LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The same day Canadian rapper Tory Lanez had a court appearance in connection with a shooting that injured Megan Thee Stallion also marked the publication of a New York Times op-ed about domestic violence and Black women written by Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete.
The 24-year-old Pete was shot while she and Lanez, born Daystar Peterson, were driving in the Hollywood Hills in July.
Lanez, 28, appeared by phone Tuesday for a hearing in a downtown Los Angeles Superior courtroom. He is charged with one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He also faces a gun allegation and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury.
The alleged shooting occurred in the early morning hours of July 12 after Lanez and Pete got in an argument while riding in an SUV in the Hollywood Hills, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
As Pete was getting out of the vehicle, Lanez allegedly shot at her feet several times, wounding her.
A few days after the shooting, Pete took to social media to disclose that she had suffered gunshot wounds to her feet after attending a pool party in the Hills.
In an editorial that appeared in The New York Times on Tuesday, Pete says Lanez shot her twice.
“I was recently the victim of an act of violence by a man,” she wrote. “After a party, I was shot twice as I walked away from him. We were not in a relationship. Truthfully, I was shocked that I ended up in that place.”
“The issue is even more intense for Black women, who struggle against stereotypes and are seen as angry or threatening when we try to stand up for ourselves and our sisters. There’s not much room for passionate advocacy if you are a Black woman,” Pete continued.
Advocates for abuse survivors note that the transparency of high-profile celebrities like Pete regarding her experiences often encourages other domestic violence survivors to also come forward.
“Oftentimes, when it’s a celebrity, we can put a face on that domestic violence in a different kind of way and she has a platform which also may make it easier for other women to come forward,” Dr. Carolyn West, a Professor of Psychology for the University of Washington said.
According to research about intimate partner and sexual violence, 45% of Black women reported sexual violence, physical aggression and or stalking that was committed by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
“It’s not that they are inherently more violent,” Dr. West said. “Oftentimes, due to social structural factors, poverty, just life challenges that put them at higher risk.”
Pete says those societal disparities are exactly why she is devoted to fighting back and standing up for others.
She has been getting a lot of praise for her response, with an Instagram comment from Tina Knowles, mother of singer Beyonce, saying she is proud of Pete for “speaking up for sisters who don’t have a voice.”
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department inmate records show that Lanez was arrested at 4:40 a.m. on the day of the shooting.
Prosecutors brought charges against Lanez on Oct. 8. The following day he took to Twitter, telling his two million followers, “The truth will come to light…I have all faith in God to show that…love to all my fans and people that have stayed true to me & know my heart…A charge is not a conviction. If you have supported me or meg thru this, I genuinely appreciate u.”
Lanez faces a maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged.
He was ordered by the judge to stay away from Pete until his arraignment, which is scheduled for Nov. 18.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence.
Free, confidential help is available 365/24/7 by calling 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or visiting TheHotline.org.
If you have concerns that your internet usage might be monitored by an abusive partner, opt to call instead of visiting the website and remember to clear your browser history after visiting this website. Click the “X” or “Escape” button at any time to leave TheHotline.org immediately.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)