Police killings of Black people and the ensuing nation-wide protests that swept across the United States during the spring and summer months of 2020 are certain to be recorded as defining elements of an unprecedented year. Like Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and so many others before them, the names of the people of color killed by police in 2020 are now seared into our national consciousness: George Floyd. Rayshard Brooks. Tony McDade. Breonna Taylor. Their deaths unleashed a national fury and ignited a long overdue reckoning with racial violence by police against people of color.
But as so often happens, women and girls of color are again being left out of the story. Their experiences? Overlooked and erased by a media and policy narrative that overwhelmingly focuses on men and boys of color.
Alarmed by the gendered narrative that has emerged, YWCA undertook a media review for the years 2017-2020 and examined the extent to which women and girls of color continue to be criminalized and racially profiled by law enforcement. Three years after first issuing We Deserve Safety: Ending the Criminalization of Women and Girls of Color, YWCA’s 2020 review paints a disturbing picture of the gendered racial profiling and criminalization that girls and women of color continue to experience.