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When we think about police brutality, Black men are usually the first thing that comes to mind. Although they are being targeted, Black women and women of color are also targets of police brutality and injustice.

Andrea Ritchie is the author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women And Women of Color. She has been working to change the way Black women and women of color encounter law enforcement.

The story of Sandra Bland swept the nation and shined a light on how officers treat women of color. Ritchie says, “Many black women could see themselves in Sandra Bland because of the way police officers perceive black women that can lead to the kind of interaction like Sandra Bland.”

Sexual assault by officers is another issue that’s overlooked. Ritchie explained that we must,”look beyond fatal police shootings and look to places like police sexual violence, then more stories will come through.”In her research, Ritchie has found that police officers prey on Black women in low-income neighborhoods. Performing strip searches on them and even forcing them to perform sexual acts.

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Inside Her Story: Author Andrea Ritchie Talks Police Violence Against Black Women  was originally published on