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Two Black Teenage Girls Shot and Killed in Akron Weeks Apart While Ohio Lawmakers Continue to Push Legislation That Would Disproportionately Impact Black Ohioans

On Sunday, Na’Kia Crawford, an 18-year-old recent graduate of North High School, was shot and killed in Akron. Crawford was shot about two blocks away from her home, while she was driving back from running errands with her grandmother. Witnesses say a car pulled up to Crawford’s and fired multiple shots, and they told police that the shooter appeared to be white male, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.  

The shooting came less than two weeks after Ty’Leia Junius, a 14-year-old student in the Akron Public School District, was shot and killed. And on June 9, Riah Milton, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Liberty Township. At least eight trans people have been killed nationwide this year, and violence against Black trans women is likely underreported. Together, these shootings highlight the disproportionate impact of gun violence on Black women in America. 

As protesters around the country and in Ohio continue to demand justice for the deaths of Black people — and particularly Black women — at the hands of police and from gun violence, lawmakers continue to hold hearings on dangerous and racist legislation to gut training requirements for teachers who carry gun in Ohio schools, which would further contribute to a culture of fear for Black and brown students, and so-called “Stand Your Ground” legislation, a policy that would help white shooters avoid criminal prosecution and put Black people at further risk of gun violence by encouraging a “shoot first, ask questions later” culture. Most recently, in Georgia, where Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed while jogging down the street, a prosecutor on Arbery’s case pointed to Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law as one of the reasons he refused to pursue charges against the shooters.

Nearly a year after Ohio lawmakers promised to take action to end gun violence following the mass shooting in Dayton, they have yet to take up a single common-sense gun safety measure. Lawmakers should be focusing on proven methods of preventing gun violence that can help protect Black women, instead of pushing policy that will only increase it. 

More on gun violence against Black women in America: 

Gun violence against Black women in Ohio

  • Between 2014 and 2018, 182 Black women died by gun homicide in Ohio
  • Black women are 4 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white women in Ohio
  • As a whole, Black Ohioans are 68 percent of gun homicide victims in the state and are 13 times more likely to die by gun homicide as white Ohioans.

Gun violence against Black women in America:

  • In an average year, nearly 800 Black women die by gun homicide nationally.
  • Black women are 4 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white women.
  • 81 percent of homicides of Black trans women were committed with a gun.
  • While just 16 percent of the trans population in the U.S. is estimated to be Black, 79 percent of known trans homicide victims were Black.
  • Overall, Black people are 10 times more likely than white people to die by gun homicide.

Statistics about gun violence in Ohio are available here, and information on how Ohio’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.