Victim blaming comes in many forms and is oftentimes subtler and more unconscious.
Blaming the victim is a phenomenon in which victims of crimes or tragedies are held accountable for what happened to them. Victim blaming allows people to believe that such events could never happen to them.
It can apply to cases of rape and sexual assault, but also to more mundane crimes, like a person who gets pickpocketed and is then chided for his decision to carry his wallet in his back pocket. Any time someone defaults to questioning what a victim could have done differently to prevent a crime, he or she is participating, to some degree, in the culture of victim blaming.
One reason people blame a victim is to distance themselves from an unpleasant occurrence and thereby confirm their own invulnerability to the risk. By labeling or accusing the victim, others can see the victim as different from themselves. People reassure themselves by thinking, “Because I am not like her, because I do not do that, this would never happen to me.”
It is a natural psychological reaction to crime, in some ways, just like how Carmesia Flannigan, 22, from Birmingham who Alabama police claim was street racing at the time of the crash and allegedly hit Brandy Ballard, a 52-year-old who died.
According to a news release from the Birmingham Police Department, Flannigan was charged with murder, evading police after an accident with injuries, and unlawful possession of a controlled narcotic (BPD). The accident also involved four vehicles.
“It was determined the driver who was reportedly racing left the scene of the accident. The preliminary investigation suggests witnesses observed vehicles racing prior to the accident. It was determined one of the drivers who was reportedly racing left the scene of the accident. The person who was pronounced deceased was a passing motorist and not affiliated with racing when her vehicle was struck,” the release states.
In a report by AL.com, Flannigan was being detained at the Jefferson County Jail but was freed after paying her bond.
However, she allegedly created a seven-minute video after being freed and posted it to Facebook, wherein she appeared to blame Ballard for the collision. The video was reuploaded to YouTube, where it has had over 170,000 views since being released on March 23. The video has apparently now been removed from Facebook. AL claims that Flannigan also produced a second, lengthier video.
“That old ass lady swerved in my lane,” she says in the first video, seemingly addressing criticism from people online. She also denies fleeing the scene.
“I ain’t killed nobody. You hear me? I ain’t killed nobody. This lady ran into me,” she later says. “They ain’t charging her with shit. They charging me because I was alive, and I was there, basically. That’s how the police work.”
These types of questions, sadly, are not uncommon after people hear about a terrible event. Why, after such a horrible crime, do so many people seem to “blame the victim” for their circumstances?
“But I’m not mad. Bitch, I handle my shit like a motherfucker OG would,” Flannigan says in the video. “Yeah, she dead. She dead. but I didn’t do it. The fuck? … She did it to her motherfucking self because she ran into me.”
“I been driving Camaros. This ain’t my first one or my last one,” she says, adding that her car will be repaired in less than a month.
The report indicated that Flannigan’s Chevrolet Camaro allegedly crossed the middle line of the road and struck Ballard’s car. Ballard, a home healthcare provider, was two blocks from her house when she was fatally injured while traveling to work—then later died.
In the video, Flannigan appears to have posted it from a different Facebook account and addresses those who are supposedly attempting to have her blocked. Even though it’s not obvious whether the video was a live stream, she refers to it as “live.” The video’s conclusion also features her singing.
Ballard’s niece Tabatha Moore claimed she cried because she was “so angry” after watching the video.
“It’s very frustrating. It’s humiliating. … There’s no remorse,’’ Moore said, “There’s no heart involved. I want it stopped.”
However, the reports said that District Judge Katrina Ross granted the Jefferson County prosecutors’ plea to revoke Flannigan’s bond. Ross allegedly issued a warrant for Flannigan’s arrest and mandated that she be kept without bond.
Which examined court documents from both incidents, Flannigan was awaiting trial on charges of burglary in 2020 and first-degree domestic violence from earlier in 2021. Motions for these two cases’ bond revocations apparently were also submitted. Jason Wilson, an assistant district attorney, referred to the March 21 collision in his motions, AL.com also added.
Watch it here: Youtube/Illicit Deeds