Black Women Matter

by Underground Sketchbook

“I am a Black Feminist. I mean I recognize that my power as well as my primary oppressions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness, and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable.” –Audre Lorde

Mother of 2, died February 16, 2014 in Bastrop, Texas

Bastrop County Deputy Daniel Willis arrived at Yvette’s home for a reported domestic disturbance alleging that two males were arguing in the presence of a gun. Yvette opened the door. Willis opened fire and murdered Yvette. Police initially claimed that she had a gun and then retracted the statement.

Died on July 8, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan

Adaisha Miller was “accidentally” killed by an off-duty deputy police officer the day before her 25th birthday. At a fish fry hosted by Detroit police officer Issac Parrish in his backyard, Adaisha hugged Parrish and the weapon discharged, puncturing her lung and striking her in the heart. David Balash, a former Michigan State Police firearms examiner, said the investigation should look at the gun’s angle given that Adaisha was shot in the chest.

“What’s going to be very important here is the angle of the entry of the wound to the victim (and) if there is in fact any gunpowder residue, I’m having a great deal of difficulty understanding how a weapon that’s pointed at the ground can be turned literally 110 degrees minimum to be in an upward position to strike someone.”

Johnson was never suspended or taken off-duty, though he was temporarily assigned to desk duty following Adaisha’s death. Miller’s family tried to re- open the case for an extensive independent investigation. It was denied.

Died on March 15, 2012 in Queens, New York

Shereese wasn’t taking the medication prescribed for her schizophrenia. Her sister called 311, hoping to get Shereese to a hospital. Four police officers responded to the call, arriving at 10:20 pm. They chased Francis through the house, ultimately cornering her in a basement bedroom, forcing her face-down on the bed and applying pressure while they cuffed her.

Within 20 minutes of police arriving, Shereese had stopped breathing. A few hours later she was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Mother of 2, died June 11, 2002 in East Austin, Texas

Sophia was shot and killed by APD officer, John Coffey, at Rosewood Courts. Her body laid in the street for 3 hours. The coroner was not even called until an hour and a half after Sophia had been declared dead by EMS.

Even before the investigation of King’s death was complete, Officer Coffey was invited back to the academy to lecture police cadets on “what it is like” to be in a police shooting. Officer Coffey was promoted to corporal October 2003.

Shelly Frey, 27
Pearlie Golden, 93
Tarika Wilson, 26
Rekia Boyd, 22
Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7 Shulena Weldon, 36

Tyisha Miller, 19

Excerpts from Black Women Matter

A zine from Underground Sketchbook, dedicated to the recounting of the deaths of 11 black women killed by law enforcement, read them all…

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