On Thursday, nearly three months after the shooting incident that sent Megan Thee Stallion to the hospital to have bullets extracted from her feet, Los Angeles prosecutors charged rapper Tory Lanez with attacking her. The Canadian musician, real name Daystar Peterson, faces two felony charges: one count of assault with a semiautomatic handgun and one count of carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm. Lanez could face nearly 23 years in prison if convicted.
On July 12, Megan and Lanez attended a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house. Later that evening in the Hollywood Hills, an argument broke out between the rappers in an SUV. When Megan exited the vehicle, prosecutors say Lanez shot at her feet several times, which “inflicted great bodily injury.” The Canadian musician was arrested and charged with concealing a firearm that night but was released on bail.
In subsequent days, however, the incident became an issue of intense speculation and gossip. Following rumors she’d cut her feet on broken glass, Megan took to Instagram Live to try and set the record straight. On July 15, she said she “suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me.” But Megan didn’t name her attacker, and the authorities only confirmed a person was taken to the hospital to be treated for foot injuries.
In late August, Megan took to Instagram yet again to combat misinformation — at least some of it spread by Lanez’s team. She shared graphic photographs of the wounds on her feet. Then she named Lanez as the person who’d shot her. She explained she’d kept silent out of fear the situation would escalate. “I didn’t tell the police nothing because I didn’t want us to get in no more trouble,” Megan said. “You want me to tell the law that we got a gun in the car so that they can shoot all of us up?”
Throughout this whole saga, Lanez kept quiet — until the end of September, when he dropped a widely-criticized 17-track album doubling as an elaborate denial that he shot Megan. LA prosecutors evidently think they have enough evidence to prove Lanez was her assailant, though. “The victim exited the vehicle and Peterson is accused of shooting several times at her feet and wounding her,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. He’s slated to be arraigned on Tuesday, October 13, and this time, prosecutors are recommending a $1.1 million bail.
The attack on Megan Thee Stallion and the subsequent media circus around the events of that night exposed some of the many ways the carceral state fails Black women. As Andre Gee wrote for Mic in August, Megan’s “supporters may deem her a ‘strong Black woman,’ but embodying that trope doesn’t mean as much as being healed.”
For her part, the superstar rapper seems to acknowledge the power of her platform, recently using her spot as the musical guest on the season opener of Saturday Night Live to call attention to the police shooting of Breonna Taylor. “We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women, ‘cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women,” Megan declared.