• Olufolake Majekodunmi

The Justice System Fails Black Women

Updated: Nov 22, 2020

This Wednesday, the Kentucky state grand jury made their decision regarding the indictment of the three officers involved in the shooting and killing of Breonna Taylor that occurred during a “no-knock search warrant” drug raid in her home. The grand jury decision was the indictment of a former detective for endangering neighbors with his shots, but not for the death of Taylor. The other two officers were not given charges.

The decision came after the city of Louisville agreed to pay a settlement of $12 million to Taylor’s family. The settlement demonstrates that the city acknowledges her wrongful death, but will not give Taylor's family proper justice. It is a message to the country that black women do not matter.

According to Mapping Police Violence, about 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year. Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police officers than any other race. However, many arrested officers are not charged with murder.

The conviction rate for police officers is significantly lower for the deaths of black women. According to the Washington Post Database, since 2015, 250 women have been killed by the police and a fifth of those cases have been black women. The biggest problem was that only one officer was formally charged with manslaughter. This shows how black women are vulnerable to police violence. Who can we rely on to keep us safe?

The justice system of America has constantly failed African Americans. It deliberately targets people of color. Based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, African American women are more likely to go to prison and are highly populated in federal prisons.

Black women are disproportionately unprotected in comparison to their white counterparts. Today, Breonna Taylor’s family cannot receive justice for her death. It is outrageous that police officers can be acquitted with murder. Time and time again, we are disappointed with results from judges and jury members. If we want to see any substantial change, then the justice system needs to be reformed.

Breonna Taylor was used for promotions of the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite the fact that at some points she was spread all over social media for selfish purposes, her life mattered.

The disappointing verdict reveals that we are not safe anywhere in this country, even in our own homes. It creates the fear that we have to protect ourselves since no one else will. The system has rarely been in our favor. How can one trust a failing justice system? The saying “no justice, no peace” is especially true in this case, because black women are deserving of justice and Breonna Taylor deserved so much more.