Korryn Gaines (1993-2016), a Black American hairstylist and mother of two, was gunned down by police in her own home in front of her five-year-old son. They shot him too, but he is expected to live. The police will not say who killed her.
What is known four days after the killing:
On Monday morning, August 1st 2016, police came to her home in Randallstown, Maryland, a largely Black middle-class suburb of Baltimore. They came to arrest her for not appearing in court on a string of traffic charges.
They said they kicked in her door – and found her pointing a shotgun at them. They backed off.
That led to a seven-hour stand-off. They said they tried to talk her into giving herself up and even brought in mental health professionals. But there is no tape of said negotiations – and they never brought in her mother.
During the stand-off, they:
- cleared the apartment building;
- brought in a SWAT team;
- got an arrest warrant for first-degree assault;
- got Facebook to shut down her Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Right after Facebook shut her down, preventing her from posting video on the Internet, police stormed her home. Some police officers who remained outside had body cameras, those who went inside did not.
“And so we sneak in the bathroom and my mother had to pee so she makes some noise, and then she want me to get the ashtray and put all the things out and then the police started shooting. So my mother said, ‘Back off.’ So the police say, ‘We is backup.’ And then, they started shooting and I went in the couch, and then the police just took me away from her and then she died. The end.”
Police shot him too when they saw him running, hitting him in the arm and cheek.
She had an open lawsuit against the police. She said they had been harassing her.
There are some other moving pieces to this:
lead poisoning: like Freddie Gray and thousands of children in Baltimore in the 1990s, she was lead poisoned. That was because landlords had bought off inspectors. Lead poisoning can make you see threats where others do not, making you seem more suspicious to police.
sovereign citizens: the government sees them as a terrorist threat. Most are Black. She used their thought and language, seeing the police as operating:
“outside of the laws of the Constitution which would make them organized criminals. They enforce CORPORATE Law (to generate revenue … which is not a true form of the law but so many of us have bended to their criminal ways. Not me.”
Back in March when police pulled her over for “driving without current tags”, she expected to be killed. Right before they dragged her out of her car, she told her son:
“Don’t be afraid. You see what they do to us, right? You fight them. They are not for us. They want to kill us. And you never EVER back down from them!”
– Abagond, 2016.
- shooters who were taken alive:
- Freddie Gray
- Charles Kinsey – yet more SWAT team action
- Cosmo Setepenra – the Baton Rouge shooter, whose thinking was somewhat like hers.
- Philando Castile – live on Facebook.
- Flint Water Crisis – yet more children being poisoned by lead.
- Driving While Black