Surviving Violence is Not a Crime: No Charges Against Cierra!

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Surviving Violence is Not a Crime: No Charges Against Cierra!

This petition had 1,685 supporters
Petition to
Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne

Why this petition matters

Justice for Cierra: Surviving Violence is Not a Crime

Cierra Finkley, a 24-year old Black woman from Madison, Wisconsin, was arrested for protecting her own life and the life of her 5-year old daughter. Today, she was released on a signature bond with a GPS monitoring system as 30+ supporters protested on her behalf and viewed her initial hearing. Her family and friends are thrilled, but she’s not clear yet--the District Attorney’s office will introduce its charges on Thursday at 8:30 am at the Dane County Courthouse (215 S. Hamilton). #SayHerName and sign this petition to tell District Attorney Ismael Ozanne not to charge Finkley with a crime for defending herself and her daughter! Finkley is one of many Black women in this country who has survived violence, defended herself from her abuser, only to face extreme charges in the criminal justice system.

On Tuesday, Terrence L. Woods, a man with a history of abuse toward Cierra Finkley and with a court order demanding he stay away from her, tried to run over Cierra and her daughter with his car. Finkley tried to call the police three times without receiving an appropriate response as Woods continued to threaten her in her apartment. He kicked down the door and lunged at her. Fearing for her life and for her young daughter in their own home, Cierra stabbed Woods in self-defense. He later succumbed to his wounds. She now faces tentative reckless homicide charges for defending herself and her child.

“When we say Black Lives Matter, we mean all Black Lives - including Black women,” charged Alix Shabazz, an organizer with Young Gifted and Black. “Defending ourselves from violence is not a crime!”

“We know this story,” added Kabzuag Vaj, longtime domestic violence advocate with Freedom, Inc. “Black women are routinely criminalized for defending themselves from domestic violence, like Marissa Alexander in Florida. We stand with Young Gifted and Black to call for Justice for Cierra.”

“My daughter fought for her life and to save her child,” insisted Cierra’s mother, Carla Finkley. “There’s no crime for that. This is a tragedy, but her life might be ruined because she decided to fight for her life and her child.”

In recent months, #SayHerName has been used on social media to bring attention to the violence Black women and girls face. Such violence includes the death of Sandra Bland, who was found in her jail cell in Texas, Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for defending herself from domestic violence, and the numerous black trans-women brutally murdered every year. #SayHerName because Black women’s lives matter too.

Sign this petition to call for justice for Cierra, and to tell DA Ozanne that Surviving Violence is Not a Crime! 

You can also support Cierra by donating money here to help pay for her legal representation:

#Justice4Cierra #SayHerName #BlackLivesMatter 

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