It has been a violent summer in America during what unfortunately appears to be a national war between black people and the police. Lives have been lost on both sides.
The latest incident that has made national headlines involves a 23-year-old black woman who lived in suburban Baltimore, Maryland named Korryn Gaines (pictured). According to NBC News, Baltimore County Police officers swooped in on Gaines’s apartment in Randallstown, Maryland around 9:20 a.m. EST on August 1st.
The police have claimed they arrived there to serve warrants on Gaines and a 39-year-old man named Kareem Courtney who was also present at the apartment. Courtney’s warrant was for an assault charge. However, Gaines was being served for a minor bench warrant after she allegedly failed to appear in court on a traffic citation.
Warrant sweeps for minor traffic offenses have long been regarded as heavy-handed by human rights advocates in the U.S. Many municipal jurisdictions do not waste time with this kind of activity. They simply put the bench warrant out and wait until a respondent is pulled over again in traffic before taking them to jail after their name is run.
This didn’t happen in Gaines’s case. Unfortunately, a standoff with Baltimore County Police ensued after Gaines refused to be taken into custody by officers. Baltimore County Police claimed that Gaines was armed with a legally registered 12-gauge shotgun during the altercation.
Her 5-year-old son was also in the apartment, as well as a 1-year-old child that was in the custody of Courtney at the time. The situation got very dangerous later in the afternoon when standoff negotiations failed and gunfire was exchanged between Gaines and Baltimore County Police.
Gaines was killed in the exchange of gunfire and her 5-year-old son was hit by a bullet as well. He made a full recovery after being rushed to the hospital. Courtney attempted to flee the apartment with the 1-year-old after the standoff, but was subsequently taken into custody.
Many people believe that Gaines was unfairly targeted because of her strong vocal position on police-involved violence, which she openly expressed on social media. The officers involved in the deadly standoff have been placed on paid administrative leave as an investigation continues.