Daily Fix: No Justice, No Peace for Black Lives Killed By Police and Other News

Good morning, ya bunch of homos! I still haven’t updated my iPhone so I still don’t have the brown princess emoji at my disposal. I had to tell you this now to keep things light because everything else in this post is just bleak and horrible.

Seriously, F*ck the Police

Police dismissed of all charges

+ Dante Servin, an off-duty Chicago police officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, was dismissed of all charges including involuntary manslaughter on Monday.

Rekia Boyd

Rekia Boyd

Cook County Judge Dennis Porter made the decision after prosecutors wrapped up their case last week but before defense could even begin theirs. The judge ruled the prosecutors failed to prove the police officer was acting recklessly in order to charge him with involuntary manslaughter. “The absence of any evidence of reckless conduct renders it unnecessary for this court to consider whether the defendant was justified in his actions,” Porter said.

On March 21, 2012, Servin confronted Boyd, her friend Antonio Cross and two others in an alley about a loud gathering happening near his home. Servin claims that Cross pulled a gun on him so Servin shot five times, striking Cross in his hand and Boyd in the back of her head. Police never recovered a weapon from Cross and he testified saying it was a cell phone.

The judge deemed Servin wasn’t acting recklessly when he shot into an unarmed crowd, killing a young black woman, because he was making a conscience decision to protect his own life — the life of a white police officer.

Do you want to know what Servin said to reporters after the verdict? It’s going to make you livid but I’m going to tell you anyway.

“Any reasonable person, any police officer especially would have reacted in the exact same manner that I reacted, and I’m glad to be alive,” Servin said. “I saved my life that night. I’m glad that I’m not a police death statistic.”

Servin wasn’t ever in danger, he was the dangerous one in this situation. He was threatened by black people just for being black. He killed a black woman and got away. He’s been stripped of his police powers but still has a job doing desk duty, while Boyd and her family receive no justice.

Freddie Gray’s death still being investigated

+ An autopsy shows 25-year-old Freddie Gray died from a severe injury to his spinal cord on Sunday after being in a coma for a week. His death is still being investigated by authorities after he sustained his injury while being arrested on April 12. Baltimore police chased Gray when he “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence.” Gray was arrested on a weapons charge when police say they found a switchblade on him, while Gray’s family attorney says he was carrying a pocket knife. CNN reports Maryland law makes it illegal to “wear or carry a dangerous weapon of any kind concealed on or about the person,” including switchblades.

freddie gray

Freddie Gray

“We know that having a knife is not necessarily a crime. It is not necessarily probable cause to chase someone. So we still have questions,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Bake said in a news conference.

Cellphone video show three police officers on top of Gray while he was screaming in pain and then being dragged to a police van. At one point, officers put more restraints on Gray in the van and Gray requested an inhaler and medical attention. There are 30 minutes unaccounted for before an ambulance was called for Gray who was then transported to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center.

“I know that when Mr. Gray was placed inside that van, he was able to talk and he was upset,” Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said at Monday’s news conference. “And when Mr. Gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk and he could not breathe.”

Protestors By Algerina Perna/The Baltimore Sun via AP

Protestors By Algerina Perna/The Baltimore Sun via AP

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said the police plan to conclude their investigation by Friday, May 1. Then the investigation will go to the Baltimore State Attorney’s office to decide where charges will be filed. All six arresting officers have been suspended.

Teen charged with assault while defending her family

+ 18-year-old Tania Harris was shot and wounded outside her home by Robbinsdale police on Thursday and was charged with assault for allegedly threatening a woman with a kitchen knife. Family say the police used excessive force when Tania was only trying to defend her family.

Tania's mother Kim Tolbert wipes away tears while marching to the hospital to see her daughter. By Kyndell Harkness http://www.startribune.com/local/300222321.html

Tania’s mother Kim Tolbert wipes away tears while marching to the hospital to see her daughter. By Kyndell Harkness 

Harris’ mother Kim Tolbert said she called police after three people showed up to their apartment to fight her daughter. However according to the criminal complaint, when police arrived, Harris “burst” out of the apartment, chasing a woman and screaming “I’m going to kill you, bitch!” Police officer Thomas Rothfork told Harris to stop and drop the knife but Harris didn’t stop running or drop the weapon so he fired twice, wounding Harris.

On Friday Black Lives Matter Minneapolis held a rally and then marched to North Memorial Medical Center to demand the teen’s family be allowed to visit her. Harris’ parent’s were finally granted access. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

This section isn’t any better

+ Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman who has been in a male prison for three years, was denied her request to be moved to a lower-security prison.

+ The Lexington Club, aka The Lex, San Francisco’s last lesbian bar, will be closing at the end of the month with final parties happening this Friday and Saturday.

+ Self-proclaimed queer Chicana Korean Feminist, Catherine Han Montoya was murdered in her Atlanta home during a crime spree last week. She was a prominent LGBT, immigrant rights and AAPI women’s rights activist. Her friends created the Seeds of Love Facebook page to memorialize her and launched a crowd-funding site to raise money for her family and funeral expenses.

+ A group of students at Pennsylvania’s McGuffey High School organized an “anti-gay day” in retaliation of The Day of Silence, an annual GLSEN event to raise awareness about LGBT bullying. The students encouraged others to wear flannel and write “anti-gay” on their hands. The anti-gay students proceeded to physically harass LGBT students in the hallway and hang posters on their lockers. The Advocate reports:

Administrators at the McGuffey School District are investigating the incident. Dr. Erica Kolat, the superintendent, released a statement saying that the school “will follow our Student Code of Conduct, and file legal citations, as warranted. We will resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination.”

 A Tiny Ounce of Sunshine

+ Remember Claudettia Love, a gay Louisiana honor student, who was told she couldn’t attend her own prom if she wore a tux but then the school changed their minds? Well, now she gets to go to prom in a super fancy suit and shoes. Sharpe Suiting and NiK Kacy will donate a bespoke suit and fancy footwear to the high school senior. DapperQ reports, “This generous gift is the launch of Sharpe Suiting and NiK Kacy Footwear’s new “Love Fellowship” campaign, which will, on an annual basis, provide a free custom tuxedo and pair of dress shoes to a selected LGBTQ high school honors student.”

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Yvonne S. Marquez is a lesbian journalist and former Autostraddle senior editor living in Dallas, TX. She writes about social justice, politics, activism and other things dear to her queer Latina heart. Yvonne was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter. Read more of her work at yvonnesmarquez.com.

Yvonne has written 205 articles for us.


  1. Yesterday, I went to a screening of “Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory” by film makers Katina Parker and Orlando de Guzman. I would absolutely recommend it because it exposes some of the history and politics that lead to the current situation of black people who live around St.Louis. It includes many insights that were certainly not a part of mainstream media, and some things that weren’t even seen on twitter and tumblr. The filmmakers were often wearing bullet proof vests and gas masks to be around the police. If you get a chance to go to a screening where Katina is presenting, it was really awesome. If not, I think the film is up on youtube.

    One of the best parts I think, was that it called out queer youth of color as the ones who are organizing heavily and protecting their neighbors. The situation is terrible, but in the end, the documentary leaves you with hope that the protestors, and you can make a difference.

  2. I really just wanna give up and crawl in a hole sometimes. There is no safe place for folks like me. If it isn’t anti-blackness it’s the queer part or the woman part (that I don’t personally identify by but its the box I check on applications). Just fuck it all.

    • I feel parts of my self are being deconstructed without my consent in trying to engage and make sense of what is going on. The rampant anti-blackness has me feeling like I’m abandoning the queer or woman front because it’s a “distraction” to what “really matters.” I’ve been practicing a lot of self care and it has been helping me a lot. At this point in part of my practice of self-care, I recently stopped in engaging in some of the social/community gatherings here in BK because it has been devastating on my psyche and I refuse to be a martyr.

      I’m here with you and you are not alone because I too feel the frustration that it is always something.

      • Oh god I know that “which oppressive system should I fight today?” I always feel like I have to cut my self into sections. Do I focus on my blackness today? Lemme shuffle them around and pick one out of the hat. It sucks to feel alienated by the world and then by each movement.

        Imma just eat cereal and watch cartoons.

  3. “And I’m glad to be alive. I saved my life that night. I’m glad that I’m not a police death statistic. Antonio Cross is a would-be cop killer, and that’s all I have to say.” –Servin
    Right, yes. Just like Emmett Till was a would-be rapist.

  4. “The students encouraged others to wear flannel and write “anti-gay” on their hands.”


    You are absolutely not taking away my flannel.

    • I was wearing flannel when I read that and instantly felt pissed.
      It’s one of the more absurd things I’ve read this week. WTF.

  5. “The [anti-gay] students encouraged others to wear flannel”

    Whoever decided the wardrobe of anti-gay protest has clearly never heard of lesbians.

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