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Minnesota Tackles Law Enforcement’s Unequal Treatment of Black Women

One family’s worst nightmare becoming a tragic reality recently sparked the beginning of a long-awaited safeguard in Minnesota protecting Black women from the dangers of a world where they are often overlooked. The state becomes the first in the country to enact the Office of Missing and Murdered African American Women and Girls, with the bravery and help of Lakeisha Lee who witnessed firsthand the racial discrepancies bore from a corrupt system.


After her late sister’s passing, Lee took matters into her own hands in order to prevent, what she and her family believes, a sheer neglect and lack of effort from law enforcement. Lee’s sister, Brittany Clardy, was murdered in 2013 when she was only 18 years old, and police found her body two weeks after her family reported her missing. She claims that authorities ignored their initial report, and still ponders the thought of her sister being alive today if the police had acted immediately.


Lee embarked on a journey to prevent disasters like this in the future, and currently holds the title as co-chair of the Missing and Murdered African American Women Task Force in Minnesota, which was developed to raise awareness and educate the public of the inequalities Black women endure. The state of Minnesota has been home to a disturbing amount of domestic violence, sexual misconduct and unsolved cases, where Black women remain the majority of the victims, according to the task force’s report. The MMAAW also found that Black women are increasingly more vulnerable to homicide, at almost three times the rate of white women.


Brittany Clardy was yet another addition to this statistic, and Lee, along with the other members, aim to unveil and fight against the systemic racism that fails an entire group of women across the nation.


The task force has made increasing headway, inspiring other states to also provide necessary resources and support for victims, their families and any community member in need of assistance in collaboration with their local law enforcement.


Representative Ruth Richards of Minnesota’s 52B district passed the bill to officially commence the MMAAW office and explained that the public’s lack of attention to and knowledge of this crisis only leads to more adversity. She stressed that "One of the reasons this is so important is because when we see this data that our cases are not getting solved, or cases are not getting resources, it actually puts a target on the back of Black women and girls", perpetuating the cycle of negligence.


As this task force continues to grow, advocates are voicing their concerns, and the commonality remains that Black Women and girls simply do not have the resources they need, leaving them vulnerable to such heinous crimes. Lee has hopes however, that the office will eventually "end this epidemic", so that no other family will be forced to suffer like hers.

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Tags: #BlackLivesMatter #USA #crime #Minnesota #systemicracism


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