DPS task force: Black women 2.7 times more likely to be murdered than white women

Black women are 2.7 times more likely to be murdered than their white peers, according to findings from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Missing & Murdered African American Women (MMAAW)
Task Force.

The task force also found that while Black women comprise only 7% of the state’s population, they make up 40% of domestic violence victims.

“For generations, Black women and girls have experienced disproportionate violence and have been collectively working to raise awareness and end this injustice,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “We are grateful for the leadership of Representative Ruth Richardson and to the members of this Task Force and all of the people who contributed their expertise, time, and valuable insight. We want to make their voice heard. I am incredibly proud of the work and care that have informed these incredibly important findings.”

The MMAAW Task Force also found that the violence is rooted in racism and “other remnants of slavery that defined Black women and girls by future profitability to enslavers,” such as fitness to work or bear children.

Additionally, harmful stereotypes about Black people continue to negatively impact the lives of Black women and girls today, according to the task force’s findings.

In interviews, Black women and girls spoke about the need for more resources to prevent violence and harm, such as stable housing and educational programming, DPS said.

The MMAAW Task Force has called upon the state of Minnesota to implement the following:

  • Funding housing and other spaces and resources to serve Black women and girls.
  • Developing trainings and education for professionals including peace officers, prosecutors and victim services representatives.
  • Recruiting and hiring more Black staff including peace officers, prosecutors, and victim services representatives.
  • Establishing an office to support missing and murdered Black women and girls.

According to the DPS, the MMAAW Task Force was created in 2021 and includes representatives from the Minnesota Legislature, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, law enforcement agencies, attorneys and local organizations that provide services to Black women and girls.

The full report is available on the DPS website.