#Black Women's Lives Matter

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Dajerria Becton-- manhandled and brutalized

[Comment]

The McKinney, Texas incident shows that racially-motivated police brutality is not limited to young Black men.

A cell phone video showing a snarling police officer brutalizing 14-year-old Dajerria Becton has led to the resignation of the officer and possible criminal charges.

While women have been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, female victims of police brutality have gone largely ignored.

The social media campaign #SayHerName is an effort to confront the reality that women are victims, too, and their names are seldom heard.

While Dajerria’s case has exploded onto the national scene, others remain relatively unknown: 22-year-old Rekia Boyd was walking with friends in Chicago when an off-duty police officer who thought they were making too much noise fired five shots over his shoulder while sitting in his car. The officer was acquitted of all charges in her death.

Yvette Smith was shot and killed while following a deputy sheriff’s order to come out of her home. The deputy is awaiting trial.

Natasha McKenna died when officers used a stun gun on her while she was handcuffed. Her death was ruled accidental.

The list goes on and on.

Exclusion of Black women and girls paints an incomplete and inaccurate picture of racially-motivated police violence.

We cannot hope to build a fairer justice system unless we confront the flaws – all the flaws – in the one we have.

Marc Morial is President/CEO

National Urban League

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