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Tampa Bay community honors life of murdered Tallahassee activist Oluwatoyin Salau

By staff |
June 22, 2020
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Vigil to honor the life of murdered Tallahassee activist Oluwatoyin Salau.
Vigil to honor the life of murdered Tallahassee activist Oluwatoyin Salau. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - On June 20, Tampa Bay community members gathered at the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square to honor the life of Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, who was sexually assaulted, abducted and murdered. Salau was a known Black Lives Matter activist in Tallahassee, Florida. Her death follows a recent wave of violence against, and murder of, Black people in the United States committed by the police, white vigilantes and others.

The vigil began at 7 p.m. and was co-hosted by the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee (TBCAC), Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the Intersections of Tampa Advocates (ITA).

These organizations followed the lead of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC) and demanded that the, “Tallahassee police department release all details regarding the disappearance and murder of Oluwatoyin Salau.” TCAC member Regina Joseph added, “The Tallahassee Police Department spent more time posting about a missing dog on Instagram than spreading awareness of Toyin’s disappearance.”

The event included speeches, songs and poems given by community members, and chants such as, “Say it once, say it again, no excuse for violent men,” and “Old Jim Crow, new Jim Crow, white supremacy has got to go!”

“Toyin’s death means moving forward in life and never backing down, keeping my head held high like Toyin did,” said community member Nebula Jackson.

“The police failed Toyin by turning a blind eye during her greatest time of need. The word ‘failing’ even seems inappropriate, she was ‘forsaken’ by this injustice,” said ITA member Kay Klark

“The death of Oluwatoyin Salau highlights the reasons we continue the struggle for a Civilian Police Accountability Council. We see cops exhausting their resources to find and punish protesters but refusing to put forth the same effort in assisting the community. Tallahassee PD failed Toyin and continues to fail oppressed people. The only way we can ensure the safety of our community is through community control now,” said TBCAC member, David Jones.

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