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9 Black Women Murdered By Violent Police Officers, What Happened To Their Killers?

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Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. This is the phrase that will continue to be shouted until it becomes a reality. Systemic racism exists, it is a real issue at hand. Many black lives have been stolen way too soon because police officers decided that those lives didn’t matter.

While many black lives have been lost after officers decided their time was up, we wanted to focus on the lives of nine women. These nine women – Kendra James, LaTanya Haggerty, Shelly Frey, Tyisha Miller, Bettie Jones, Shereese Francis, Rekia Boyd, Charleena Lyles, and Yvette Smith – lost their lives because police officers killed them. Below we will share their stories and what happened to the officers that took their lives.


Kendra James, 21: Shot dead by a police officer on May 5, 2003

On May 5, 2003, James was shot and killed after a car she was riding in was pulled over in Portland, Oregon.

According to Willamette Week, a struggle ensued: “Attempts to pull her out by her hair, and to use pepper spray and a Taser were unsuccessful. James did not get out of the car when ordered, even after [Officer Scott] McCollister put his pistol to her head and yelled at her to stop. Instead, she threw the car into drive, and it started rolling forward.”

The officer then shot James in the hip.

According to Portland Cop Watch, “the officers pulled James out and handcuffed her, which is standard procedure; however, they left her lying unattended while they set up a crime scene perimeter.”

Officers claimed that she was “faking” her unconsciousness. Consequently, James lost her life.

Rick Bean, Kenneth Reynolds, and Scott McCollister – the three officers involved in James’ shooting – “were cleared of wrongdoing after a long internal investigation,” according to reports.


LaTanya Haggerty, 26: Shot dead by a police officer on June 4, 1999

Haggerty was just 26 years old when she was shot dead by a police officer in Chicago, Illinois on June 4, 1999.

Haggerty, “a computer analyst, was a passenger in a car that fled a police traffic stop and was chased for 31 blocks,” according to The New York Times.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Haggerty was shot dead after an officer mistook her cell phone for a gun.

Chicago Police Officer Serena Daniels knelt next to Haggerty on the sidewalk after shooting her, placed her head on a leather coat, stroked her bloody hair and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to shoot you. I thought you had a gun.”

According to the Times, “Officer Daniels and two other officers involved were fired after officials said they had ignored orders and fired without justification, but they were not prosecuted.”


Shelly Frey, 27: Shot dead by an off-duty sheriff on December 6, 2012

Frey was a mother of two when she was shot and killed by an off-duty officer after taking part in a shoplifting at a Houston Walmart.

According to local ABC 13 Eyewitness News, Frey was found bleeding to death in a car at an apartment complex off Greens Parkway in Houston, Texas.

Harris County Sheriff’s deputy Louis Campbell was working security at the Walmart when Frey, Tiasa Andrews, and Yolanda Craig robbed the store.

According to investigators, Campbell was working an extra job at Walmart when two loss prevention officers alerted him to potential shoplifters — women stuffing merchandise in their purses.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Deputy Thomas Gilliland said, “He confronted the suspects at exit of the store before they left. One female wouldn’t stop, struck the deputy with her purse, ran off.”

Campbell followed the women to their car.

“When the vehicle took off, he was standing between the door frame and the driver. I think it knocked him off balance and in fear for his life, being run over, he discharged his weapon at that point,” Deputy Gilliland explained.

After being shot, Frey made her way to the apartment complex where she was heard screaming by witness Angel Gaines.

“She said some security officer shot her at Walmart on West Road,” Gaines said. “She needed help or something. She was trying to find somebody to help her.”

Gaines said, “I just wish the officer didn’t shoot her. I wish he would’ve just shot her tires or something just to slow her down.”

According to the report, Campbell was placed on a three-day paid leave and was not charged.


Tyisha Miller, 19: Shot dead by a police officer while unconscious in her car on December 28, 1998

Miller was just a teen when she was shot dead in Riverside, California.

According to reports, Miller’s family had called the police on December 28, 1998, after finding her lying unconscious in her locked car.

The Press-Enterprise reported that “police responded to a 911 call about an unconscious woman inside a locked vehicle with a handgun on her lap Dec. 28, 1998. They broke the glass to get to her, which is when they said Miller, who was 19, reached for her gun. Then police fired 23 shots, hitting her 12 times.”

Outraged sparked among the community who called for justice. Unfortunately, justice never came.

According to The Los Angeles Times, no charges were made in the killing of Miller.

“Tyisha Miller’s death was a terrible tragedy,” said former Assistant U.S. Atty. Gen. Gerald Boyd at the time. “Our decision to close this investigation does not signal approval of the conduct of these officers, or indeed any official opinion concerning their conduct, but the bottom line is that our investigation, which was conducted conscientiously, has not revealed enough evidence to support a federal criminal prosecution.”


Bettie Jones, 55: Shot dead by a police officer on December 26, 2015

Jones died on December 26, 2015, during a deadly shooting in Chicago, Illinois. According to reports, Jones was checking in on her neighbor during a dispute with an officer when she was shot and killed.

Jones, a bakery worker, mother of five and grandmother, “was killed early Saturday when police responded to a 911 call from a father who lived on the top floor of the same building about his 19-year-old son acting erratic and wielding an aluminum bat, police said,” according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News.

Jones, along with Quintonio LeGrier, an NIU student, were both shot dead during the incident.

LeGrier was reportedly in the throes of a mental health crisis.

According to reports, the officer who shot them, Robert Rialmo, appeared at the scene with only a gun in hand. He had let his Taser certification lapse and left his baton in his police vehicle.

After investigations, The Chicago Police Board voted to fire Rialmo. Despite his firing, The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced that no charges were to be filed against the officer who murdered Jones and LeGrier.


Shereese Francis, 30: Suffocated to death by four police officers on March 15, 2012

Francis, a college student at Nassau Community College, was suffocated to death by four New York Police Department (NYPD) officers in her family home in Rochdale, Queens, New York.

According to Blackpast.org, Francis had been diagnosed with schizophrenia but was able to control it thanks to medical treatment.

According to the report, “On the night of her death, Francis was having a bad mental episode as a result of not having the medication and had become uncooperative to her family’s assistance. Her sister, Shauna, called 311 to with hopes of arranging a plan to have an ambulance take Francis to a hospital where doctors would attempt to persuade her to continue taking the medication. Soon after, Shauna was transferred to 911 operators who ensured help was on the way.”

When the officers arrived, Francis saw them as a threat and was seemingly unaware that they were police officers. As the officers attempted to handcuff Francis, she broke away and fled to the basement.

The officers then cornered Francis and tackled her onto a bed. There, they put their weight on top of Francis as she struggled to breathe. She eventually went into cardiac arrest. Within 20 minutes of the officers arriving, Francis was no longer breathing.

Francis died nearly two hours before arriving at the local hospital. The medical examiner ruled the death as a homicide, with the cause of death being “compression of trunk during agitated violent behavior (schizophrenia) while prone on bed and attempted restraint by police officers”.

The family sued the NYPD and the four officers involved. Evidence regarding the details of the death of Francis were withheld from the family for weeks until an anonymous source leaked the information to the Wall Street Journal.

The officers involved did not face consequences.


Rekia Boyd, 22: Shot dead over a noise complaint by off-duty officer on March 21, 2012

Boyd was shot in the back of the head by off-duty Detective Dante Servin while he responded to a noise complaint on March 21, 2012.

According to WTTW, “Servin was off duty on March 21, 2012 when he heard a report of a noise complaint and responded to Douglas Park on the city’s West Side. Boyd and three others were leaving that area when they crossed paths with Servin, who was sitting inside his vehicle in an alley near Albany Avenue and 15th Place.”

“Following a verbal altercation between the parties, Servin – who was still inside his vehicle – fired multiple shots over his left shoulder at the group, striking one man in the hand and Boyd in the back of the head, killing her.”

Servin was charged in November 2013 with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct stemming from the shooting.

After trial, Servin was found not guilty.


Charleena Lyles, 30: Shot dead by a police officer in front of her children on June 18, 2017

In the morning of June 18, 2017, police officers responded to a burglary call made by Lyles herself. According to The Seattle Times, Lyles was carrying a knife when police arrived. That’s when two officers grabbed their guns, shot her and ultimately killed her.

Lyles was several months pregnant when she was killed.

Local police tried to justify the murder by claiming Lyles was dangerous.

“Officers were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife,” the department wrote on its web blotter. “Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman.

“There were several children inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured,” the department said. “They are being cared for by other family members at this time.”

The Times reported last year that a judge dismissed the case against the officers who killed Lyles.

The report stated:

“A King County judge has dismissed negligence claims in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against two Seattle police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles in 2017.”

“The Jan. 4 ruling by Superior Court Judge Julie Spector clears the way for the city of Seattle, also a defendant in the case, to move for dismissal. The city indemnifies the officers for actions within the scope of their duties.”


Yvette Smith, 47: Shot dead by a police officer using his personal AR-15 Rifle On February 16, 2014

Out of the kindness of her heart, Smith was attempting to settle a dispute between two men who were armed. Her life was taken away after she called 911 and an officer opened fire on her.

According to The Guardian, “Smith was seemingly trying to act as a peacemaker during a dispute between two men that involved a gun. She called 911 about half an hour after midnight on 16 February 2014. When Bastrop County police arrived at the house, at least one of the men was in the front yard and the worst of the disturbance appeared over.”

The officer who arrived at the scene, Daniel Willis, ordered Smith to come outside. “Police!” he shouted. Not even three seconds later, as Smith was opening the door, Willis shot her twice using his personal AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Smith died in the hospital shortly after.

According to the report, Willis was cleared of murder by visiting district judge Albert McCaig during a retrial.

The nine women above lost their lives to police officers who felt as if they had the power to choose whether they lived or died. Not one of them served prison time. Not one.

The Black Lives Matter movement is crucial. We must remember the names of the black men and women that have lost their lives to police brutality. We must demand justice for each and every single black life that was taken away by a racist system.

Our condolences go out to all the families of the victims. We will remember them. We will get justice.