Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines was a fighter. As a kid in Baltimore, she grew up exposed to lead paint, and tested for toxic levels of lead, but she never let that stop her. Feisty and uncompromising, she did everything: swimming, dance, marching band, cheerleading, always competing to be the best. She was a voracious reader and interested in social activism. She adored her two children, worked as a cosmetologist, and was generally happy… until her friend Freddie Gray was killed by the police in April of 2015. She began speaking out against police brutality, livestreaming and documenting her encounters with police. She found herself being harassed by them more frequently. In March of 2016, she was pulled over for driving without license plates. She was arrested after being threatened with a Taser and locked up in isolation for two days. Shortly after, she miscarried twins, which she blamed on her mistreatment at the hands of the police.

Korryn Gaines was murdered by police on August 1, 2016, over those missing license plates. Having failed to show up in traffic court, cops attempted to break into her home to arrest her again. Armed with the shotgun she had legally purchased, Korryn refused to leave, convinced the cops would harm her. Her boyfriend and daughter left the house, but Korryn remained inside with her 5-year-old son Kodi, asking to be left alone: “I’m in my home. I ain’t trying to hurt nobody.” She livestreamed the standoff for six hours, sharing her fears, talking with her son, and filming the cops at the door. The cops did not call in their mental health clinician. Instead, they called Facebook to deactivate her account and end her livestream, which Facebook eventually did. Within minutes of the livestream ending and no cameras recording them anymore, cops raided the apartment and shot Korryn several times, hitting her Kodi as well. He survived. She did not. The cops were not charged with a crime.

Black lives matter.

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