Prominent British anti-racist activist Sasha Johnson, the co-founder of the international movement Black Lives Matter, is in critical condition after being shot in the head in London on Sunday, a Taking spokesperson confirmed Monday. the Initiative, the political party in which you are a member.
Johnson, 27, a mother of two, had received “numerous death threats”, according to this formation, whose steering committee is part of. However, British police sources indicated that there are still no indications that the attack, which took place in the London borough of Southwark, in the south of the British capital, was deliberate. “Our investigation is in its early stages and urgent inquiries are underway to establish the circumstances of the incident,” said London Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Jimi Tele. “We all hope that the situation of the young woman improves,” he added.
A friend of Johnson’s, quoted by the British channel BBC, also maintained that, in her opinion, the attack could be accidental and that it could “be related to a fight between rival gangs”, rather than to the victim’s anti-racist activism.
The only additional details that have emerged from the incident is that it took place in the vicinity of a house where a party was being held. Without naming the activist, the London Metropolitan Police has made a public call to ask potential witnesses to come to testify. Detectives from the Scotland Yard Specialized Crime Command have taken over the investigation.
The news of the attack on one of the most well-known faces of the anti-racist movement in the United Kingdom was known on the eve of the first anniversary of the murder of the African American George Floyd, who died asphyxiated in Minneapolis (USA) when the police officer Derek Chauvin kept him more than ten minutes with his knee pressing his neck to the ground, on May 25, 2020.
“A powerful voice”
Johnson’s party said the activist is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries in the intensive care unit of a hospital in the British capital. Shortly after, the formation announced a vigil outside the medical center where Johnson could be admitted: King’s College Hospital. Party sources asked his followers to pray “for the recovery” of the young woman whom they defined as “a powerful voice” who has always fought against the injustice suffered by the black community.
The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013 in the US following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin from a gunshot on February 26, 2012. However, it was George’s murder. Floyd, now a year ago, the one who reignited the protests and managed to universalize the movement’s denunciation of police violence against Afro-descendants in the United States and other countries in the world such as the United Kingdom.