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On the Murder of Jasmine Armour

Last Wednesday, a man was sentenced to 25 years to life for fatally shooting Jasmine Armour in the back just over a year ago. Her mother wept as she told the judge, “Jasmine wasn’t a saint, she was a human being, an extraordinary human being.” As if the events of her murder weren’t brutal enough, it has been disturbing to see the ways in which the intimate, activist scene has condoned this violence.

People circled the wagon hard for this guy. Was it because he was a local activist himself? Was it because he was a “nice guy”? His best defense was that he was drunk and that was no defense. The first words out of his mouth at sentencing were “I’m not a murderer.” He finally gave his condolences to the family, too little too late.

In a community cheering local food, occupying “the man,” and doing teach-ins about the effects of colonization, it has been astonishing to hear people make excuses for what he did by pointing out her supposed character flaws. If we can’t speak up in support of a woman who has been murdered by “one of our own,” I have serious doubts about the overall effectiveness of any such movement that wants to make deep and lasting change. Violence against women is not some sidebar to the bigger issue of capitalism, it’s a corner stone.

Lara Buckley, Buffalo

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