Police Brutality Against Black Women: Has It Become A Trending Phenomenon?


Police brutality has conceptually been linked to the assault of Black men, but most recently there have been several instances where Black women have been attacked by law enforcement without reproach. Historically, many cases relating to the assault by white men with “power” against Black women have been considered permissible, and somehow validated by the guise of gender and race.

In 2006, 12 year old Dymond Millburn was confronted and physically assaulted by four Galvestone undercover cops, who were reportedly looking for three white prostitutes at the time of the incident. According to the officers’ lawyer their conduct was appropriate because Millburn was wearing short, tight shorts, and could have been very well mistaken for a prostitute.

Shelia Stevenson, 42 year old black woman, was riding her bicycle on the sidewalk on February 3rd, 2008 and was stopped and detained by Officer Carlo Drogo who allegedly pepper sprayed, threw on ground and punched Stevenson 4 times in the face.

Let us not forget 92 year old Kathryn Johnston who was shot 6 times while sitting in the confinement of her Atlanta based- home, as officers knocked down her door using a no-knock warrant to perform a drug raid.

The most recent example of police brutality against a Black woman took place in Arizona while Dr. Ersula Ore, ASU English Professor, was walking across the street and was confronted by Officer Stewart Ferrin who asked Ore to show id. When Dr. Ore questioned Officer Ferrin about why she was being stopped, the officer slammed Ore to the ground for failing to comply with his request. Ore is now facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting an officer.

As a historical and social construct, racism and sexism has been developed by “the powers that be” to create a superior vs. inferior component of society that has internalized an illusion that Black women of America are nothing more than objects used to release hostile energy upon. Although Black men have been the most frequent group to fall victim of presumptuous ideas of their role in American society, the plight of the Black woman is as devastating as the curse that has been placed upon our Black male counterparts. Black women have been victims of sexual exploitation and aggression for years, and this type of on-going occurrences has yet to be thoroughly investigated.

This neo-pseudo depiction of the ‘Master’ dominating the “Black slave woman” has not received nearly as much national coverage as police brutality against Black men. According to Beth E. Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation, overt physical assault by the hands of those in authoritative positions, is not uncommon, especially for Black women who rely on protection and community resources. Richie confirms that, “direct physical assault of detained women is a serious problem that is primarily documented through informal discussion.”

The media is a contributor of co-opted images of Black women that depict hyper sexuality, aggression and irrational behavior, yet very rarely exposes the true dilemma of the Black woman; that of sexual exploitation, victimization and emotional manipulation projected by media driven propaganda. Furthermore, it is quite evident, and a daunting reality that Black women are not rendered equal institutional protection against physical assault, especially when done by the hands of law enforcement.

Kara Warner is an upcoming author, blogger, and educator from Omaha, NE, by way of Hammond, IN. She has placed much emphasis on supporting, and becoming an advocate for women and youth who struggle with self- esteem, image, and perception issues.

In 2009, Kara founded a program entitled, ‘Beauty Is Skin Deep Movement, Inc.” in order to reconstruct the perception and image of women of color in American society. She has conducted classes for the YMCA, Urban League of Nebraska, Middle School Learning Center, and Girls Incorporated of Omaha.

Kara is currently working on a book titled, ” False Feelings Appearing Real”, a compilation of experiences and stories by women who have, throughout their life, struggled with understanding their feelings and are now learning how to cope with them.

Follow Kara @Conquistanoir (IG) Livelifwpurpose (Twitter)


  1. @ Brownsista thanks for posting this article because violence against black women has been thrown under the radar. These are just a few stories you mention about black women being assaulted by the police but I can rest for sure there are more cases like this that happen to black women but kept quiet. Its open season on black men, women, & children when it comes down to physical violence with the police.

  2. I had not heard of any of these events. Thank you for this article. It is a shame that one can’t even ride a bicycle whilst wearing shorts without getting assaulted. Or one can’t sit in the comfort of their own home without getting SHOT. Or one cannot even walk across the street and DARE to ask an officer his NAME and BADGE# and TITLE without getting shoved to the ground.

    Grateful for those bringing light to these injustices.

  3. This makes my blood boil. We are a race that some white people fear and are intimidated by that can translate into hate. It’s very disturbing.

  4. And this is one of many reasons why I would never live in America!

  5. We don’t understand white supremcy. We Black people are in such denial how we ALLOW the police to come in our neighborhood and brutality our family. We stand outside and yell “No Justice No Peace” then we get no justice we don’t do anything. This is one reason we are not taken serious. We don’t stan for nothing. The headline of this article Is it a Trend? Trend?? Phenomenal Trend? A question without any outrage or purpose I have tried to organize with Black women to discuss meeting with so call leadership. UNTIL we realize we need to build and work together and stop bowing and scraping to white supremacy it will only get worst. They are killing and beating and humiliating US as a race. Let’s get our money together with each other and build our neighborhood into communities.

  6. This is a much needed article and topic. Thank You. Us as black people should be outraged at the seemingly endless brutality and loose talk against black women. We need to organize and raise enough voices to show power and solidarity against the mistreatment of our people. We need to inflict fear in the police that they would think twice about unprovoked violence against us. We should learn from the Jewish race (after the Holocaust), who does not tolerate any violation (whether it be spoken word or actions)against its people. Gaza????so sad…

    It is a sick society that we live in when we are taught and conditioned through our past and current to be in fear of the same people who should be protecting us. We must never keep silent and always speak out, a closed mouth never gets fed.

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