#SayHerName Mikayla Miller’s promising life deserved better than a violent end.
While we mourned the news of police senselessly shooting and killing 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, the Hopkinton, MA police department was very quietly investigating the death of another 16-year-old Black girl. Calvina Strothers had been begging Hopkinton authorities to help her daughter, Mikayla Miller, with the bullying she endured. According to CNN, Calvina Strothers reported to police on April 17 that Mikayla was jumped that evening in their apartment complex. In another eerie similarity to Ma’Khia Bryant, Miller died shortly after seeking protection from bullies.
A jogger discovered Miller’s body near a trail in the woods about a quarter-mile away from the apartment complex early in the morning on April 18. The aspiring journalism major and honor roll student was reportedly found against a tree with a belt around her neck. Although medical examiners and local authorities have not yet released any conclusive findings, Strothers claims that right after Mikayla was discovered, police told her that the teen took her own life. Weeks later, this grieving mother is no closer to answers or any semblance of closure.
District Attorney Marian Ryan held a press conference on May 4, stating that while they wait for medical and forensic results, it’s too early to make any conclusions on what happened. Ryan denied suspicions that her office covered up or neglected the case because Mikayla is a Black girl in the LGBTQ+ community. However, Strothers said the DA’s office has not yet even released the police report from the April 17 assault. Ryan cannot even keep her story straight on whether her office has been in close contact with Miller’s family. Mikayla’s mother claims she did not hear from DA Ryan’s office until 12 days after she was found dead.
The more answers trickle out of this tragic case, the more it seems like foul play is a part of Mikayla Miller’s death as much as the investigation into it.