7 black women killed by po­lice — 6 of them un­armed

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - — Ti na Sus­man

NEW YORK — As deaths of un­armed black males spur de­mands for change in law en­force­ment tac­tics, ac­tivists say black women and girls who suf­fer the same fate are ig­nored. Here are a few of the cases that the African Amer­i­can Pol­icy Fo­rum, a New York re­search group, says should be noted in public de­bates on the fu­ture of polic­ing.

Mar­garet LaVerne Mitchell, a 54- year- old woman who suf­fered from men­tal ill­ness, was shot to death on May 21, 1999, in Los An­ge­les. Mitchell, who was home­less, re­port­edly lunged at an of­fi­cer with a screw­driver af­ter two po­lice of­fi­cers stopped her while she pushed a shop­ping cart down La Brea Av­enue. Some wit­nesses dis­puted state­ments that Mitchell lunged at one of the of­fi­cers.

LaTanya Hag­gerty, 26, was a pas­sen­ger in a car pulled over by Chicago po­lice on June 4, 1999. An of­fi­cer shot Hag­gerty, think­ing she was hold­ing a gun, but Hag­gerty, who was talk­ing on her cell­phone, was un­armed.

Ken­dra James, 21, was shot in the head by a po­lice of­fi­cer in Port­land, Ore., on May 5, 2003, af­ter the car she was a pas­sen­ger in was pulled over. A po­lice of­fi­cer said he fired in self- de­fense dur­ing a strug­gle with James, who moved into the driver’s seat af­ter the driver was ar­rested. James was un­armed.

Natasha McKenna, 37, died af­ter be­ing shocked four times with a stun gun while her hands were cuffed and her legs shack­led. McKenna, who suf­fered from men­tal ill­ness, was in cus­tody in the Fair­fax County, Va., jail on Feb. 3, 2015, when a deputy used the stun gun on her. She died Feb. 8.

Rekia Boyd, 22, was fa­tally shot by an off- duty Chicago po­lice de­tec­tive on March 21, 2012, as she stood in an al­ley with a group of friends. A man in the group ex­changed words with the de­tec­tive, who fired five shots into the al­ley, hit­ting Boyd in the back of her head. No weapon was found in the al­ley.

Yvette Smith, a 47- yearold mother of two, was fa­tally shot on the front porch of her home on Feb. 16, 2014, by a deputy in Bas­trop County, Texas. The sher­iff’s of­fice first said Smith was armed. Later, they re­tracted that state­ment.

Shereese Fran­cis, 29, a men­tally ill woman who had gone off her med­i­ca­tion, died dur­ing a strug­gle with po­lice who had been called to her home in Queens, N. Y., on March 15, 2012. Fran­cis, who was un­armed, died of suf­fo­ca­tion as of­fi­cers tried to hand­cuff her.

Mar­garet Mitchell

Ken­dra James

LaTanya Hag­gerty

Rekia Boyd

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