Say Her Name: Recognizing Police Brutality Against Black Women

“Put a copy of your driver’s license, registration, and insurance on the dashboard.” That’s what I tell my guy friends when they make their 300-mile road trip for homecoming. “Stay on the sidewalk and keep out of the alley.” That’s what I tell the boys in the neighborhood as they consider a shortcut to the park. 

These are survival tactics that Black men and boys have incorporated into their everyday lives. These are precautions to take so that summer play and fall traditions are not compromised by incidents with the police. Black women — mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, and partners — have offered and echoed this advice (and experienced the trauma that comes from giving this advice) for years. 

We haven’t been giving ourselves the same advice, however. And though the Black Lives Matter movement was started by three Black women, we’ve largely been left out of the national narrative on police violence. Police violence impacts Black women and other women of color just as it does Black men. So sadly, we too need survival tactics for our teen girls attending pool parties and our girlfriends eating at the Waffle House

We need advice on how to handle encounters with the police that can quickly turn violent and even deadly. Black women, like Charleena Lyles in Seattle, were pregnant when killed by police. They were experiencing mental health crises, like Shukri Ali in Georgia and Deborah Danner in New York. They were hanging out with friends, like Rekia Boyd in Chicago.  They had merely taken a wrong turn while driving, like Mya Hall in Maryland and Miriam Carey in Washington, D.C. And Black girls, like Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit, were doing nothing more than sleeping when killed by police. 

We must also consider other forms of police violence that impact Black women and women of color, like sexual assault. Sexual abuse is the second most reported form of police misconduct after use of excessive force. The conviction of an Oklahoma City officer for the rape and sexual assault of 13 Black women represents some of the anecdotal evidence of how Black women experience sexual violence by police. 

Police violence continues to happen to Black women and girls. As Andrea Ritchie describes it, “Black women’s mere presence, speech, and protest of mistreatment ... [are] a threat that officers meet with physical or even deadly force.” This must be acknowledged. This must be part of the national discourse. We need this understanding to change the laws, policies, and practices that govern policing. 

We must “Say Her Name.” 

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Dr. Timothy Leary

This "police brutality against black women" is just another manifestation of President Trump's P.B. ''n J. Policy.


Wrong. Most of these cases happened under Obama and his two black AGs Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. And of course the atrocities have only continued under Trump.

Dr. Timothy Leary

Does this mean that you approve of the P. B. 'n J. Policy, Mr Anonymous ?

Valarie Carey

#Justice4mysister #Justice4MiriamCarey #SayHerName #MiriamCarey


Mya Hall crashed a STOLEN van into a security gate at the NSA. Miriam Carey crashed through a security checkpoint at the White House and hit a Secret Service Agent. Carleena Lyles charged Police with a knife. As did Shukri Ali. Only one of the people you named was killed by Police unjustly, and the Officer responsible was IMMEDIATELY fired, and brought before a jury. If you're going to try and divide a country with a narrative, at least do it using actual facts, and not justified Police shootings.




Not one of those Black women deserved to die. The police is an inherently racist institution that started as slave patrols with the sole purpose of policing black people. Nothing has changed whatsoever. Read a book.


"justified police shootings" lmao imagine thinking it's remotely okay for a country to have the power to murder its citizens at will

Rena Neighbors

We P.O. C cannot live without having to be wary!
I support Day her name!!


What a joke...pretty simple advice for every black, white, hispanic man and black, white and hispanic female....obey the directives of law enforcement..really simple common sense advice. If you challenge, disrepect, fight them you will loose your right for freedom and possibly your life. You don't know how to do their job so don't act like it. Go fight for your people who choose to suck the life out of the working class who live on government assistance and are in gangs. They need your help.


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