Cities across the country erupted in celebration after Joe Biden signed a bill officially making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of black Americans from from the evils of slavery, yet festivities for the federal holiday still seemed to result in tragedy.
Shootings and deaths sullied the Juneteenth celebrations in many cities across America.
Oakland, California; Aurora, Colorado; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Clover, South Carolina; and Flint, Michigan — all towns with strong African American populations which saw immense tragedy on the holiday intended to celebrate their ancestors’ emancipation.
Oakland’s Juneteenth celebration at Lake Merritt was interrupted by gunfire at 6:22 p.m. When the shooting ceased, seven victims came as a result, including a 22 year-old man who was killed during the celebration.
Update: Police say there is a seventh victim in Saturday's deadly Lake Merritt shooting in Oakland after showing up to the hospital with a gunshot wound. https://t.co/0Jy84TDe7h
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) June 20, 2021
The Aurora Juneteenth celebration was brought to a violent end when multiple shooters unleashed 114 rounds on attendees, wounding four and killing one.
The Aurora Police Department noted, “911 Dispatch Center received at least 50 calls for service”
After a concert in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, two people were shot to death after a brawl during a Juneteenth celebration.
News reports noted that the shooting involved multiple guns occurred in a parking lot outside of the concert venue.
Additional reports out of Clover, South Carolina noted two separate shootings at a Juneteenth Celebration. One of the shootings resulting in three people being wounded, including a 17-year-old boy. The other shooting involved a car pulling up beside a vehicle in which a family was traveling and opening fire.
Also on Juneteenth, a 19-year-old woman was shot and killed after allegedly shooting at a police officer in Flint, Michigan.
The teenager was taken to the hospital, but eventually succumbed to her injuries.
Flint Police Department released a statement regarding the incident:
“Preliminary investigation indicates the officer, who was working a traffic point for the Juneteenth Celebration, was fired upon by the lone occupant of a vehicle who drove up to him at the traffic point. Upon taking fire, the officer returned fire, striking the suspect.”
Author: Elizabeth Tierney