Happy Heavenly Birthday, Yvonne McDonald: Talauna Reed, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Tiny - Posted on 23 June 2020

Rest in Power,

Black Loved One

Yvonne McDonald  


June 23, 1962  to


August 7, 2018







Yvonne McDonald was found injured near her home on the west side of Olympia on the early morning of August 7, 2018. She later died at the hospital. Yvonne McDonald’s family and community have been heartbroken and outraged by the anti-Black handling of Yvonne while she was still alive, and the racist “investigation” into her death. The outrage extends from Shitty (City) of Olympia to Thurston Kounty officials, to first responders, poLice, coroner, the politricksters of the prosecutors orifice (office), the mayor, the shitty council...  all who have ignored obvious signs of trauma and violence and didn’t give Yvonne’s case a thorough investigation. Yvonne McDonald became a “case” to poLice while she was still clinging to life. The lack of care given Yvonne from first contact contributed to her death.  


[image:  Black, Loved One, Yvonne McDonald’s NUAPB National United Against PoLice Brutality justice pin, Olympia, WA 2018]


On June 12, 2020, amidst demands for the liberation of Black people, against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic, Talauna Reed made the half hour drive from Olympia, WA to Chehalis for a kourt date in Lewis County, WA.  Talauna arrived with her brother, Terrance, and a small group of comrades and organizers, which she called her “legal team.” Talauna had to go to a kourthouse a whole kounty over because she is suing the kounty she lives in, and she can not stop, will not stop, fighting for Justice for her Aunt, Yvonne McDonald.  


“Wow, y’all. There’s so many people here,” Talauna said in tears, upon arriving at the parking lot outside the Lewis Kounty Kourthouse. “I could cry.” Little did she know that the group of about 50 enthusiastic supporters gathered there early in the morning and in the rain, would soon swell to a roaring 300-400 people while she was inside the kourthouse.


As Talauna and Terrance stood in line to go through the metal detector, a white self-identified “lawyer” came up and pushed her way toward the front of the masked up folks, who were trying to stay safely socially distanced. “I am all for protesting, but really, on a Friday?!?!” she complained. 


[image: Talauna Reed lovingly smiles while holding an altar box with sacred items and memories of her Aunt inside. There is a photo of her Aunt, Yvonne “Gi Gi” McDonald, who is also smiling, on the side of the box.] 


Talauna Reed is a Black business woman specializing in Black hair and wellness and is an advocate of others. She is a Mother and People Protector. Talauna is a community organizer, an Olympia SURJ Showing Up for Racial Justice core organizing member, co-facilitator of Poverty Scholarship Book Club and the founder and lead organizer of Justice for Yvonne. Talauna has conducted a very thorough People’s Investigation into her Aunt’s death. Among the many things being done as part of Justice for Yvonne McDonald, Talauna has filed a lawsuit against Thurston Kounty for violating the Public Records Act. Thurston Kounty has wrongfully denied access to public records related to the death investigation of Yvonne McDonald. These records include and are not limited to the autopsy report, coroner’s report, medics’ records, emails, chain of custody reports, deputy coroner’s reports, photos, and any records that were created or in the County’s possession used to determine Yvonne McDonald’s cause of death.


The in-person June 12th kourt appearance was an attempt by Thurston Kounty, and clearly the prosecutor Jon TOONhime’s orifice (office), to throw out her case on a technicality. The judge heard from both sides, and did not throw out Talauna’s case. The June 12th kourt appearance and event outside organized by Talauna and Justice for Yvonne was a SUCCESS. The kourt appearance was a victory.  Talauna has been given an extension to file papers “properly” and her next kourt date will be July 10, 2020 at 9am at the Lewis Kounty Kourthouse, 345 W Main St, Chehalis, WA. PLEASE SHOW UP IN SUPPORT!


Talauna Reed has recruited widespread support for her Life’s Work of demanding Justice for Yvonne. She single handedly got almost 400 people to show up for her Aunt in Lewis Kounty on a Friday and in the rain!!!! (see video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTmSv8qvl0o)


[image of Talauna Reed showing up for others - outside kourthouse in Tacoma, WA with Crystal Chaplin back in 2019 in support of Black, brothers, Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, who survived a murder attempt by a racist white poLice officer named Ryan Donald in olympia in 2015. Justice for Yvonne means Justice for Andre and Bryson THEY SURVIVED]



[image: Talauna holding a blow horn during a march in Olympia demanding Justice for her Aunt in 2019.]



[Talauna at an action holding a sign with her Aunt Yvonne’s face on it, that says Justice for Yvonne and INQUEST NOW, she is surrounded by supporters]


[image of colorful chalk on the sidewalk that says #sayhername and Yvonne McDonald #YvonneMcDonald in a heart next to other Loved Ones killed by olympia poLice, white, Disabled, Vaneesa Hopson and white, poverty scholar, Jeffrey McGaugh]


June 23 is Yvonne McDonald’s birthday.  There is a gathering planned and hosted by Justice for Yvonne and Talauna outside of Olympia Shitty (City) Hall today at 7pm.  


From Justice for Yvonne:  Yvonne's Life is gone from this earth but not forgotten. Please join us as we remember her beautiful soul. While the fight for Justice continues, it feels important to share with the community where we are at with Justice 4 Yvonne McDonald and Refresh ourselves as we continue to do Work in our communities. There will be music, sharing, and a candlelight vigil for loved ones lost or harmed by poLice. Don’t forget to wear masks!!!!


[images:  left a drawing of Yvonne McDonald by nomy lamm with flowers, and right an artists drawing/stencil of Black, Loved One Yvonne McDonald with roses on white paper and displayed in a window]



Lisa Ganser is a white, disabled, Non Binary, queer, poverty scholar, artist and organizer living in Olympia, WA on colonized Chehalis, Nisqually and Squaxin land. They are a copwatcher, a dog walker, a sidewalk chalker, and the daughter of a Momma named Sam.


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