Baytown, Texas

The Police Execution of Pamela Turner



Late on the night of May 13, a cop shot and killed 44-year-old Pamela Turner, a Black woman, in the parking lot of the Brixton Apartments in Baytown, Texas.

Turner was walking toward her apartment when a Baytown pig confronted her. On a video of the encounter she is heard saying “you’re actually harassing me” as she tries to walk away from the cop. Turner shouted that she was pregnant. But this pig tased her and threw her to the ground. He put his foot on her. Standing right above her, he quickly fired five shots, hitting her at least once. Pamela Turner lay on the asphalt, dying. A white man who witnessed the murder angrily told a TV station, “For a cop to do that... she was shot in cold blood.”

A Litany of Lies

An official with the Baytown police told reporters that the killer cop was “forced” to shoot Pamela Turner. This pig poured bullets at point-blank range into a woman lying on the pavement, but somehow he felt “threatened”?!? Or did he decide to end her life because he knew he could, and wanted to drive home that message.

Baytown police said this cop had “dealt with [Pamela Turner] before and knew she had outstanding warrants.” They claimed that the apartment manager had previously tried to present Turner with an eviction notice. They also claimed that a relative of Turner’s told them she was not pregnant. All these were cheap attempts to justify the murder of Pamela Turner, and portray her as somehow the aggressor in this confrontation.

Pamela’s sister, Antoinette, told KPRC in Houston that she didn’t know if Pamela was pregnant or not, but that she did have two children, and three grandchildren. Antoinette also said that Pamela had previously told her that the cop who killed her (still unnamed as of this writing) had been harassing her.

“Everything Went Wrong”

Neighbors described Pamela Turner as known to just about everyone in the apartments. One woman said, “We talk to her every day. She’s always out walking her dog. She brings little gifts here and there to the kiddos.” A man told a reporter, “That could have been one of our grandmas. I feel like everything went wrong.”

Neighbors knew that Pamela Turner struggled with mental illness, and tried to help her. One woman told a reporter, “She wasn’t mentally competent. We always tried to look after her. She would walk outside at all hours of the night. I would tell the office management she should not be left alone.”

The police knew Turner as well. And as one man from the apartments told a reporter, “If you know she has mental illness, why not ask for backup first before you try and detain her? ... [S]he was barely getting up off the ground and he shot her like a dog. That’s wrong. And he needs to pay for it.”

This Cannot Continue

A man who lives in the Brixton Apartments told a reporter, “This is just giving me more reason not to trust them” [the police]. Definitely, the police should not be trusted. But the problem goes much deeper than that.

The police enforce a system that treats a Black woman with a mental illness as a threat, rather than someone whose life should be cherished and who should receive proper medical care. The police enforce a system that allows them to brutalize and kill a Black woman in front of numerous witnesses, and walk away from it. They enforce a system with laws that allow them to throw people out on the street with no place to go. The police are protected by a system that allows them to kill people, claim they felt “threatened,” and get away with murder time after time after bloody time.

How long will we allow this system to go on? How many more Pamela Turners will die at the hands of this system’s pig enforcers before people get organized to make revolution and end this madness for good? Will we be mourning more Pamela Turners 10, 20, 50 years from now? Or will we get with the revolution and work now to put an end to this madness, at the soonest possible time?


Pamela Turner. Photo: Facebook



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