Jan 07 2013

They Shoot Black Girls Too, Don’t They (Redux)?


A few months ago, I wrote about the killing of Rekia Boyd by an off-duty Chicago Police officer. This week Antonio Cross’s trial will begin. He was charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault in an incident where off-duty detective Dante Servin shot him, another person, and killed Rekia Boyd. Servin claimed that Cross had a gun. A gun was never recovered at the scene. As we wait for the trial to begin on January 10th, I wanted to revisit the police brutality that women of color experience.

As I mentioned in my post about Rekia Boyd back in April, this is not something that we hear very much about. I have written about my personal struggle to take state violence against women of color as seriously as I do when it is directed against black men in particular. As a way to overcome my own internalized oppression, I am committed to underscore more current and historical examples of state violence against women of color on the blog this year.

I’ll kick off this series with an excellent video titled “Our Forgotten Voices: From History to Herstory” about the impact of current stop and frisk policies on young women of color. The video was created by young women from the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. They describe its purpose as follows:

Growing media attention and activist work have been dedicated to the criminalization of men of color by the justice system and the NYPD’s policy of Stop and Frisk… We acknowledge and validate these experiences but would like to shed light on womyn’s perspectives because womyn are diversely affected by the culture of policing and surveillance by the NYPD, which has grown increasingly sexist, racist, classist, homophobic, and transphobic through the Stop and Frisk policy and abuse of power. We do not feel safe. Through this film we are calling allies and survivors of all identities to work together to enact change, not only in our cities but our justice system as a whole.

Please take five minutes to watch the young women’s video: