A Los Angeles jury will decide if the notorious serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” will be put to death for murdering 10 young Black women.
Prosecutors successfully proved Lonnie David Franklin Jr. shot or strangled his victims between the years 1985 and 2007; his youngest victim was only 15 years old at the time of her death. The penalty phase of Franklin’s trial begins this Thursday.
Police called Franklin the “Grim Sleeper” because of an apparent 14-year gap between killings after one woman survived his attack in 1988. People in the community criticized police for not closely investigating the killings because of the women’s race.
On Monday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and his panel of guests discussed the “Grim Sleeper” case and law enforcement’s reaction to missing cases involving Black women.
NewsOne Now panelist Barbara Arnwine, President and Founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, said, “It is so ironic and so wrong that we have these problems of African-American women missing [and] not being investigated well.”
“In fact, we know that in this country, thousands of Black women go missing every year … and we don’t treat it as an epidemic or a crisis and unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve heard this story,” said Arnwine.
“We’ve heard this story over and over again, whether it has been multiple rapes, multiple assaults, multiple killings, multiple kidnappings of Black women, but no one values our lives.”
Carmen Berkley, Civil, Human & Women’s Rights Director AFL-CIO, drew parallels between the “Grim Sleeper” case and the Daniel Holtzclaw serial-rape case: “We have to trust Black women, we have to trust our experiences in this country and when we say that there is a problem, people need to listen to us.”
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the “Grim Sleeper” case in the video clip above.
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