New Government-Funded Task Force to Investigate Violence Against Black Women and Girls

by Shine My Crown Staff
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Minnesota’s Task Force on Missing and Murdered African American Women gathered for the first time on Monday.

The task force came together to brainstorm ways to prevent and solve the disappearances and murders of Black women in this state— the first time such a group has received government funding in the U.S.

“We need to talk about the media. We need to talk about law enforcement. We need to talk about human trafficking, sexual exploitation, economic exploitation,” Rep. Ruth Richardson told reporters.

The task force aims to deliver several policy solutions to the state legislature by December 2022.

According to Richardson, between 64,000 and 75,000 Black women and children in the U.S. are currently listed as missing. On average, it takes authorities four times the amount of time to find missing Black women compared to their non-white counterparts.

“We are going to leave this task force with a blueprint, a blueprint for change. A blueprint to bring Black women and girls back home. A blueprint to solve their crimes and to be able to be able to ensure that everyone gets equal access to the services that they need when they need them.”

Brittany Clardy’s life was taken in 2013 by Alberto Palmer. Palmer had just moved to St. Paul from Atlanta. After murdering her, he hid Brittany’s body in the trunk of her car and abandoned the vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. Authorities took three weeks to find her body.

“Me being here really proves that my life, my sister’s life, my daughter’s life, that it matters,” Brittany’s sister, Lakeisha Lee, said. Lee is a member of the task force.

The task force is fashioned after a similar group working to end the violence against Indigenous women and girls in Minnesota.

“Violence against Indigenous peoples is a crisis that has been underfunded for decades. Far too often, murders and missing persons cases in Indian country go unsolved and unaddressed, leaving families and communities devastated,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in April. “The new MMU unit will provide the resources and leadership to prioritize these cases and coordinate resources to hold people accountable, keep our communities safe, and provide closure for families.”

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