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Street Harassment Leads to Death for NYC Woman

Tiarah Poyau

A man accused of shooting a young woman in the eye and killing her after she refused his advances at Brooklyn street party celebrating the West Indian Day Parade was set to be arraigned Wednesday.

According to the New York Post:

St. John’s University student Tiarah Poyau, 22, was walking the pre-West Indian Day Parade route with three pals early Monday when she was accosted and told the man, “Get off me,’’ according to a source.

Her friends, who were walking ahead of her around 4:15 a.m., then heard a shot and saw her fall at Empire Boulevard and Franklin Avenue. Poyau had been shot in the eye “at close range,’’ the source said.

Reginald Moise, 20, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder later that day, after driving drunk into three parked cars, police told The New York Times.

Police Chief Robert Boyce told the paper Moise was deemed a suspect in Poyau's death after police found a gun he allegedly stashed at a friend’s apartment after firing it into a wall there. Tests showed bullets in the home matched the one which killed Poyau, according to the Times. 

When questioned, Moise told police he believed he had shot somebody, then requested an attorney, Boyce told the paper. 

Each day many women are subjected to street harassment, with altercations that may turn violent or even deadly. Gender-based street harassment affects at least 65 percent of women in the United States, according to a national study commissioned by Stop Street Harassment, a nonprofit organization that aims to end the problem.

According to the study, 23 percent of women surveyed had been touched, 20 percent had been followed, and 9 percent had been forced to do something sexual. Poyau's murder may be one among several cases this year of rejection escalating to serious and even deadly violence. 

A friend who visited the devastated Poyau family at their home in Brooklyn to offer condolences described the 22-year-old as driven.

“Tiarah wasn’t a girl running around,” the friend told the Post. “She wasn’t out chasing boys. She was in school, she lived abroad, she did an internship. She was doing things.”

Stop Street Harassment has partnered with the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network to set up a new hotline for victims of gender-based street harassment. Those wishing to speak with a counselor or learn about legal rights regarding street harassment may contact (855) 897-5910. 

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