Professor Crenshaw Issues Report on Police Brutality Against Black Women

July 24, 2015-- Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw continues to call attention to violence against Black women in the United States. In honor of Sandra Bland—the 28-year old Black woman from Naperville, Illinois who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a traffic stop in Waller County, Texas on July 10 and was found dead in a jail cell three days later—Professor Crenshaw and colleagues at the African American Policy Forum and Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School have updated a report first issued in May 2015, “Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women. The new version includes the circumstances around Bland’s suspicious death—which is being investigated by the Texas Rangers in coordination with the FBI—and documents stories of Black women who have been killed by police, shining a spotlight on forms of police brutality often experienced disproportionately by women of color.  

“Although Black women are routinely killed, raped, and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality,” said Professor Crenshaw. “Yet, inclusion of Black women’s experiences in social movements, media narratives, and policy demands around policing and police brutality is critical to effectively combatting racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color.”

In addition to stories of Black women who have been killed by police and who have experienced gender-specific forms of police violence, “Say Her Name” provides some analytical frames for understanding their experiences and broadens dominant conceptions of who experiences state violence and what it looks like. 

The report can be accessed at: