April 16, 1945
January 17, 2018
Age at Death:
Geraldine Townsend was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to Dorothy Mae Johnson (Pouncil) and Spokane Jones. She was raised by her stepfather Phillip Pouncil, Sr. who loved and cared for her until his passing in 1989. Ms. Townsend graduated from College High School in 1963. Soon after, she married and had children of her own. She continued to live in Bartlesville while working at the Mutual Girls Club as an Arts Director. Later in life, she worked for Colemans in Wichita, KS., then moved on to Kansas City, MO, Oklahoma City, and then back home to Bartlesville. No matter where she went, she loved Bartlesville most. Ms. Townsend spent her leisure time playing Bingo, but her joy was being a child of God. She was a member at Greater First Baptist Church. She was survived by four children, a son-in-law, four sisters and many other members of family.
Video shows a marijuana raid at an Oklahoma home where officers fatally shot Ms. Townsend. The six police officers drove to the rented Bartlesville home to serve an illegal drug sales warrant for a Mike Livingston, age 50. The video shows officers breaking through the front door and almost immediately yelling "shots fired." According to the Bartlesville Police Department, Mr. Livingston's mother, Ms. Townsend, fired a BB gun at officers, striking one in the leg and another in the face. Police say Townsend came from a bedroom and confronted officers with the gun. An officer who was shot in the upper lip fired the shot that killed her.
Was justice served?
No. Her death was ultimately ruled justified and no charges were placed on officers. This was a marijuana raid with officers breaking through the door - Ms. Townsend didn't know what was happening. The video footage is unusual because it was recorded by one of the officers on his cell phone. The police department stated it doesn't have the resources to manage body cameras for 60+ officers, which would require IT professionals who can manage and edit the footage, above the initial cost of equipment. "We have dash cameras in six of our patrol cars, and they were like six thousand dollars apiece," said a spokesperson. "Just keeping up with those six in-car cameras is a full-time job sometimes."