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Pregnant Protester Shot By Austin Police Demands Accountability

Saraneka Martin with her husband, Kenneth Martin, outside Austin Police Department headquarters.
Michael Minasi
Saraneka Martin, who is seven weeks pregnant, was shot by Austin police with lead-pellet bags at a demonstration two weekends ago. At a news conference with her husband, Kenneth Martin, on Friday she demanded accountability.

A 24-year-old pregnant protester who was shot with a lead-pellet bag by Austin police two weeks ago is calling for accountability.

Saraneka Martin, who is seven weeks pregnant, said she was sitting with other demonstrators during the first weekend of protests downtown when police began using the so-called less-lethal ammunition.

“Anytime APD wanted us in a different area or more controlled, they just shot at us,” she said at a news conference outside police headquarters Friday. "Everybody is like, ‘How are you doing?’ Well, I was used as target practice while sitting on the ground.”

She said anyone else would have been arrested for that.

"My people have been taken down for a lot less worse than attacking a pregnant woman,” Martin said. 

She said medical tests show the baby is fine.

Her lawyer, Tycha Kimbrough, said they are fighting for justice for Martin and all those hurt by APD. 

“We will file an official complaint so that further investigations can be done,” Kimbrough said. “No lawsuit has been filed. We are hoping that we don’t have to file a lawsuit.” 

Austin's Office of Police Oversight said Friday it had received an unprecedented number of complaints related to the demonstrations: 227. The protests began in Austin on May 29 in response to the police killings of black people, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Mike Ramos in Austin.

Jimmy is the assistant program director, but still reports on business and sports every now and then. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @maasdinero.
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