Tory Lanez Sentencing–What the Community Can Learn from This

This incident highlights a larger failure in our community: the failure to protect Black women.

Courtroom illustration via Mona Shafer Edwards

On Tuesday, Tory Lanez (whose real name is Daystar Peterson) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan thee Stallion in July 2020.

He was found guilty on three counts back in December: assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, and negligent discharge of a gun.


Courtroom illustration via Mona Shafer Edwards

Megan Thee Stallion, Kelsey (Megan’s former best friend), Tory, and Tory’s bodyguard were leaving a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house when an argument erupted in their car. Shots were fired from the backseat of the vehicle––hitting Megan in her heels as she was exiting the vehicle. Police arrived on the scene with a helicopter that surveilled the situation––footage shows Megan limping and leaving a blood trail behind her.

Originally, Megan told authorities she stepped on glass––in fear of police brutality for having a weapon.

According to Megan, after Tory’s team started spreading lies about her and what happened that night, Megan came out and said Tory shot her.

During this three-year wait and legal battle, many people took to social media to air out their think pieces and antagonize, mostly Megan. The most disgusting comments that I saw on social media were from Black men and other male apologists attacking Megan for “lying”––even after Megan was confirmed to have bullet fragments in her foot shot by medical examiners at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

People also took this time to make comments about her return to the stage following the shooting––including commenting on her weight gain. Tory added fuel to the fire when he recorded an album about the situation––claiming he was innocent and profiting from the “lies told”. Megan’s alleged sexual past with Tory was scrutinized in the court of public opinion. 

Black male celebrities, notably 50 Cent and DJ Akademiks, made memes about the situation, too. This large-scale effort to invalidate Megan’s story mirrored ways white people can pick apart and justify a Black person being shot by the police, in my opinion. Megan’s song “Anxiety” (off her latest album Traumazine) addresses some of these issues––rapping about how people wanted her to speak her truth, and then turned around and tore her to shreds.  


Courtroom illustration via Mona Shafer Edwards

This incident highlights a larger failure in our community: the failure to protect Black women. Black girls and women are often seen as fast from a young age––a term I despise. They are forced to grow up quicker, while Black boys and men are offered more room to make mistakes. 

Black girls are more likely to be sexually abused before they even reach the age of 18––let alone the sexual abuse and trauma they may face once they are adults.

Black girls and women are hardly ever given passes just to be children by the Black community, which is a hard truth that many aren’t ready to hear. We expect Black women to be ready to be mistreated even by other Black people. How is that fair, or even logical, to expect to be mistreated by everyone––even your people?

On the flip side, along with receiving so much disrespect from everyone within and outside the community, Black women are also expected to rally behind everyone else, but no one stands behind Black women when the time comes. The hypocrisy of it all speaks volumes. 

According to Megan and what I inferred, she was protecting a man who failed to protect her and proves everything we need to know about the mistreatment of Black women. 

Black people: we need to wake up and protect each other. It should not be Black women vs. Black men. It should be Black people vs. the systemic issues that harm our community. We are stronger when we come together and fight instead of fighting amongst each other and invalidate one another’s experiences. When we pick apart and belittle each other, we make no progress.


Defender News Briefing

America's #1 newsletter for Black politics, culture tech and world news.

Smart, brief, and straight to your inbox

You can unsubscribe at any time. Have a question? Contact us or read our privacy policy for more info.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top