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Black pregnant women "get the most judgment": a qualitative study of the experiences of black women at the intersection of race, gender, and pregnancy

As George Floyd's death focuses renewed attention on the African American men who have been killed by police officers across the country and the deep-seated issue of bias in policing, advocates are also saying that dozens of African American women over the last few decades who have been killed by police or died in their custody are a part of the conversation that is missing.

The vast majority were shot and a of cases involved mental illness and controversial "no-knock" warrants. While the rate of death for black women is much lower than black men who die by police brutality, it has been amplified recently by the case of Taylor, whose case is now under investigation by the FBI.

Taylor, born in Grand Rapids on June 5,was, her family says, an accomplished front-line healthcare worker in Louisville, Kentucky, where she went to the state's university and lived with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Taylor and Walker were asleep when their apartment on March 13 when it was raided by three plainclothes Louisville police officers who were executing a "no-knock" warrant related to drugs, police said.

After breonna taylor's death, a look at other black women killed during police encounters

Walker called to report a break-in as shots rang out and bullets were exchanged between the officers and Walker, a d gun owner, according to Sam Aguiar, an attorney for the Taylor family. Taylor was shot at least eight times during the fusillade, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the shooters. While Taylor was suspected by the police of participating in drug trafficking, no drugs were found in the apartment, police said.

The officers -- Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove -- were placed on administrative reasment pending investigations by the FBI and local police officials. This week, in memory of what would have been Taylor's 27th birthday, writer Cate Young started a campaign to allow the community to take action in her honor.

Young created a website with a nine-part action plan that includes encouraging the use of the hashtags " SayHerName" and " BirthdayforBreonna" on social media as well as to send a birthday card to Kentucky's Governor Daniel Cameron demanding charges get filed against the officers.

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Calls to the governor's officer were not returned. Young also mentioned that "even less coverage" is given to transgender men and women who are killed by the police. If black lives really do matter, all black lives have to matter. That means black lives across gender have to be lifted up," said Crenshaw. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a report in August that shows people of color -- African Americans, Latino men, American Indians and Alaska Natives -- are more likely than whites to be killed by the police.

The researchers "expect" between 2.

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During the last 10 days, massive protests have erupted around the country after Floyd's death was captured in excruciating detail on a cellphone video. Four now-former Minneapolis police officers were charged in connection to Floyd's killing.

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The others were charged with aiding and abetting murder. No pleas were issued at their initial court appearance.

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But, two of the charged officers, Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng -- both rookies -- said through their attorneys that they tried to stop Chauvin. Earlier this week, Sens. Al Sharpton to propose legislative solutions to the situation that led to Floyd's death. The three-pronged proposal included banning the use of "no-knock" warrants.

What turns women on?

No-knock warrants -- issued by a judge that gives law enforcement the authority to enter someone's property without notification -- have led to the death of at least three African American women and one girl, aged 7 to 92 since In one case, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was asleep on the couch in her grandmother's living room in Detroit on May 16, when police entered, authorities said at the time. The officers were executing a "no-knock" warrant for a murder suspect while a reality television crew was filming, police said. One of the officers, Joseph Weekley, collided with the 7-year-old girl's grandmother causing him to accidentally fire.

Aiyana was shot in the head. Weekley was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but after the jury deadlocked, a judge dismissed the charges in There were no admissions of wrongdoing. Four years before Aiyana was killed, year-old Kathryn Johnston was shot and killed inside her Atlanta, Georgia, home during a botched drug raid. Officers with the Atlanta Police Department executed a "no-knock" warrant on Johnston's home, using false information from an informant who claimed he had purchased drugs from the home, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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After they broke down her front door, Johnston reached for a gun and fired one shot, police said at the time. Officers returned fire, killing her. No drugs were found, and officers planted drugs in the home that had been recovered from a different raid, according to the AJC. A total of nine officers were either criminally charged, sentenced to federal prison or disciplined for their role in the incident.

And three years before Johnston's death, Alberta Spruill suffered a heart attack when NYPD officers mistakenly executed a "no-knock" warrant on her Harlem apartment. The officers broke through her front door while she was getting dressed for work, tossed a flash grenade and entered with their guns drawn before handcuffing Spruill, police said.

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Police received bad information from a confidential informant that they were entering an apartment that a drug dealer used to stash drugs, guns and a pit bull. After the officers rammed into Spruill's apartment, they realized they had the wrong apartment as she began to have trouble breathing and died an hour later, the New York Post reported.

Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly placed the unidentified lieutenant who decided to use the flash grenade on desk duty and banned use of flash grenades department-wide.

How black women describe navigating race and gender in the workplace

The Manhattan District Attorney at the time investigated Spruill's death, which was ruled a homicide, but no criminal charges were filed. High-profile cases of deadly encounters between police and African American women with mental illness police include an incident in October in the Bronx, New York.

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Eleanor Bumpers66, was shot and killed by NYPD Officer Stephen Sullivan while attempting to assist marshals to evict her because she was behind in her rent. Bumpers had a history of mental illness and was brandishing a knife before Sullivan fired two shots. Sullivan was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges after a trial. Barry claimed self-defense and was also acquitted of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after trial.

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Interviews with 10 women of color shed light on some of the common challenges faced by black women in the workplace, how they cope with those challenges, and how those coping mechanisms affect their chances of long-term success.


Suddenly single at 52, I had a lot to learn about dating.