Why was Sasha Johnson shot? Anti-racism activist still critical, supporters say she faced 'death threats'
The Met police have been criticized for saying there were no 'credible threats against her prior to this incident'
British Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson was left in a critical condition after being shot in the head in south London. As more and more people appeal for information on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, the 27-year-old activist was found with life-threatening injuries in Southwark at about 3 am on Sunday, May 23.
The reason why she was attacked still remains uncertain although social media has been buzzing with the possible reasons behind the shooting. Some have claimed that Johnson had received death threats just before she was shot. Vile trolls are also celebrating the incident on social media because she actively called out police brutality. Met police however maintain that it wasn't a targeted attack.
Why was Sasha Johnson shot?
Detectives from the Met's Specialist Crime Command (Trident) are "pursuing a number of priority lines of enquiry" as of now, but no arrests have been made yet. Police have since said that the shooting had occurred "in the vicinity of a house where a party was taking place" and a number of people may have been in the area at the time.
"While the investigation is at an early stage, there is nothing to suggest that the woman who was shot was the subject of a targeted attack or that she had received any credible threats against her prior to this incident," officers said.
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."
Were there death threats?
The first report of Johnson's shooting was shared by the Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP) that Johnson is a part of. In a Facebook statement, they wrote: “It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has sustained a gunshot wound to her head. She is currently hospitalized and in critical condition. The incident happened in the early hours of this morning, following numerous death threats."
TTIP, which is Britain's first Black-led political party, in its statement also said: "Sasha has always been actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community... Sasha is also a mother of 3 and a strong, powerful voice for our people and our community.”
Police however maintain there were no credible death threats received by Johnson recently. American cosmologist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, criticized the police's stand, tweeting: "Oh my god. London #BlackLivesMatter organizer Sasha Johnson has been shot in the head. She had been receiving death threats. Of course the Met police are claiming she had received no credible death threats."
Others tweeted the Mets' own tweet claiming there had been no threats prior to the shooting, writing "This is a complete lie. Sasha Johnson's own party have stated that this was preceded by a series of death threats."
Oh my god. London #BlackLivesMatter organizer Sasha Johnson has been shot in the head. She had been receiving death threats. Of course the Met police are claiming she had received no credible death threats.— The Disordered Cosmos by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (@IBJIYONGI) May 24, 2021
'there is nothing to suggest that she was the subject of a targeted attack' This is a complete lie. Sasha Johnson's own party have stated that this was preceded by a series of death threats. https://t.co/SrfwEUD8R2— wren (@krophotkin) May 24, 2021
Sick trolls celebrate shooting
Johnson, who gained prominence with her activism in the wake of last year's Black Lives Matter protests all over the globe, was deeply revered for her work in the field of eradicating racial injustice.
Black Lives Matter UK said on Twitter: "While Sasha wasn't part of our organisation, she impressively founded a new black-led political party and was dedicated to resist anti-black racism. Any attempt to intimidate or silence her, is an attack on all of us. Touch one, touch all. We pray that she will pull through this and those who threatened her life are held accountable. Our thoughts are with her children, family, and all impacted by this senseless attack." While Johnson was not officially a part of the Black Lives Matter chapter in the UK, she did help organize BLM marches in the UK.
Social media is unfortunately filled with sick trolls, who are now celebrating the harrowing attack on the activist, who has, in the past, publicly voiced her opinions against the police. Screenshots of such tweets were shared by a Twitter user who captioned it "Sasha Johnson, a BLM activist in England, was shot in the head last night, and this is how cowardly racists are celebrating. This is an evil world we live in."
Sasha Johnson, a BLM activist in England, was shot in the head last night, and this is how cowardly racists are celebrating. This is an evil world we live in pic.twitter.com/u9poUeNKuW— Olayemi Olurin (@msolurin) May 23, 2021
In one of the screenshots, a user can be seen tweeting "Massive party at my local when that bint Sasha Johnson is officially announced dead. Pints all around. Jukebox full blast playing 'Going Underground' by The Jam. Scenes." Another clapped "Sasha Johnson hates the police that much surely she will not want them investigating this? Or will she be a hypocrite and want the police to investigate?" Another sick troll wrote "Jelly and ice cream when Sasha Johnson gets announced dead."