Tallahassee Mourns the Death of Oluwatoyin Salau

By Liam Wirsansky on June 17, 2020

Amid the ongoing protesting in Tallahassee, one 19-year-old activist, Oluwatoyin Salau, received national attention after her disappearance this month. Searches for Salau were prompted after she released a series of tweets describing her experience of being sexually assaulted, as she was tricked by a man disguised as a man of god offering her a ride and refuge.

Last seen alive on June 6th, Tallahasse PD confirmed that Salau’s body was found in the southeast part of town, along with Victoria Sims, who was a 75-year old AARP volunteer. The police confirmed that Sims’ house was burglarized and her car was missing. Both women were found dead at the residence of Aaron Glee Jr., who the authorities have charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with their deaths. He has been taken into custody in Orlando after avoiding local law enforcement.

The police also confirmed that Salau had contacted them to report the assault. At this time, they do not believe there was a connection between the assault and her murder. A renowned and distinguished voice within the Black Lives Matter protests locally in Tallahassee, Salau’s disappearance has turned heads and raised arms to action, as candle light vigils and funds have been started in her honor.


In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is aimed at addressing racial injustices and unequal treatment by the police nationally, Tallahassee PD has received heavy scrutiny for their handling of the case, as Salau provided an abundance of evidence of her assault and where it happened. The police department has also neglected to release relevant information on the case, such as the cause of death and whether or not the victims had any connection to the suspect.

Criticisms over Tallahassee PD’s efforts on the case have been in question since Salau’s disappearance, with perhaps the most damaging condemnations coming from an Instagram post by Tallahassee PD, which featured a missing dog and asked for local citizens to reach out with any information about its whereabouts on June 8th, two days after Salau’s went missing. No post regarding or relating to Salau or her disappearance was released on their Instagram account until June 13th, an entire week after her final sighting.


While the Black Lives Matter movement has widely been recognized as taking a stand against police brutality and injustice, inaction by the police, specifically in the cases of crimes and violence against black people have been brought to the forefront of the conversation, as more than five black men have been found hung to death in the last week in the United States, with all of them being ruled as suicides with no foul play suspected by the police.

Black Lives Matter protests have continued in flurries all over the nation, as police violence and killings continue at an increased rate, and inaction by local and federal governments outline the current state of most locales. While minor policy changes have been made, and progress has been achieved, attention towards a much more radical and structural shift is still ongoing as people globally demand justice for those like Oluwatoyin Salau, George Floyd, and others.

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