People Are Seeking Justice for 19-Year-Old Black Lives Matter Activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau
UPDATE 6/16/2020 9:40 A.M.: North Florida and South Georgia news station WCTV reported on Monday that a suspect had been arrested in Salau’s murder: Aaron Glee Jr., 49. Glee Jr. is also suspected of killing AARP volunteer Victoria Sims, 75, whose body was found near Salau’s on Sunday evening in Tallahassee, Fla.
Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, a 19-year-old activist who was a speaker at the Black Lives Matter protests in her native Tallahassee, Florida, has reportedly died.
On June 6, she posted a series of tweets saying that she had been molested by a man who offered her a ride. She shared his address and detailed him and his car. She vowed, “I will not be silent.” Following her thread, she stopped responding to replies and was reported missing. On June 12, USA Today reported that, according to the Tallahassee Police Department, she was still missing and last seen on the day of her tweet. On June 14, a friend of Salau’s tweeted that she was “no longer with us.”
Salau was a vocal Black Lives Matter activist and had been very involved in the protests this past month. “At the end of the day, I can’t take my fucking skin color off,” she said in a video taken at a protest earlier this month. “I’m profiled whether I like it or not,” Salau continued before a crowd. “You cannot take my fucking Blackness away from me. My Blackness is not for your fucking consumption.”
Twitter is flooded with posts demanding justice for Salau and Black women in general. InStyle's own Senior Beauty Editor Kayla Greaves wrote a powerful viral tweet that said, "Black women show up for everyone. But who is really out here protecting Black women?"
She elaborated on the post for this story saying, "As Black women, a lot of the time we are natural caregivers; we want to nurture and protect our own, we want to be on the front lines. Yet so often the same Black men that come from Black women let misogyny, sexism, ego, and lack of emotional intelligence take over, and we're left with no one to protect us—the result of that can be fatal. Black men, the solution lies in your hands. You need to step up and it needs to happen now. The time for talking is over, we need action."
More tweets echoed a similar sentiment, demanding justice and change.
A change.org petition is calling to “bring attention to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Tallahassee police department to do their job, and investigate this crime.” A GoFundMe account was also set up but has yet to be verified. We will update this story when it has been.
This story is developing.