UPDATE 6/16/2020 9:40 A.M.: North Florida and South Georgia news station WCTV reported on Monday that a suspect had been arrested in Salau’s murder: Aaron Glee Jr., 49. Glee Jr. is also suspected of killing AARP volunteer Victoria Sims, 75, whose body was found near Salau’s on Sunday evening in Tallahassee, Fla.
Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, a 19-year-old activist who was a speaker at the Black Lives Matter protests in her native Tallahassee, Florida, has reportedly died.
On June 6, she posted a series of tweets saying that she had been molested by a man who offered her a ride. She shared his address and detailed him and his car. She vowed, “I will not be silent.” Following her thread, she stopped responding to replies and was reported missing. On June 12, USA Today reported that, according to the Tallahassee Police Department, she was still missing and last seen on the day of her tweet. On June 14, a friend of Salau’s tweeted that she was “no longer with us.”
I’m sorry to inform everyone about this but Toyin is no longer with us https://t.co/HK85TgGFhV
— Ashley (@laurecapri) June 15, 2020
Salau was a vocal Black Lives Matter activist and had been very involved in the protests this past month. “At the end of the day, I can’t take my fucking skin color off,” she said in a video taken at a protest earlier this month. “I’m profiled whether I like it or not,” Salau continued before a crowd. “You cannot take my fucking Blackness away from me. My Blackness is not for your fucking consumption.”
— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) June 15, 2020
Twitter is flooded with posts demanding justice for Salau and Black women in general. InStyle's own Senior Beauty Editor Kayla Greaves wrote a powerful viral tweet that said, "Black women show up for everyone. But who is really out here protecting Black women?"
Black women show up for everyone. But who is really out here protecting Black women? #JusticeForToyin
— Kayla A. Greaves 💁🏽♀️ (@KaylaAGreaves) June 15, 2020
She elaborated on the post for this story saying, "As Black women, a lot of the time we are natural caregivers; we want to nurture and protect our own, we want to be on the front lines. Yet so often the same Black men that come from Black women let misogyny, sexism, ego, and lack of emotional intelligence take over, and we're left with no one to protect us—the result of that can be fatal. Black men, the solution lies in your hands. You need to step up and it needs to happen now. The time for talking is over, we need action."
More tweets echoed a similar sentiment, demanding justice and change.
I’m tired of writing, “Justice for...” or “RIP Queen.”
No. Oluwatoyin shouldn’t have died.
We failed her.
Black women’s plight of being black and being a women is intersectional.
So don’t come out of your mouth to say “Black Lives Matter” if you don’t fight for black women.
— ℜ𝔬𝔰𝔢𝔤𝔬𝔩𝔡 (@rosegoldmaia) June 15, 2020
WE DEMAND #JUSTICEFORTOYIN. SHE WAS 19 YEARS OLD. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T LISTEN TO BLACK WOMEN. SHE ASKED FOR HELP. SHE TWEETED ABOUT HER ABUSER. SHE WAS A TEENAGE GIRL. A DAUGHTER. say her name. don’t let her story be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/XDbUd2Zsgz
— 1312 (@kimiamp3) June 15, 2020
activist Oluwatoyin Salau was missing since June 6, after disturbing tweets detailing a sexual assault that had taken place that day. it has been reported that her body has been found. WHAT HAPPENED TO TOYIN? SAY HER NAME #JusticeforToyin pic.twitter.com/76PM2PJEjk
— zo (@kurtzobain) June 15, 2020
this hurts different. she was so vocal & tweeted about her abuser, she was an activist who was at every protest, she was a baby... literally 19. no one looks out for black women. all of this to say, i’m beyond heartbroken. #JusticeforToyin pic.twitter.com/eB9DT0yrEZ
— miski (@musegold) June 15, 2020
All of my love to survivors in our movements. When we #SayHerName we shine a light on police violence AND interpersonal violence against Black women. Both are gendered. Black women are fighting for their lives on two fronts while also fighting for yours. #JusticeForToyin
— abolition in this lifetime (@Muna_Mire) June 15, 2020
SHE WAS 19. HER NAME IS OLUWATOYIN “TOYIN” SALAU. SHE WAS SEXUALITY ASSAULTED AND MURDERED. SHE WAS AN ACTIVIST WHO SHOWED UP TO EVERY PROTEST SHE COULD. FIGHT FOR BLACK WOMEN LIKE YOU FOUGHT FOR FLOYD. THIS IS NOT OVER. #JusticeForToyin pic.twitter.com/HrJVoKdaDT
— sᶻ ᵇˡᵐ 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝒸𝓀 𝓉𝑒𝓃 (@mindofcherri) June 15, 2020
A change.org petition is calling to “bring attention to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Tallahassee police department to do their job, and investigate this crime.” A GoFundMe account was also set up but has yet to be verified. We will update this story when it has been.
This story is developing.