DALLAS — On Thursday, I went to the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, 28, who was shot to death by a police officer from outside her bedroom window this month. My companion there was Rhanda Dormeus, whose daughter Korryn Gaines was also killed by the police in her home. As we watched people file by the coffin, we thought, “This can’t keep happening.”
Ms. Jefferson was killed after a neighbor noticed her doors were open in the early hours of the morning and called a nonemergency police line for help. The two officers who responded did not announce themselves as the police as they sneaked around the yard and peeked into the house.
The death of Ms. Jefferson has mobilized activists, community members and commentators to demand sweeping changes. But if history is any guide, the masses will not recognize her name, as they do Eric Garner, Michael Brown or Tamir Rice. It’s not that we lack stories of black women killed by the police; rather, it seems that we don’t know what to do with them.