Birmingham Police Officers Ruin 5 Year Old’s Birthday Party and Attack Black Mothers
Today, Black Lives Matter Birmingham Chapter and DSA Birmingham paid to bail out three Black mothers who they feel were falsely arrested in Kingston Housing Projects.
Yesterday, April 29, 2017, dozens of Kingston community members gathered with the Bozeman family, to celebrate Zauriona’s 5th birthday. What was supposed to be a special day for a little girl ended in police terrorism, Black mothers arrested, and children traumatized.
Over the last month, Birmingham Police officers have been attending community fun days, as a part of the Victory over Violence tour. Law enforcement has been working to build community trust and teach kids that not all cops are bad.
Kingston is one of the communities where cops set up cotton candy machines, bounce houses, and played tug-of-war games with neighborhood kids. The officers regularly remind the kids that they can always call them if they are in trouble. However, five-year-old Zauriona no longer believes this. According to Brittany Bozeman,“she will always remember these dirty cops macing her family, pushing her older brother off his bike, arresting her aunties, and slamming her grandfather to the ground. They ruined her party.”
Zauriona’s mother, Patrice Bozeman, 24, describes the scene as traumatic.
“I was holding my 4 mo. old in my arms and my baby was maced,” Patrice said. “My baby was really hit with mace. They pushed my son off of his bike trying to get to Denise.”
Officers were supposedly responding to a loud music complaint.
“They said folks was complaining about the music but almost the whole community was there for the party getting food and having a good time,” said Brittany Bozeman.
She feels that all of this horror was brought on because the police officers were ego tripping. Denise Bozeman, 23, feels that she is being targeted by law enforcement.
She states, “I can’t drive nowhere or walk nowhere because they always messing with me. I feel like it’s because I always be around street dudes. They just constantly harass me. Officer Ivory and Officer Foster are bullies. I wasn’t even at the party ten minutes before they knocked my nephew off his bike trying to get to me.”
Denise claims that Foster choked her and Ivory punched her in the face. A video of this incident has since gone viral and has gotten many reactions. Many people are validating the claims, made by the Bozemans, about Officer Ivory and Officer Foster:
Black women, particularly Black mothers, are vulnerable to police brutality. The video of this incident shows officers threatening to call DHR on various mothers around the scene. This leveraging of vulnerable women’s children is especially disgusting.
Even more, Patrice Bozeman says, “Foster and Ivory told us that we would not have anywhere to stay come Monday. Everyday they be threatening us like we gonna be homeless and on the street.”
Again, threats of retaliation from the housing authority and child protective services have historically been used to disempower poor and disenfranchised women of color.
All of the victims named were sent to the hospital for treatment. All of the victims were arrested.
In their quest to terrorize this party, police even hesitated to respond to shots fired in the distance in an effort to continue harassing these women and their families, even slamming the father, Menderryl Wright, 48, who was also maced and arrested.
The Family has Three Demands:
Officer Foster and Officer Ivory must be terminated effective immediately.
All of the charges against their family must be dropped.
No retaliation from law enforcement or the housing authority as a result of this altercation.