We, The Association of Black Women Physicians continue to move forward in our advocacy for the lives of Black Women. We are fighting two Pandemics: Racism and COVID-19. The killing of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey and Breonna Taylor remind us that systemic racism and implicit bias are as lethal as diseases that affect our communities. As physicians on the front lines of these two pandemics we recognize that our work continues on outside of the exam room.
If “all lives” mattered, the standard for a drug raid in Malibu or Cherokee Gardens would have been used on Elliot Avenue. If “all lives” mattered, professionals would be prudent in the use of force in response to non-violent crime. If “all lives” mattered, potential innocent victims would be included in the calculus of decision-making
Breonna Taylor was not the subject of any criminal inquiry when she was shot six times in a botched raid. No hostage was saved. No mass murderer was apprehended. A drug case merited jeopardizing Breonna and her neighbors’ lives.
She and her family did not receive justice. Black women deserve more. We need accountability for the decision to execute a no-knock warrant. Breonna Taylor deserved the presumption of innocence and concern for her future. Released jail recordings show the subject of the investigation admitted having no contact with Breonna. We have had enough of the lack of accountability and consequences for those that continue to murder Black bodies. We applaud the changes in the warrant approval and oversight process but grieve these changes arose from the death of an innocent sister.
Black Lives Matter. Black Women Matter.
The Association of Black Women Physician condemns the injustice of our criminal justice system that does not hold officers accountable. We call for police reform. We call for an end of structural racism. We call for implicit bias training in the medical and justice system. We encourage government officials to continue to their part to build a more equitable system for all. Now is the time to be intentional.