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A Black woman was shot and killed by a Texas police officer after she told him that she was pregnant and tried to use the officer’s Taser from the ground.
The incident can be seen in a viral video, which was filmed by an unknown bystander the police are now seeking for questioning. The woman’s family has identified her as Pamela Turner.
“I’m actually walking to my house. You are actually harassing me,” Turner can be heard telling the officer in the video. “I’m pregnant!”
Warning: The following video is graphic and captures the fatal shooting described above. Discretion is advised.
A race soldier in Baytown Tx carried out a blatant racial execution againast an unarmed Black woman last night. The police department is protecting the race soldier by not releasing his name. Is marching and praying going to stop this racial extermination campaign against Blacks? pic.twitter.com/BOs6BfFndW— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) May 14, 2019
The Baytown Police Department issued a statement via Facebook, writing that the officer opened fire on Turner after a struggled attempt to arrest her. The officer first used his Taser on Turner, who later got control of the Taser and used it on the officer. The statement alleges that this “forced” the officer to shoot Turner.
The video shows Turner on the ground for most of the struggle, including at the time the officer shoots her. Five shots can be heard throughout the entirety of the video.
According to the statement, the officer fired “multiple rounds” at Turner, shooting her at least once. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer came across Turner while patrolling her apartment complex. The officer knew Turner from “previous encounters” and was also aware that she had outstanding warrants, according to the statement.
Turner’s sister, Antoinette, said that the officer also lived in the apartment complex and was Turner’s neighbor. Antoinette said Turner had previously complained to her that the officer was harassing Turner.
The officer, an 11-year veteran with the department, has not yet been identified. The officer was wearing a body camera at the time, department spokesman Lt. Steve Dorris told KHOU. Dorris said the footage has not been released because of the ongoing open investigation.
“It’s unfortunate that somebody takes a tragic incident like this and posts it on social media,” Dorris told KPRC. “It’s extremely disrespectful for everybody involved, but that’s the day and age we live in with social media.”
The claim that Turner was pregnant has not yet been verified by an autopsy. Turner’s family members have said that she had mental health issues.
“This is an attempt to cover their own asses by criminalizing a Black woman. HOLD them accountable!” the group wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union also posted a statement on Twitter, calling for an independent investigation into the incident and for the officer’s bodycam footage to be released immediately.
“There is nothing disrespectful or inappropriate about documenting or sharing video of the way police act in our communities, especially when they kill someone,” the ACLU wrote.
Pamela Turner’s name also became a trending topic on Twitter, with many calling for an end to police brutality.
#PamelaTurner was murdered by the police. Black, pregnant. Murdered. shut the whole system down.— ilana (@eye_lana) May 14, 2019
I just saw the video of the Baytown Police officer shooting that pregnant lady.. that was by far one of the most disturbing videos I’ve seen in a long time. 🤦🏿♂️ this shit got to stop!— Scott (@Ritchie330) May 14, 2019
As someone who works in the mental health field.... It is time that these fucking police officers get some fucking training!!! WTF!!! I am sick of hearing stories about black and brown folks getting killed by police officers! I literally wanna scream! https://t.co/mEKHgA3niv— Ms. G (@IMA_LotusFlower) May 14, 2019
I watched the video. It is horrifying. At no time was lethal force needed. The officer fired five rounds into a woman who was on the ground who can be heard saying, “I’m pregnant”. There are no words. Our national emergency is how black and brown people are being shot everyday. https://t.co/sS2QR9S0Xg— Laurie (@LaurieinKS) May 14, 2019
LIZA: I’m wondering if #PamelaTurner told the cop she was pregnant (even if she was not pregnant) thinking it would deter him from killing her. Either way, this seems to indicate that she knew he was going to kill her, she was the one looking at him and she knew. @CityofBaytown— 3ChicsPolitico (@3ChicsPolitico) May 14, 2019
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H/T Vice News
Eilish O’Sullivan is the news wire editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.