- post by: David Pierce
- August 02, 2016
A stand off lasted 3 weeks last year in Oregon. Police were shot at. The dispute was over access to stolen land.
Yesterday a standoff didn’t last but a few hours before a young mother was fatally shot along with her 5 year-old son. Perhaps I shouldn’t compare but I can’t ignore how law enforcement treat folk according to race, religion, gender, sexual-orientation, etc.
This young woman apparently was very vocal against the police abuse of their authority and was part of many protests. Police came to her home to serve a warrant for failure to appear and several traffic violations. Now she’s dead. Perhaps if it weren’t for our lack of trust in law enforcement based on decades of brutality this tragedy wouldn’t not have occurred.
Baltimore police fatally shot 23-year-old mother Korryn Gaines in her home after a standoff that lasted hours. A five-year-old was also shot in the incident.
Three officers arrived at an apartment in Randallstown on Monday morning to serve both Gaines and a man who lived at the residence with arrest warrants.
Gaines was wanted for failing to appear in court over a March incident where she was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and numerous other traffic charges, police chief Jim Johnson said.
According to police, they acquired a key from the landlord after the two failed to open the door. Upon entering, they saw Gaines sitting on the floor with the child in her arms. She had a gun which she pointed at one of the officers.
Tactical officers arrived and an hours-long negotiation began. At 3pm, Gaines reportedly pointed the gun at the police and said she would kill them if they didn’t leave.
An officer then shot at her, and she shot back. Police fired again, killing her.
“Tragically in this circumstance the child that was also in the dwelling was struck by a round,” Johnson said during a press conference. “We do not know at this moment in time if the round was fired by our weapons or the weapons possessed by Ms. Gaines.”
Gaines’s uncle said the five-year-old was her son, but police are yet to confirm this. The child is being treated for his gunshot wound at a local hospital.
Authorities have said they don’t know if the officers involved were wearing body cameras. The department recently started a body camera program, but only some officers have received them.
The names of the officers involved will not be revealed until 48 hours have passed since the incident, as per police union agreements, according to the Baltimore Sun.
According to journalist Shaun King, “Gaines regularly documented police abuse in the city” and her Facebook videos “right before police killed her have been deleted.”
A video that is thought to have been taken by Gaines at the beginning of the standoff shows her asking the child about what is happening. “They trying to kill us,” the boy says.
A second video appears to show the officers entering the apartment. The videos were reportedly shared by Gaines on Facebook but were then removed. The two videos remain on her Instagram account.
The man who fled with a one-year-old boy before police arrived was later apprehended and is in custody. Gaines reportedly also has a young daughter, but it is unknown whether she was at the apartment at the time.
Social media users reacted to the latest police killing of a black American with anger.