A leading British Black Lives Matter activist is fighting for her life after being shot in the head in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Sasha Johnson, the self-styled ‘Black Panther of Oxford’, was ‘brutally’ attacked after receiving multiple death threats, her political party said.
London’s Metropolitan Police said they are investigating after a woman in her 20s was shot in Peckham, in the capital’s south-east, at 3am. Sky News reported this was understood to be the incident involving Ms Johnson, 26. No arrests have been made.
Ms Johnson, a mother-of-three Oxford Brookes graduate who rose to prominence after organising BLM protests last summer, is said to be currently in intensive care and in a critical condition following the attack.
It is believed that the shooting occurred in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place and that a number of people may have been in the area. However, police said there is ‘nothing to suggest’ that the woman shot was the subject of a targeted attack.
The Taking the Initiative Party, which Ms Johnson founded, said she was shot after she received death threats as a result of her political activism.
BLM UK tweeted in solidarity with the activist yesterday and said they would be holding a vigil outside the hospital in south London on Monday at 3pm.
In a statement, the TTIP wrote: ‘It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has been brutally attacked and sustained a gunshot wound to her head.
‘She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition. The attack happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats as a result of her activism.
Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson is in a critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to her head, Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) has said
In a statement on Instagram, TTIP said: ‘It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has been brutally attacked and sustained a gunshot wound to her head’
London’s Metropolitan Police said they are investigating after a woman in her 20s was shot in Peckham, in the capital’s south-east, at 3am. Sky News reported this was understood to be the incident involving Ms Johnson, 26. No arrests have been made
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‘Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community, as well as being both a member of BLM and a member of Taking the Initiative Party’s Executive Leadership Committee.
‘Sasha is also a mother of 3 and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community.
‘Let’s all come together and pray for Sasha, pray for her recovery and show our support to her family and loved ones. #prayforsashajohnson’.
Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, was among those who went online to express ‘solidarity’ with Ms Johnson.
Ms Webbe said: ‘We were all out last year for Black Lives Matter. I only know her as an activist on these issues of Black Lives Matter. I support Black Lives Matter and therefore support what she was doing.
‘As a member of Parliament I stand in full solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and I stand with her work in the Black Lives Matter movement.’
Police have so far refused to confirm the Peckham incident is the one involving Ms Johnson, nor have they speculated as to a motive for it or issued any description of a suspect.
In the Peckham incident, police said detectives from the Met’s ‘Specialist Crime Command (Trident)’ are leading the investigation. They said there was a ‘significant police presence in the area as enquiries continue and a number of roads are currently closed’.
Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: ‘This was a shocking incident that has left a young woman with very serious injuries. Our thoughts are with her family who are being provided with support at this terribly difficult time.
‘A dedicated team of detectives is working tirelessly to identify the person or persons responsible for this shooting. They are making good progress but they need the public’s help.
TTIP said the attack took place ‘following numerous death threats as a result of her activism’
Ms Johnson, the self-styled ‘Black Panther of Oxford’, came to prominence as an organiser of the BLM protests last summer, where she was seen addressing crowds while wearing camouflage trousers, a black beret and a stab-proof-style vest
‘If you saw anything suspicious in the Consort Road area in the early hours of Sunday morning or if you have heard information since that could help detectives, it is crucial that you get in touch.
‘Finally, I recognise that this incident will have shocked those in the local community and further afield. I would ask people to avoid speculating as to the motive or the circumstances behind it.
‘If anyone does have information, the most responsible and helpful action is to share it with the police or, to remain anonymous, with Crimestoppers.’
Anybody with information is asked to call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC providing the reference CAD1172/23MAY. Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Ms Johnson came to prominence as an organiser of the BLM protests last summer, where she was seen addressing crowds while wearing camouflage trousers, a black beret and a stab-proof-style vest.
She has called for a ‘race offenders’ register’ that would see people barred from jobs based on having been accused of ‘micro-aggressions’ in the workplace, saying the list would be ‘similar’ to the sex offenders’ register – which is used to bar paedophiles from professions like teaching.
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