Fierce

Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, And Others React To Murder and Assault Of Black Lives Matter Activist

Updated June 17, 2020.

At a time when BLM protestors are morning the death of Oluwatoyin Salau, a 19-year-old activist and speaker, celebrities are showing their support.

Salau was found dead on Saturday, June 13, in Florida according to Tallahassee Police. Leading up to her death, Salau had been an active voice in the Black Lives Matter in Tallahassee.

She was reported missing on June 6 after she claimed that she’d been sexually assaulted earlier that day.

Salau spent her final days voicing her desire to seek proper treatment of Black people and the fight for Trans people across the globe.

https://twitter.com/kurtzobain/status/1272387191314890752

A clip of Salau giving a speech in Florida in which she explained the importance of the Black Lives Matter has already been viewed over 7.3 million times on Twitter.

“At the end of the day, I cannot take my fucking skin color off,” Salau said during her speech at Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “Wherever the fuck I go I’m profiled. Look at my fucking hair, look at my skin. I can’t take this shit off. So guess what? Imma die by it. Imma die by my fucking skin. You cannot take my fucking blackness away from me.”

In each clip of Salau speaking at demonstrations, she can be heard and seen reciting the names of Black people killed by police. “I don’t want their names gone in vain,” Salau explained during one protest before the Tallahassee Police Department.

In her final days, Salau also used her voice to seek help in bringing justice to a man who had sexually assaulted her.

In the hours before she went missing, Salau shared in a tweet that she had been sexually assaulted. On the afternoon that she went missing, Salau tweeted that a man had offered to give her a ride back to a church where she had sought “refuge” because of “unjust living conditions” and then molested her.

“He came disguised as a man of God and ended up picking me up from nearby Saxon Street,” Salau said in a post to her Twitter account. “I trusted the holy spirit to keep me safe.”

After the assault took place, Salau said that she called the police and shared an address that she claimed belonged to her attacker.

According to ABC, Tallahassee police are investigating Salau’s death and how it might relate to the murder of another woman who went missing this month. The body of Victoria Sims, 75, was also found the same day as Salau’s. “Authorities have identified a suspect in the case, Aaron Glee Jr., 49, who was brought into custody over the weekend following the discovery of the victims, police said. Glee has not been charged in connection to the disappearances,” ABC reported.

According to the Tallahassee police, Salau and Sim’s deaths are being investigated as homicides and their cases have been turned over to the department’s Violent Crime Unit.

Here’s hoping Salau’s fight to make the world a better place does not go in vain.

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Through the speeches she gave at rallies it is clear that to Salau, “Black Lives Matter” meant a lot to her and the crowds who listened to her speak felt moved to follow her words. Even more importantly, she was clearly a fierce proponent for the lives of all Black people including trans people. It is a terrible tragedy that we have lost such an important voice as hers.

In response to her death, stars have taken to social media to mourn.

Actress Gabrielle Union posted a lengthy message to her Instagram page on Tuesday writing “She was 19. 19. 19. A baby. Oluwatoyin ‘Toyin’ Salau was a 19 year old warrior who fought for US,” Union wrote. “Who cares for little Black girls, Black teens, Black women? Toyin deserved so much more. She fought for so much more for all of us… I can’t shake it. I am her and she is me. I am alive to talk about surviving my rape at 19. She is not. The work continues. The fight continues. The reckoning will continue. Toyin should be here. She was 19. A baby. Hold our babies tight. Love them. Protect them. Support them.”

Kerry Washington also expressed her hurt over Salau’s writing on Twitter “This is heartbreaking. Toyin, I am praying for you. I am praying for your family. I will continue to say your name and bring.”

Common also spoke out about Salau’s death using the hashtag #JusticeForToyin in a Twitter post that described how the activist “spent the last days of her life fighting for justice for her people. It shouldn’t be lost on us that Black Women have been at the forefront of these Movements,” he continued. “We have to stand up against violence happening to our Black Women and Girls. God Bless her soul.”

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The Cop Who Killed Daunte Wright Says She Meant To Tase Him Instead Of Firing Her Gun

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The Cop Who Killed Daunte Wright Says She Meant To Tase Him Instead Of Firing Her Gun

Brooklyn Center Police Department

Another Black man is dead, killed by the police.

Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man from Minnesota was murdered on Sunday after a police officer pulled him over for a traffic violation. In an attempt to take in Wright after realizing he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, it is being said that the officer meant to use her Taser but accidentally fired her gun.

Police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota are saying that Wright’s attempt to reenter his car prompted the police fire.

Body camera footage of the Sunday incident was released for the first time on Monday during a news conference. Footage of the killing shows Wright outside of his car when authorities were attempting to place him under arrest. At one point, in the footage he can be seen attempting to reenter his vehicle, prompting a struggle with officers.

“I’ll tase ya,” a woman officer told Wright in the video after he attempted to kick her. “Taser, Taser, Taser!” the officer is heard yelling in the video before saying “Oh shit! I just shot him.”

According to Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, the officer meant to reach for her Taser.

Instead, she grabbed her gun.

“This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon claimed.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has identified the officer in the incident as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the police department. Potter is now on administrative leave.

Speaking about her standing, Gannon said “I think we can watch the video and ascertain whether she will be returning.”

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott publicly supported Potter’s termination.

“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession, so I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties,” he explained before revealing that the officers initiated the traffic stop after clocking an expired registration tag on the car’s vehicle. When they ran Wright’s name they learned that he had a warrant out for his arrest. “That’s why they were moving from the car and they were making custodial arrest.”

Gannon went onto explain that the only information he had about the arrest warrant was that it was attached to a “gross misdemeanor warrant.”

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The Lead Investigator In Derek Chauvin Case Says He Heard George Floyd Incorrectly

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The Lead Investigator In Derek Chauvin Case Says He Heard George Floyd Incorrectly

Stephanie Keith / Getty

Updated April 7, 2021.

The opening statements of Derek Chauvin’s criminal trial took place in late March and revealed shocking details on the case of George Floyd. One of the biggest revelations came from the prosecuting attorney Jerry Blackwell that Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds rather than the commonly believed 8 minutes and 46 seconds. In addition to this, is the reveal that it was in fact a 911 dispatcher who witnessed George Floyd’s death last May.

Watching the incident through a nearby police camera, Jena Scurry was in fact the person who called the police on the police officer.

Jena Scurry is the dispatcher who first raised the alarm about Floyd’s death.

“You’re going to learn that there was a 911 dispatcher. Her name is Jena Scurry,” special prosecutor Jerry Blackwell stated during an opening statement on behalf of the state “There was a fixed police camera that was trained on this particular scene. She could see through the camera what was going on. You will learn that what she saw was so unusual and, for her, so disturbing that she did something that she had never done in her career.”

Watching what was happening, Scurry reportedly became so worried by what she saw Chauvin and the three other officers taking part in that she called Minneapolis Sgt. David Pleoger. Ultimately it was Pleoger who managed the officers involved in the murder

“My instincts were telling me something was wrong,” Scurry explained to prosecutors that took place during the trial at Hennepin County Courthouse this past Monday. “It was a gut instinct of the incident: Something is not going right. Whether it be they needed more assistance. Just something wasn’t right.”

Scurry testified that while she could not remember when she called police she was moved to take action after an uncomfortable “extended period of time.” 

At one point, the defense noted that it took some time for Scurry to call Chauvin’s sergeant. In fact, it took nearly 30 minutes from when the dispatcher received the first 911 call about Floyd. She also stated during her testimony that she became concerned when she saw the police vehicle “rocking bath and forth” while Floyd was inside.

Scurry was actually one of “at least three people who called for police intervention as she watched Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during his May 25 arrest outside a downtown convenience store, according to Blackwell,” according to CNN.

On the eighth day of Chauvin’s criminal trial, the special agent who led investigation into George Floyd’s death changed his mind on what he thought he heard Floyd say while Chauvin was kneeling on his neck.

Senior Special Agent James Reyerson who led the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was shown a clip from Minneapolis Police body-camera footage of Floyd during his murder. In the clip, Floyd can be heard something while handcuffed, his stomach pressed to the ground.

“Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, ‘I ate too many drugs?” Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson asked Reyerson.

“Yes, it did,” Reyerson replied.

After, what CNN describes as “a short break,” the prosecution played an extended clip of the video for for Reyerson.

“Having heard it in context, are you able to tell what Mr. Floyd is saying there?” the prosecutoing attorney Matthew Frank asked.

“Yes, I believe Mr. Floyd was saying, ‘I ain’t do no drugs,” Reyerson replied.

Top-ranking police officials from the Minneapolis Police Department, including the city’s police chief, testified that Chauvin’s use of force against George Floyd was a violation of protocols.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, and Chauvin’s currently-retired former supervisor, Sgt. David Pleoger, testified against him this week during his murder trial for his murder of Floyd. Arradondo testified against Chauvin on Monday said that he “vehemently disagreed” with Chauvin’s use of force against Floyd on May 25, 2020.

“There’s an initial reasonableness in trying to get him under control in the first few seconds,” Arradondo told the jury. “But once there was no longer any resistance — and clearly when Mr. Floyd was no longer responsive and even motionless — to continue to apply that level of force to a person prone down, handcuffed behind their back … that in no way, shape, or form is part of our policy, is not part of our training, and is not part of our ethics and values.”

The prosecution team played bystander video of Floyd’s murder during the opening statement and accused Chauvin of violating the oath of his badge.

The prosecutor stated that he also betrayed his post when he refused to help Floyd when he pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

“We plan to prove to you that he’s anything other than innocent,” Blackwell said in his statement.

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