AUSTIN, Texas - A pregnant Black woman claims she was shot by beanbag rounds during a peaceful protest outside the Austin Police Department headquarters late last month. She says she now wants the officers to be held accountable.
24-year-old Saraneka Martin says it's been a few weeks since she says officers shot her with non-lethal force.
“It says one Austin safer together. I was safe until APD shot me. I was not hurt by protesters. I was hurt by APD,” said Martin.
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Martin says she and her husband went to protest to stand up for what they believed in. It was there when she says she was hit multiple times with bean bag rounds, all while being pregnant. “Pregnancies are already pretty hard, and then add getting shot a few times to that,” said Martin.
Martin says she's currently seven weeks pregnant and already the mother to two other kids. She says she never expected her protest experience to unfold the way it did.
“They didn't ask us to scoot back or anything, That's when they started shooting. They were already macing into a crowd of people. We were all just sitting. We were sitting, I got up to run, got hit in the stomach twice, turned around and got hit in the back and I also got bean bags in the back of my head by officers,” she said.
Martin says she was hit four times, twice right in the abdomen. She says the rounds hurt so bad, she couldn’t feel anything in that moment. She says she just kept thinking about her children. “All I could think about is I have two babies that are already born and no one's going to love, protect them, like their own mama and I could, I guess, all I could think about was my baby,” said Martin.
Martin says her baby is alive. Now, she wants APD to step up and be held accountable.
“If anybody else had done that, that would have been considered assault, and they would have been held accountable. They need to be held accountable,” said Martin.
Martin has gotten a lawyer and plans to file a formal complaint against Austin Police.