Monday, February 8, 2016, marks the one year anniversary of Natasha McKenna’s death. In February of last year, Natasha called 911 during a mental health crisis. She had been diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 12. Instead of providing her with mental health support, officers brought Natasha to Fairfax County Jail on an outstanding warrant. After being held in jail for seven days, Natasha—who weighed 130 pounds and was 5’4’’ tall—was hooded, shackled, and repeatedly tasered by officers attempting to move her to a mental health facility. Within minutes of being tasered, she stopped breathing. She died in the hospital seven days later — one year ago today.
A disturbing video showing Natasha’s brutal treatment at the hands of law enforcement has been available to the public since September, 2015. Fairfax County Sheriff Stacy Kincaid reported that her office released the video to demonstrate the “professionalism” and “restraint” exhibited by the officers who removed Natasha from her cell and tasered her to the point of unconsciousness. At the same time they released the video, a chief prosecutor declared that no criminal charges would be filed against the officers responsible for Natasha’s death.
Despite this horrific video and the total lack of accountability in Natasha’s case, her story has been met with relative silence from mainstream media and social justice groups. On the one year anniversary of her death, it’s time to stand up for justice. It’s time to #SayHerName.
#NatashaMcKenna #BlackWomenMatter #BlackGirlsMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistory365 #BlackOut #AAPF