Jess McCabe // 22 December 2008
12-year-old Dymond Milburn was sent outside by her mum to turn the electricity back on, after the circuit breaker flipped, Houston Press reports on what happened next:
As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, “You’re a prostitute. You’re coming with me.”
Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.
As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.
All this is according to a lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court by Milburn against the officers. The lawsuit alleges that the officers thought Dymond, an African-American, was a hooker due to the “tight shorts” she was wearing, despite not fitting the racial description of any of the female suspects. The police went to the wrong house, two blocks away from the area of the reported illegal activity, Milburn’s attorney, Anthony Griffin, tells Hair Balls.
After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.
Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond’s school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.
“I think we’ll be okay,” says Griffin. “I don’t think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who’s just sitting outside her house. Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she’s a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She’s scared to death.”
Unbelievably, the police department are still pressing for the trial of Dymond and her father for resisting arrest.
This one is so awful, where do you even begin? I think it’s fair to say that the police officers’ behaviour would have been wrong, wrong, wrong, even if it had been directed at adult prostitutes, rather than a 12-year-old girl.
But, as Renee says:
As the police continue to victim blame this story continues to be ignored by major media outlets. It seems that when a black girl gets assaulted it is not newsworthy material. We don’t live in a world where black children matter despite the lie that we care about all children.