Two-and-a-half weeks after giving birth to her second child, “Scandal” star Kerry Washington has taken a breather from the baby to protest the death of Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old mentally ill woman killed by police in the Bronx, where the actress was born and raised.
“It’s a quiet Saturday afternoon. So, a few things I wanna get off my chest,” Washington, 39, posted on Twitter. After thanking fans for “all your very kind & thoughtful congratulatory tweets” about the Oct. 5 birth of her and husband Nnamdi Asomugha’s son Caleb, she went on to say that “the loss of Deborah Danner has rattled my core. Not only becuz of painful truth that we must continue to affirm that #BlackLivesMatter. But also becuz Deborah Danner was killed in the community where I was raised. Community filled w/people I know & love.”
Danner was killed Tuesday in her apartment after being shot by a police sergeant, one of a team of officers who arrived after neighbors called 911 saying the woman, known to be ill, was behaving erratically. Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the officer, Sgt. Hugh Barry, for not following department protocol for dealing with the mentally ill, which includes the use of a Taser before lethal force as well as waiting for police specialists. The NYPD has placed the sergeant on modified duty.
“So when I #sayhername my heart aches,” four-time Emmy-nominee Washington continued. “For lives lost and for the lives we must protect. For the humanity we must work to illuminate and preserve and affirm. #BLM,” she wrote, using the abbreviation for Black Lives Matter, a chapter-based national organization created in 2012 after George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing unarmed 17-year-old African-American Trayvon Martin.
“End of rant,” Washington concluded, with an emoji of hands clasped in prayer.
Washington and her husband, former NFL pro Asomugha, 35, have a 2-year-old daughter, Isabelle, in addition to their new son.