Gabriella Nevarez: #sayhername
Gabriella Nevarez was a 22-year-old woman who was fatally shot by the Sacramento police. 14 bullet holes on the car that Nevarez was driving and at the time police had not yet confirmed how many of those bullets entered her body. After further investigation it was reported that Nevarez was hit with four gunshots to her back, chest, thigh and scalp.
The police were on to Gabriella because of a phone call that they received from her grandmother. Gabriella and her grandmother were in a heated discussion and after this discussion she took her grandmothers car and that’s when her grandmother called the police. Citrus Heights Police said they received a call for a stolen vehicle and tracked the car.
Police said Nevarez evaded them by ramming one patrol car then speeding away at over 70 miles per hour, and occasionally traveling on the wrong side of the road. Police said they opened fire on Nevarez after she rammed another patrol car.
Words from her family
In an interview with Beasley, Gabriella’s grandmother, she said that, according to a witness account, her granddaughter reached back into the car on Sunset Avenue after getting out in an attempt to surrender.
She then went on to say “I don’t know if she was putting the car in park or getting something else. Well that’s when they started firing. They shot her, something like 17 times. “They said they thought she had a weapon. She didn’t have any weapon. She hated guns. She hated guns. She hated violence.”
Beesely said she had further reason to believe Nevarez was standing outside of the car in an attempt to surrender because she found no blood inside of the car and also said her granddaughter was bipolar and often had episodes where she went into a dark place, but that she was not a dangerous girl.
Beesley said she told police about her granddaughter’s mental illness, and that she thought she’d end up bringing the car home on her own. I think this is interesting to note because in the very FEW police cases on this incident that I have found they never bring up her mental illness and the state that she was in before the shooting. The first time that this was conveyed through the media was on account of her grandmother a year or two after the incident when she finally decided to speak up about it.
Images of Black Women
To fully understand mental illness and Black women, we must understand how Black women are viewed in this country. These images affect how other people see Black women and how they see themselves. They also play a role in the development and maintenance of anxiety. An “Angry Black Woman” will cuss you out before hearing you out. And they are seen as loud and wild. Because of these stereotypes perpetuated in our society, mental illness in women of color is seen as something that is invalid or exaggerated.
Since this happened in 2014, The investigation has been taken over by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. They cannot comment on the details of this officer involved shooting because of the open investigation. Both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave (2017) and there aren’t any new updates on the case now in 2019.
Why is her story important?
This story is important, and we need to know this story simply because we don’t know it. If we continue to ignore the stories of black women being killed because of police brutality, then nothing will ever happen. Change will never be made. She has a son; she had a girlfriend at the time and family that cares for her and they deserve for her story to be told.
The #SayHerName movement is a response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the mainstream media's tendency to sideline the experiences of black women in the context of police brutality and anti-Black violence. This story is just as important as any other story in the media, but it gets very little attention and even now in 2019 there are still very little updates and reports.
With radical change comes radical claims. We have to demand, or we get nothing.