Monday, August 3, 2015

Black Americans killed by police

“Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.” ― Dr. Benjamin Spock

AFTER Michael Brown was shot to death August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, MO, I wrote about it so much and so often, that I lost a Facebook friend over it. Since all of my Facebook friends have been chosen carefully, I consider it a loss, but that's a story for another day.

It's not that the Michael Brown killing was more egregious than those that happened before (Trevon Martin in 2012 for example) or after. It was just for me, apparently, the straw that broke the camel's back. 

And as an FYI, I will never, ever, ever think because he was a "big" man or a "strong" man or was not possessed of an unblemished record — that Michael Brown deserved to die. No unarmed person should be shot, in his case at least six times according to the autopsy and possibly seven, including twice in the head, by the very people we (including the victims) are paying to keep us from not being shot to death!

There often is great debate about the particulars of each incident, and about that let me just say that although the individual nature of the trees may be different, there's undeniably a forest upon the landscape. 

Here now from BuzzFeed, is a partial accounting. 

Here’s A Timeline Of Unarmed Black People Killed By Police Over Past Year

By Nicholas Quah and Laura E. Davis.
May 1, 2015

From Arizona to New York, the cases have added to national outrage over deadly force used by police.

When Michael Brown was shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, it awakened a movement that began with the previous killing of another black teenager, Trayvon Martin, who was shot in 2012 by neighborhood watch volulnteer George Zimmerman.

Brown’s death was not the first of its kind since Martin’s; just a month prior, Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD officers. Both deaths sparked protests across the country — protests that were renewed when grand juries declined to charge the officers involved in either case.

The national outcry has cast light on similar cases from the past year, some leading to charges against the police officers involved, others not.

Here’s a breakdown of when the killings happened and their outcomes.

(Note: This list is not exhaustive.)


April 30, 2014: Dontre Hamilton (Milwaukee)



Dontre Hamilton, 31, was fatally shot 14 times by a police officer in a Milwaukee park. The officer was responding to a call from employees at a nearby Starbucks alleging that Hamilton, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was disturbing the peace.

The officers who arrived first determined that Hamilton wasn’t doing anything illegal. Officer Christopher Manney showed up later and, after trying to pat Hamilton down, engaged in a struggle with him that led to the shooting. Manney was not charged.

Hamilton’s mother, Maria Hamilton, organized a march in Washington, D.C., on May 9 to call for justice.


July 17, 2014: Eric Garner (New York)




Eric Garner, 43, was killed after he was put in an illegal chokehold for 15 seconds by a white police officer — allegedly for selling loose cigarettes. Garner said “I can’t breathe” 11 times as he was held down by several officers on a sidewalk.

The officer who put Garner in the chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, was not charged.

Garner’s death sparked peaceful protests across the nation, with demonstrators adopting the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” as a symbol and slogan of protest.


Aug. 5, 2014: John Crawford III (Dayton, Ohio)




John Crawford, 22, was shot and killed by a police officer at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. There did not appear to be a confrontation with the police, and Crawford was unarmed — he had been holding a toy BB gun.

The officers involved in the shooting, Sean Williams and David Darkow, were not charged.


Aug. 9, 2014: Michael Brown Jr. (Ferguson, Missouri)




Unarmed Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

In November, a grand jury declined to charge Wilson in the fatal shooting. Brown’s death and the lack of charges against Wilson sparked protests, some of them violent, in Ferguson and across the nation.

On March 4, the Department of Justice announced that it too would not charge Wilson for the shooting after an exhaustive investigation.


Aug. 11, 2014: Ezell Ford (Florence, California)




Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old mentally ill man, was shot three times, including once in the back, by a white police officer. He was unarmed.

The investigation is still ongoing, but it has been placed on an “investigative hold”. So far, no charges have been filed against Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, the two officers involved.


Aug. 12, 2014: Dante Parker (Victorville, California)




Dante Parker, a 36-year-old father of five, died in police custody after being repeatedly stunned by a Taser in San Bernardino County.

The local investigation is still ongoing, but the NAACP has called for the federal government to take over, according to the San Bernadino Sun.


Nov. 13, 2014: Tanisha Anderson (Cleveland)




Tanisha Anderson, 37, died after officers in Cleveland allegedly slammed her head on the pavement while taking her into custody.

Anderson’s family said she had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The investigation into the case remains ongoing, and no charges have been filed against the officers involved.


Nov. 20, 2014: Akai Gurley (Brooklyn, New York)




Akai Gurley, 28, was shot and killed by a police officer while walking in a dimly lit New York City public housing stairwell with his girlfriend. Gurley, who was unarmed, was pronounced dead at a hospital. New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton called the shooting an “accidental discharge.”

The officer, rookie Peter Liang, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of official misconduct.


Nov. 22, 2014: Tamir Rice (Cleveland)




Tamir Rice, 12, was shot and killed by Cleveland police after officers mistook his toy gun for a real weapon. The two police officers involved, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, have not been charged. 

Rice’s family has filed wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and the city of Cleveland.


Dec. 2, 2014: Rumain Brisbon (Phoenix)




Rumain Brisbon, 34, was shot and killed by a Phoenix police officer who mistook a pill bottle for a weapon. The officer, Mark Rine, was not charged following a probe by the Maricopa County attorney’s office, according to the New York Daily News.


Dec. 30, 2014: Jerame Reid (Bridgeton, New Jersey)




Jerame Reid, 36, was shot and killed by police officers in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, who was pulled over by police. In dashcam video footage of the stop, an officer is heard claiming that there is a gun in the glove compartment. Police shouted at Reid not to exit the car, but he did, with his hands apparently in front of his chest. That’s when officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley opened fire, striking Reid.

Days and Worley were placed on administrative leave with pay for the ensuing investigation, which remains ongoing. The shooting sparked protests and calls for the state attorney general to also investigate.


March 6, 2015: Tony Robinson (Madison, Wisconsin)




Tony Robinson, 19, was shot and killed by a Madison police officer who was responding to reports of someone disrupting traffic. Police said Robinson allegedly assaulted the officer, who then shot him three times. Robinson was unarmed. The investigation remains ongoing.


March 31, 2015: Phillip White (Vineland, New Jersey)




Phillip White, 32, died while in police custody in Vineland, New Jersey.
Police had responded to a call about White acting erratically and called an ambulance because he appeared to be in medical distress. A violent encounter ensued, and video footage appears to show a police dog biting White while he is on the ground. White was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The officers involved have not been charged as the investigation continues.


April 2, 2015: Eric Harris (Tulsa, Oklahoma)




Eric Harris, 44, was shot and killed by a 73-year-old reserve deputy officer who allegedly mistook his own gun for a Taser. The entire incident was captured on a dashcam video.

The officer, Robert Bates, was charged with manslaughter.


April 4, 2015: Walter Scott (North Charleston, South Carolina)




Walter Scott, 50, was shot by a police officer while running away from a traffic stop for a broken taillight. Officer Michael Slager claimed Scott had taken his stun gun. Slager was subsequently fired and charged with murder after a video surfaced showing Scott running away, his back to the officer, as Slager fired his gun.


April 19, 2015: Freddie Gray (Baltimore)




Freddie Gray, 25, died of a spinal cord injury a week after he was arrested by Baltimore police.

It’s still unclear how Gray sustained the injury. Officials say he was stopped after fleeing “unprovoked upon noticing police presence” and arrested for allegedly possessing a switchblade.He was put in a police van, which is where police say he suffered a medical emergency. The officers involved in his arrest were placed on leave, and on Friday, the state’s attorney announced that they had been criminally charged in connection with Gray’s homicide.

Gray’s death sparked protests in Baltimore and other cities across the nation. On Monday, protesters and police clashed, prompting hundreds of arrests and Maryland’s governor to declare a state of emergency.

2 comments:

  1. The ranting about 'Black Lives Matter" is so obviously needed when you look at the targets that have been painted upon the backs of African American Citizens. Apparently they are less important than dogs, cats and certainly less than lions. Why do we need "Black Lives Matter"? Because of this list? No, because of the murders that made this list necessary. Because of the freedom with which Police Officers take the lives of African American people. It seems to be of not much more import than getting a donut.

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