Fierce

Naomi Osaka’s Display Of Support For Black Lives Matter Was The Biggest Win At The U.S. Open… Other Than Her Big Win

After taking home a massive victory at Saturday’s U.S. Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka cemented her status as the reigning women’s tennis champion of the year. Her victory against Belarusian tennis play Victoria Azarenka meant she took home her third Grand Slam title in just three years. But the biggest part of Osaka’s win was the powerful statement she decided to make in every match leading up to it.

The 22-year-old walked into the Arthur Ashe Stadium each day using her platform to remind the world of racial injustice.

For each of her matches, the tennis star wore masks emblazoned with the names of Black victims of police violence.

For her final match, Osaka arrived with a mask with Tamir Rice’s name. Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was murdered by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann in 2014. At the time of his murder, Rice had been carrying a replica toy gun and had been shot by Loehmann almost as soon as the officer arrived at the scene he’d been called to. Reports notes that the caller claimed that a male was pointing “a pistol” at random people but also noted that it was “probably fake.”

Osaka used her platform to also honor Black victims such as Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Breonna Taylor was a Black woman who lost her life after being fatally shot by police in March while she was sleeping in her home. Elijah McClain was killed by police in August 2019 after being put in a chokehold. Ahmaud Arbery was killed while on a jog in February. Osaka also wore the names of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castille. At the time Martin’s death in 2012, he was just 17-years old. Castille was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016.

“I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness,” Osaka noted to ESPNW after her quarter-final win earlier last week. At the time, Osaka sported a mask bearing George Floyd’s name. Floyd’s murder in May, sparked protests across the country.

In seeing Osaka’s dedication to his son, Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery, Sr. told Osaka in a video message, “God bless you for what you’re doing.” Osaka later remarked in a tweet that after watching the video messages she “cried so much. The strength and the character both of these parents have is beyond me.”

After being asked about the intention behind the masks and what message she was intending to get a cross in a post-match interview, Osaka asked “Well, what was the message you got?… I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images

Protests erupted around Brazil after a Black man was beaten to death by security guards. The man was attacked by grocery security guards on Nov. 19 and died from being choked. The protests echoed the call for racial justice heard in the U.S. after George Floyd’s death.

A disturbing video on social media showing a Black man being attacked by security guards sparked outrage in Brazil.

Video shows two security guards at a Carrefour violently attacking a man. The video is of 40-year-old welder João Alberto Silveira Freitas who died from the attack. His death has sparked protests throughout Brazil calling for racial justice. Protests popped up in front of Carrefour locations across the country calling for justice.

The timing of Silveira Freitas’ death heightened anger.

Silveira Freitas was attacked on the day before Brazil’s Black Awareness Day. The day, called Dia da Consciência Negra, is a day dedicated to honoring the Black community and their contributions. Originally, the Dia da Consciência Negra was celebrated on March 13 to coincide with the abolishment of slavery in Brazil. It was later moved to Nov. 20 to coincide with the death of Zumbi, a beloved Afro-Brazilian figure who fought against slavery in the 1600s.

Some of the protesters have turned their anger towards the French supermarket chain.

“Murderous Carrefour” was seen drawn on protest signs that popped up around the country. A Carrefour in Porto Alegre was attacked by demonstrators. The CEO of Carrefour tweeted in Portuguese condemning the actions of the security guards. He also said that the company is ending its contract with the security company.

People around the world are offering their support in the fight for racial justice in Brazil.

There has been renewed and amplified in recent months. The viral videos of unarmed Black people being killed by police has exposed the crisis in the Black community. Covid lockdowns and restrictions have given those videos a great audience and a more intense spotlight.

READ: Sasha and Malia Obama Participated in Black Lives Matter Protests Over the Summer, According to Their Dad

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Los Angeles Coroner Ordered a Rare Inquest Into the Police Shooting of Andrés Guardado

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Los Angeles Coroner Ordered a Rare Inquest Into the Police Shooting of Andrés Guardado

Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images

Months after the country was enraged at the seemingly unjustified killing of Andrés Guardado, the Los Angeles coroner is finally ordering an official inquest into the death of the 18-year-old  Salvadoran-American. It will be the first of such an inquest in Los Angeles in 30 years. 

The coroner’s decision is in direct conflict with the LA Sheriff’s department’s wishes. The LAPD had requested a “security hold” on the case, which initially kept Guardado’s autopsy and cause of death under wraps.

The LA County coroner wrote that he is “committed to transparency and providing the residents of Los Angeles County an independent assessment of its findings” in the case of Guardado’s death. He continued: “An inquest ensures that our residents will have an independent review of all the evidence and findings of our office and of the cause and manner of death of Mr. Guardado.”

An inquest will allow for the coroner’s office to subpoena witnesses and gather evidence that it will present to an independent officer to make an assessment. 

Andrés Guardado was shot in the back five times and subsequently killed by Deputies Miguel Vega and Chris Hernandez in July of this year. Guardado was working as an unofficial security guard at an auto body shop in Compton when he allegedly fled the location when he saw the two police officers approaching. The officers claim that Guardado produced a gun at some point while he was running from them. The autopsy report shows that he was laying on the ground when he was shot. 

Guardado’s family claims that the killing was both unprompted and unjustified. They believe that Guardado fled from the police officers because he was frightened of police officers during a time of immense volatility between police officers and communities of color. 

“My brother was frightened,” Andrés’s sister Jennifer Guardado told local news shortly after his death. “He ran away because he knew what was gonna happen.”

The family has since come forward saying that they believe the police officers involved in the shooting were a part of a violent Los Angeles-based police gang who “were possibly acting in connection and in agreement with” other police gang members. The Guardado family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Los Angeles County and its sheriff’s department.

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been vocal about his displeasure with the LA Coroner’s decision. At a press conference, he called the inquest a “circus stunt” and claimed that the coroner “sacrificed the integrity of the investigation in a bid to satisfy public curiosity.”

But the Los Angeles community, by in large, seems to stand by the coroner’s decision. “An independent review should not be rare, it should be the norm,” wrote Ventura resident Elidet Bordon on Twitter. “I hope Andres Guardado and his family get the justice he deserves.”

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