Today it was announced that Sandra Bland’s family settled their lawsuit for $1.9 million. Although, money cannot bring their daughter back. It does offer little comfort knowing that some fault or misdoing was acknowledge in Sandra’s case. Although, Sandra Bland one of many women killed at the hands of police case was a national one, the recognition of her case still does not get the attention that black males cases receive. I know this isn’t the time to talk about the rift among black men and women, but eventually it needs to be addressed. We hear Black Lives Matter all the time and even though the entire movement focuses on police brutality and death of blacks at the hands of police, BLACK WOMEN ARE STILL LAST ON THAT LIST. I’m not asking for black women to first, but I feel that the field for how we view police brutality differs when it comes to women as opposed to women. Like recently, with the death of Korryn Gaines, a young, outspoken black women gunned down in her home by police and whose 5-year old son was shot in the process. According to police, Korryn threaten them with a gun (while holding her son) and was shot/killed. Now a new witness has stepped forth and revealed that the police set up surveillance in another apartment to spy on Korryn, that she tried negotiating with them to surrender before she was shot and killed. SINCE WHEN HAS SWAT TEAM BEEN CALLED LET ALONE NEEDED SURVEILLANCE TO DELIVER A NON-VIOLENT WARRANT. NEVER. It’s clear that they had an interior motive for approaching the situation as they did (many think it was Korryn pending lawsuit against the police) Whatever the issue was, no negiotiator was called. Family and friends were turned away from helping diffuse the situation. Anyway, because of new evident, Korryn Gaines family is now suing the police for their daughter’s death as Sandra Bland’s family did. The family of Korryn Gaines have launched a four million dollar lawsuit against the police and although money will not bring Korryn back, hopefully the family wins their suit or a settlement that will give them some comfort, especially to Korryn’s son.
These two cases are unique to me, because of how the world, but more specifically black people viewed them. After Sandra Bland’s death, people were saying oh if she had kept her mouth closed, she would have been alive! (Forget about her first amendment rights). When Korryn Gaines died, people were saying she should have complied, she should have surrendered, she was a bad mother, she put her child in danger, etc etc. (forgetting that Korryn already had a bad incident with the police that resulted in her having a miscarriage thus creating her distrust for the police). But after Alton Sterling or Philando Castile or Eric Garner was killed, nobody questioned what they did to contribute to their death. Nobody blamed them for their own deaths, so why were the women scrutinized after their deaths.
I didn’t know Sandra Bland and I didn’t know Korryn Gaines but as a black women I saw the difference in how the black community dealt with these deaths differently and when others see how we can’t even come together on something simple as protecting the character of deceased black women, it opens the door for other people to attack black people and further discredit the Black Lives Matter Movement.
HOW CAN WE SAY BLACK LIVES MATTER, WHEN INTERNALLY WE DRAW A LINE BETWEEN THE DEATHS OF BLACK WOMEN AND BLACK MEN KILLED BY POLICE?
Don’t misunderstand me, I stand with the BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT because they are at the forefront of the fight against police brutality and death of blacks at the hands of police. All I’m saying is that I wish we could get to a point where the black women killed by police are held up the a top priority as men killed by police. After Korryn death and all the attacks against her, I couldn’t even blog or write about it because it simply hurt to see that black people,especially black women attack her the way they did. I mean the woman was dead and was ridiculed, talked about in the worse way, and simply made out to be a villian.
Again, I didn’t know these women personally, but I know that they were both brave. They were outspoken and they were fighters for equality for black people (evident from their FB pages before death). Society has a way of silencing leaders, but Sandra Bland and Korryn Gaines couldn’t be silence and when they could be contained, they ended up dead. When Sandra died, I blogged about it and here is what i wrote….
My mouth has gotten me in a lot of trouble. I’m the type that will tell you how it is whether you like it or not. If I feel something is wrong, I’m going to speak on it. If someone tries to violate my rights, I’m speak on it. That’s why I try my best to know my rights. Do I deserve to die because I know my rights? No!!! This Sandra Bland case is damn near haunting me!!!!! Watching that ALTERED dash cam video, made it so personal for me. Of course I’m alive and Sandra is not! The way she acknowledged that she knew her rights and that she didn’t do anything wrong even down to her smart remarks, those are things I would have done and said if not more!
A couple years back, my husband worked in West Point, MS. One day, I was headed to his job for some reason and I was behind this car that was driving really slow. The speed limit was 55 but the car was going like 45 and instead of speeding up it keep slowing down. Then I started seeing a light from something like a mirror being reflected from the car in front of me into my car almost blinding me, so I passed the car and didn’t think anything of it. It was a slim white guy driving the car. About five minutes down the road I see an officer waiting on the side of the road. Of course, I’m not speeding my license good, my insurance good, I’m straight. As soon as I pass the police car. He pulls out behind me and turns on his lights. I figure he has a call, so I pull over to let him pass only to see him pull off the road behind me. So of course, I’m in my car cursing wtf, I know I wasn’t speeding blah blah. The white officer approaches. I roll my window halfway down and he proceeds to ask me, do I know why he pulled me over? I said no because I wasn’t speeding and I have on my seatbelt. He said, I got a call that you were trying to run an off duty officer off the road. I said what??? When????/he continues to say calm down ma’am the officer said he flashed his badge at you but you ignored him. At this point I’m sure my tone had gotten defensive and louder. I told him yes I saw him flash something that was blinding me but I didn’t know it was a badge. It was hurting my eyes and he was driving slow, so I passed him. Are you sure that’s what happened? Again I said yes that’s what happened. Why would I try to run an officer off the road & how am I supposed to know who is or ain’t an officer when they are out of uniform n in their personal vehicle. OK ma’am do you have license and insurance? Yes I do. I hand him my license and stuff he checked them out and came back to my car, OK ma’am I’m give you a warning but just be more careful next time. Grabbed my license and stuff rolled my window up and left. I was pissed at being stopped for no reason but because he couldn’t provoke the situation, I was allowed to go.
I said all that to say, who knows what would have happened if I just snapped like I wanted to. If I had told him he was harassing me for no reason. Sure I thought about it, but I also realized that I was by myself on a road with little traffic at the time and maybe it was because I live in MS that i didn’t see the potential danger but also police brutality wasn’t big at that time as it is now n almost nonexistence in the area.
I’m not blaming Sandra for snapping like she did because she clearly was profiled and provoked. That officer had an agenda before she even saw his face!!!!!
It is just sad that so much energy is going into covering up her death. From the edited dash cam to the mugshot and now to the autopsy! We may never know what truly happened to SANDRA BLAND but their evidence is so rigged up that even Stevie Wonder can see that bullshit!
Not only do we have to worry about black men in America, we have to deal with losing black women as well. It’s only July and over 500 people have been killed by police! 500! In a country that is supposed to be the greatest nation in the world. FOR WHO, MAY I ASK? Cause IT’S LOOKING MORE N MORE LIKE IT’S ATTACK ON THE BLACK RACE!!! MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND MALCOLM X PERSPECTIVE ON USING VIOLENCE! AT WHAT POINT DO WE KEEP TURNING A BLIND EYE N PROTEST THESE INJUSTICES PEACEFULLY? WHERE HAVE THEY GOTTEN US?