When I was a child, my brother and I would spend hours playing hide and seek. He would run and hide, and I would stand at a tree in the front of the house, anxiously waiting for the chance to find him. I remember there were two strict rules when we played hide and go seek-no peeking, and the person that was the “seeker” had to count to three before going to look for the person that was hiding.
I would say Mississippi in between counting, to allow my brother more time to find a good spot to conceal himself.
And then just to be fair, I would stretch it out even more.
“Two and a half… two and three quarters….
Then I would shout, three, and take off running all over the backyard looking for my brother hoping to find him before he made it to safely to base.
As kids playing hide and go seek, we gave the hider more respect than the Fort Worth Police Department gave Atatiana Jefferson, a Black, 28-year-old pre-med graduate of Xavier University who was murdered in less than 3 seconds of the police arriving at her home.
It was brought to the attention of a neighbor that Atatiana’s door was open early in the morning. Thinking this was unusual, the neighbor contacted the non-emergency number for the Fort Worth Police Department for a wellness check. What happened next is almost inconceivable.
The Fort Worth Police surrounded Atatiana’s home with weapons drawn. Atatiana was home with her eight-year-old nephew playing video games when she heard people (which we now know were the police) in her yard and went to investigate the noise. It is being reported that many of the lights were on in Atatiana’s house. As Atatiana stood in the window trying to figure out who was in her yard, an officer yelled for her to put her hands up and then fired a single gunshot through the window. Atatiana fell to the floor.
1…Twenty-eight years old.
Now Atatiana’s name is another hashtag, along with the endless hashtags of Black people that the police have murdered.
There was no wellness check for Atatiana.
There was no one coming to her home that night to serve and protect.
In less than 3 seconds, an officer chose to end Atatiana’s life because he perceived a Black woman standing in her house at her window as a threat.
As a Black woman, I shudder at the thought. Atatiana could easily be my daughter or me.
I cannot stop thinking about those 3 seconds.
How quickly 3 seconds pass.
How in the blink of an eye Atatiana was taken from this world.
In Less Than 3 Seconds.
What is the value and worth of a Black woman’s life?
How long does a Black woman have to reveal her humanity?
How long can a woman be in her home simply existing while Black?
In America, it is less than 3 seconds…
In less time than it took you read this blog, Atatiana Jefferson was murdered.
#AtatianaJefferson was murdered in less time than it took me to write and post this tweet.
— Hannah Drake (@HannahDrake628) October 13, 2019
Categories: Thoughts, Musings and Reflections