to protect her granddaughter and another officer testified that there was no struggle over the weapon.58
Weekley was tried twice and cleared of all charges, most recently in January 2015. He returned to work in April 2015.
4. #MalissaWilliams, 30. Died November 29, 2012, Cleveland.
Malissa Williams was a passenger in a car driven by a man named Timothy Russell when a police officer thought he heard shots fired from the vehicle and began following them, according to the Associated Press. A 25-minute chase through Cleveland ended with 13 officers firing 137 rounds at the car, which was eventually cornered in a school parking lot. Twenty-three bullets struck Russell, and 24 hit Williams. Both unarmed people were killed.
Six officers were indicted in the car chase. The city settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million.
5. #KathrynJohnston, 92. Died November 21, 2006, Atlanta.
Kathryn Johnston was killed in a botched “no knock” drug raid by Atlanta police that was revealed to be based on false information. Officers broke down her security gate and without warning entered her home. As the door opened, Johnston fired the pistol she kept for self-defense, hitting no one. Officers fired back 39 times. Five or six bullets hit Johnston, and several others hit fellow police.
The city of Atlanta agreed to pay Johnston’s family $4.8 million as part of a settlement.
These stories are heartbreaking and there are dozens of stories like this. We live in a world where the dignity of Black people is denied and a Black life costs nothing. It is apparent that the lives of ALL Black people are under attack, however, the needs of Black women are left out too often. It is important to bring them into focus. Is there some story of injustice against Black Womanhood that bothers you more than others? Please, add it in the comments to the article.
Share this article and help to fight for injustice against Black Woomanhood in our country.