Police Brutalize Black Girls More Than Many Think

young black girl smiling outside
Zain Murdock
December 22, 2021

In the summer of 2016, 15-year-old Brianna Stuart was brutalized by police after a bike accident rendered her unconscious. They pulled her off her bike by her backpack, shoved her into a wall, and pepper sprayed her as she cried!

But Stuart’s not at all alone. And the numbers prove it.

From 2015 to 2020, 4,000 minors were brutalized by police from only six major police departments. Fully 20% of them were Black girls, making their abuse more than six times as likely as white girls’. But what exactly are police attacking Black girls for?

Their excuses for punching, Tasing, pointing guns at, body-slamming, and sometimes killing unarmed girls include what pretty much all children do, but Black girls are disproportionately villainized for. Things like “talking back,” being “disobedient,” or simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police will say, “You did it to yourself” and “What else was I supposed to do?” when confronted with Black girls who do anything but sit down, shut up, and take their abuse. 

We can’t buy into their narrative – because they’re the ones traumatizing these girls for life.

Police adultify, criminalize, and silence Black girls – and we don’t need to do it too. Instead, we need to fight for a world where children can make mistakes without being afraid of brutalization – or worse.

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