An effort is underway by activists and attorneys in Florida to have charges dropped against a Black woman who fired at an officer during a narcotics raid.
According to NBC Miami, 28-year-old Diamonds Ford fired at a SWAT officer during a narcotics raid on Sept. 28 of last year. Ford was sleeping in bed with her fiancé, 28-year-old Anthony Gantt, when she heard the window break. Ford fired her handgun, believing an intruder was trying to enter her home, and then quickly ran to the bathroom and called 911. After learning that it was law enforcement trying to enter her home, Ford surrendered. The officer who was shot didn’t suffer from any life-threatening injuries.
Ford and Gantt currently face charges of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, and armed possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Wait. Hold up. You’re telling me they busted out a whole ass SWAT team...for some weed. Y’all, I can’t today.
During a news conference on Monday Ford’s lawyer, Stephen Kelly, said that the fact she called 911 after the shooting is evidence that she wasn’t aware law enforcement was trying to enter. “Miss Ford, just hearing her voice, she was in fear,” Kelly said during the conference outside the Duval County Courthouse. “She thought she was going to die that day.
The arrest report claims that the officers did announce their presence over a loudspeaker, but Ford alleges that she didn’t hear them announce their presence. While “no-knock warrants” don’t exist in Florida, Kelly told reporters that if authorities don’t properly announce their presence then it’s essentially the same thing.
Ford and Gantt were both sent to jail, with Ford being held on $535,000 bond. Kelly said this amount was unreasonable as Ford isn’t dangerous and doesn’t pose a flight risk. A group of organizers, including members of Dignity Power, an organization that assists formerly incarcerated women, managed to raise money to help Ford cover her bond.
“We drove from all over the country and in six days we raised over half a million dollars for a Black woman,” Tray Johns, executive director of Dignity Power, told NBC Miami. Gantt is being held on $350,000 bond and attorneys have filed a motion to have the amount reduced.
The fact they’re charging both Ford and Gantt with attempted murder is wild, but sadly not surprising. If you shot a cop, and knew you shot a cop, you wouldn’t turn around and call 911. I don’t think that’s a stretch to assume.
The news conference held on Monday was organized by Kelly and activists who believe that the charges against Ford should be dropped. Johns of Dignity Power has said this is just another instance of racial injustice and further shows the lack of protection provided for Black women.
“You don’t allow Black women to protect themselves. So we are here to ask you to protect Black women,” Johns told reporters. “Dignity Power is going to stand here, and we’re going to protect her with our very lives.”