Violence Against Black Women Is Too Often Overlooked or Dismissed

Over the past few weeks, various media outlets have replayed the horrifically shocking video of a medium sized Black woman being brutally pummeled in the face by a physically large California Highway Patrol officer. Such a horrific image sent shock waves as well as outrage through many communities in America. The officer in question has been placed on paid leave. In response to massive public outcry about the beating, CHP officials responded that they are "investigating" the situation. I guess this is a step up (sarcasm) from their (CHP) initial response which was to ignore the case despite the fact that the beating took place in broad daylight with hundreds of drivers and a few onlookers witnessing such a horrendous spectacle. The fact is that had it not been for the video going viral this would have been another example of over the top police brutality swept under the rug and dismissed. The family of the woman in question has hired an attorney and are seeking monetary damages.

In another equally disturbing video, an Arizona State University police officer is seen body slamming a young African American college professor to the ground as she was crossing the street. As was the case with the California Highway Patrol incident, until images of the disturbing incident were splashed over the Internet, little attention was given to the event. In fact, university officials initially sided with the actions of the officer in question believing that "the officer had acted appropriately" until mounting public outrage forced all parties involved to revisit the case. The officer in this case has been placed on leave.

These are just two cases that due to the determined diligence and conscientiousness of certain individuals who were determined to expose such injustices ,that they eventually received the intense level of attention and outrage they warranted and had initially been deprived of. Other examples of Black women being targets of police brutality are:

* A 92-year-old great grandmother in Atlanta was shot six times by police officers as they stormed her home without a search warrant.

* A Black woman from Houston was brutally assaulted by a group of undercover officers after being confused for a White prostitute who was wearing similar attire

*In Memphis, a Black woman sitting in an airport Black was physically assaulted by two White Police officers She was eventually murdered.

*A Black woman in Chicago was killed by a police officer when they mistook her cell phone for a gun.

*A Charlotte, North Carolina Black woman was killed after police fired 22 rounds in the car she was driving when the car failed to stop at a police checkpoint

* A Black woman from Miami was traveling to see friends when she was pulled over by an irate South Carolina police officer demanding her to get out of the car on the ground. Fortunately she survived.

The last incident made national headlines and the woman in question settled out of court.

While many people have expressed their outrage at such injustices, there have been those (primarily on conservative oriented websites) who have resorted to a "they must have done something to deserve it" stance. These are the sort of people who tend to view Black women (and Black people in general) as rude, combative, oversexed, elemental and are not to be trusted. Such a retrograde mentality must be combated. Black woman have just as much right to expect to be treated with a certain degree of civility and dignity by law enforcement as any other group of people. This is a necessary and mandatory issue that must be given full attention. Police brutality directed toward Black women (or any group of women) is unacceptable.