How Police Strip Searching a Young Black Girl Makes Black Women Feel
We should protect Black girls and women, but that's not happening
When Metropolitan police strip-searched a 15-year old Black girl dubbed as "Child Q," they violated her privacy in a way Black women are familiar with. Rarely given the grace or womanly privileges afforded to White women, Black women often find themselves subjected to indecent searches. Moreover, according to a report by the University of Florida Levin College of Law, stereotypes that insist Black women are "governed by libido and loose morals," more likely to be liars, and more "manlike and aggressive," help facilitate an environment where Black girls and women experience violence from law enforcement.
"Women make up a growing share of arrests and report much more use of force than they did 20 years ago," and Black women are facing the brunt of this shift. While the national discussion about police brutality often centers on Black men, Black women are the number one group, amongst women to experience disparate stops, searches, arrests, and abuses, more than three times likely as White women. And the premature adultification of Black girls means law enforcement feels empowered using punitive measures against them.
Use of force early doubled for men since 1999, but more than quadrupled among women (Prison Policy Iniative).
While we often hear about the school-to-prison pipeline, this conversation typically leaves out the experience of Black school girls who are "six times more likely to be expelled, three times more likely to be suspended, and four times more likely to be arrested." Society's failure to protect Black girls starts early, and it can have long-term consequences on their future. How do you think getting kicked out of class and school and being harassed by police officers impacts Black girls as they grow into women? Unfortunately, "Child Q" has become an unwilling case study so we can have the international conversation we've been sorely missing.
"Child Q" was excelling at Hackney, listed at the top of her class. Yet, officers suspected her of having marijuana or…