On August 27, 2021, Fanta Bility, an eight-year-old girl, was shot and killed by the police in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. This occurred outside of a football stadium at Academy Park High School. Three others were wounded, including Fanta’s 13-year-old sister and another young boy. A verbal dispute just a block away from the football game had broken out into gunshots just as the football game was ending. The three police officers were near the stadium exit; as a car turned onto the street in front of them, they opened fire.
A silent march occurred in Sharon Hill on September 17 in protest against the police. It was organized by the UTDJ and Delco Resists and included eight minutes of silence, one for each minute of Fanta’s life. This march was not only to honor Fanta, but to fight for “police accountability, improved and updated training procedures, and that the officers involved in the shooting be removed from the force”.
Bility’s mother and siblings filed a lawsuit on October 26 against Police Chief Joseph Kelly Jr. of the borough of Sharon Hill as well as three other officers who were at the scene. The Bility family has stated that an apology would do little after the death of Fanta and demand all of the authors be fired.
The power held by the police in the United States is unacceptable, especially the power held over black people. There needs to be a change in the justice system to prevent tragic shootings like this from happening. Additionally, gun control measures must be implemented to prevent shootings from happening easily, such as background checks and training for police officers. Just because someone holds the position of police officer does not mean that there should not be gun restrictions on them.
Here are some additional resources to read about Bility and stay updated on the lawsuit:
- The Sharon Hill police officers who shot an 8-year-old girl at a football game acted with recklessness, a lawsuit says
- Family of 8-year-old girl fatally shot by police outside a suburban Philadelphia football stadium files lawsuit
https://6abc.com/fanta-bility-shooting-lawsuit-academy-park-high-school-football-grand-jury-officers-fired/11170858/ – This article has a brief helpful video that explains the situation and the events that occurred at the shooting of Fanta Bility.