This is an expanded version of a post I made on Facebook regarding the research I do curating http://blackfemalelivesmatter.tumblr.com/ – a commemorative tumblr dedicated to documenting the lives of black women lost at the hands of law enforcement.
I am not a researcher by trade and don’t particular enjoy the work. But I’ve found that a large part of ensuring that #BlackLivesMatter is in documenting what is happening to black people and that requires research. So below I walk you through the general process and the frustrating & infuriating obstacles associated with this documentation. I truly PRAY for a day when we won’t have to do this anymore – but until that day….
It happens every week – sometimes multiple times a week – a Black Woman is killed by law enforcement. Generally I am first alerted to the death via Twitter. Someone from the local area of the killing will post something and then others start to spread the information via tweets like “Have you heard about this?” “Anyone have more info on this?”.
From here to I search online, news blogs, social media basically everywhere to get as much information as I can & as a first step – the NAME of the deceased. I know that sounds like it should be easy to do because news reports are being written, recorded & filed that include things like:
- number of shots
- general incident description
- & preliminary police statement.
However in this first phase of MSM coverage of the killing of a black women by law enforcement, the woman’s name is glaringly absent. Headlines generally read as follows:
- Emeryville police shoot, kill allegedly armed woman
- Emeryville officers shoot, kill woman who police say was armed
- Emeryville Police Fatally Shoot Armed Woman in Oakland After Shoplifting Incident
- 2 fatal police shootings: 1 Oakland, 1 in Antioch
- Woman Shot, Killed by Emeryville Police Pointed Gun Gun at Bystander
On Tue #YvetteHenderson was killed by Emerville, CA police. On the day she was killed by Emeryville, CA it took me over an hour to find Yvette Henderson’s name.
This information came to me via Twitter at 10:32 PM:
— No Justice No Peace (@drumbeats4peace) February 4, 2015
Armed with Yvette’s name – my next phase is to locate alternative sources of information BESIDES MSM, in particular to gain insight from any witnesses and a photo of victim. In this particular case a Vigil was held the next day which gave some additional information about both the incident and Yvette. she was a 38 year old mother of two and the incident took place just inside Oakland city limits, though the police involved were from neighboring Emeryville, CA.
Details on the Vigil can be found here: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/02/04/18768023.php – warning some graphic photos are included. However I was STILL unable to locate a photo of Yvette.
Four days later I return to my search – with the sole purpose of finding a photo of Yuvette Henderson. What I am met with is a blitz of articles like this one with the full & complete police narrative.
Note: they have full info about YUVETTE’s previous arrests but misspell her first name. This might seem like not a big deal to some of you reading this. You might say to yourself – well seems like this is just reporting information & likely just a typo.
At this point let me break down a few things I have noticed in the last 6 months:
- The consistency with which I have observed MSM working in direct tandem with law enforcement is shocking. In the deaths of all the BW I have researched it is 100%.
- The consistency of the LEO narrative in the deaths of each of the BW I have researched is equally jarring. Of such a high % that statistically it’s impossible to believe. Seriously to believe the statistics you would have to also believe that somewhere around 1 in 4 BW is consistently waiting to kill LEO as soon as contact is made.
- Another statistical anomaly since Mike Browns death on Aug 9 is non-functioning but present LEO operating recording devices. In Yvette’s case it was “Williams was testing a body camera at the time but didn’t activate it until after the shooting, police said.” Either every maker of these government purchased TOOLS are the worst manufacturers ever or all LEO are completely inept.
My research yesterday morning was to actually find a photo of #YuvetteHenderson.
- To see her face, what did she looked like?
- How she liked to wear her hair.
- Did she have dimples like me?
- What color were her eyes?
- Was her face round like my sisters?
It was a fruitless search. I’ll keep looking though. But if my research statistics hold the 1st image of her I will find will be courtesy of the MSM & it will most definitely be a mug shot.