Statement on Police Shooting of Leonna Hale
UPDATE: In the time since we released this statement, there have been some reports that Leonna Hale may have been armed. This is still no justification for the violence that police inflicted on Hale.
The National Black Women’s Justice Institute released the following statement from Executive Director Dr. Sydney McKinney responding to Kansas City Police shooting of 26-year-old Black woman Leonna Hale:
I am angry and anguished about the horrifying and tragic violence that Leonna Hale, a 26-year-old Black woman, endured at the hands of Kansas City Police. There is no justification for shooting an unarmed pregnant Black woman who had her hands in the air.
Once again, we are being forced to bear witness to the devastating and traumatizing consequences of when racial bias and gender bias of police converge.
Police do not protect or keep our communities safe; they inflict serious harm, and their presence creates a culture of fear.
Racial and gender inequities are embedded throughout U.S. systems and institutions and make it more likely that Black women & girls will come into contact with law enforcement and the U.S. criminal-legal system. This is why we must dismantle this racist & sexist system that denies Black women and girls access to safety, well-being, economic stability, and life. And in its place, we must build pathways to opportunity and healing for those who have been neglected and harmed for so long."