Police Brutality

Police brutality is not a new thing.  But it has always been something hard to prove.  Often it’s the victims word against the police.  Often the victim doesn’t survive to express his/her side of the story.  But in the last few years, with the explosion of camera phones in everyone’s pocket, dashboard cameras, and body cameras; many of these crimes are coming to light in the form of incontrovertible evidence of the systemic racism and brutality prevalent among those who are tasked with policing our communities.

We at Responsible Consumer recognize the importance of our police and are grateful for all they sacrifice to serve and protect this country. But we also recognize there are police officers who do abuse their powers- and when combined with a system that incorporates racism to protect and justify these abuses- these abusive cops, even when their actions are recorded, frequently do not face any form of legal repercussion.

We also recognize there are many different perspectives within each of these situations and often there are things that are not recorded that may change opinions about a circumstance.  But despite what happens before the camera starts recording, there are several consistent themes found in the majority of these situations such as:

  • Most victims are unarmed when shot or brutalized
  • For victims armed with a knife or perceived as dangerous but not in possession of a firearm- there are usually no attempts to deescalate or to use nonlethal force (taser)
  • There is a lack of urgency in seeking first aid or CPR as the officer(s) present, generally stands by, offering no medical assistance, and the often handcuffed victim bleeds to death.
  • The police officers who were caught on tape brutalizing a person of color very often will not receive any punishment.  Or if they do it will likely not result in any criminal charges.

If you need proof of any of these assertions, please review the below list of recorded racial police brutality.  If you have feedback or additional cases please email theresponsibleconsumer1@gmail.com.


Racial Police Brutality

2018

Stephon Clark
Mar 18, 2018
Sacramento, California

Stephon Clark was in his grandmother’s backyard, trying to get into the house when two Sacramento police officers fired 20 bullets, killing him.  Police were responding to reports of a black male breaking into a car. When officers arrived, they saw Clark and he advanced toward them, holding an object in his hand, according to police. Initially, police reported that Clark, 22, was armed with a gun, then with a “toolbar,” but all that was found on him was a cellphone.  The Sacramento Police Department placed the officers on paid administrative leave and opened a use of force investigation.

Stephon Clark, a father of two, died after Sacramento Police shot him 20 times in his grandmother’s yard on March 18. This is a comprehensive look at the body camera footage from two officers and the helicopter footage from the scene

2017

K-9 attacks woman taking out trash
December 2017

St. Paul, Minnesota

An innocent woman taking out the garbage was attacked by a police dog hunting for burglary suspects — suffering bite wounds when the K-9 resisted officers’ efforts to release its grip, according to a report. Minnesotan Desiree Collins, 52, is now suing the St. Paul Police Department after the dog knocked her out of her shoes, dragged her to the ground and chomped on her arm Sept. 23, the Star Tribune of Minnesota reported. The vicious attack behind a trash container was captured on horrifying bodycam video that shows the woman screaming in pain and pleading for help as the dog latches onto her arm. One officer says, “Oh, there’s a lady.” “You were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” a cop also is heard saying.  The chilling footage shows Gabe walking far ahead of Schmidt on a 20-foot leash before disappearing behind a dumpster, where it attacked Collins at 6:30 a.m.  Schmidt was involved in a similar incident in 2016 when Gabe, who was on a long leash, bit an innocent person, according to the suit. He received “supervisory counseling” on leash handling.

11-year Old Girl
December 2017
Grand Rapids, Michigan

A police body camera video shows an 11-year-old girl being held at gunpoint and then handcuffed as she screamed. Chief David Rahinsky of the Grand Rapids Police Department said in a news conference that the episode was “inappropriate.”

Johnnie Jermaine Rush
August 2017
Asheville, NC

A police body camera video released on Feb. 28 shows two white police officers Tasering and beating Johnnie Jermaine Rush, whom they accused of jaywalking. While pinned to the ground, Mr. Rush, who is black, cried out repeatedly, “I can’t breathe!” One of the officers has resigned, and the police chief offered to do so as well.

Richard Hubbard III
August 2017
Euclid Ohio

A police dashcam video shows Richard Hubbard III, 25, being beaten during a traffic stop in the Cleveland suburb of Euclid, Ohio. Officer Michael Amiott can be seen repeatedly punching Mr. Hubbard, who is black, and hitting his head on the pavement. The videos make it difficult to see the extent of Mr. Hubbard’s response, but at no point does he appear to be fighting back with similar force.

Police Attack a Tatyana Hargrove after Mistaking her for Wanted Man
July 2017
Bakersfiled, California

A black teen punched in the mouth by a Bakersfield officer and bitten by a police dog after she was mistaken for a male suspect represents the latest in a series of issues facing the beleaguered police department in California’s San Joaquin Valley.  Bakersfield officers are already facing a federal probe after two black Bakersfield College students claimed they were stopped — and one beaten — for no reason in December. A state probe also is investigating a possible “pattern and practice of excessive force” in the department of about 400 officers.  Hargrove said she was on her bike to shop for a present for her dad on June 18 when she stopped to drink water on the particularly hot day and suddenly found herself surrounded by three police cars. Police said they mistook her for a black male who brandished a machete at an employee at a nearby store.  “I got scared, and then I was like, here, take the backpack, just take the backpack,” Hargrove said. She says one of the officers grabbed her by her wrist, then punched her and threw her onto the ground. Moments later, the dog was biting her leg and the officer was attempting to handcuff her, she said. “He still tried … to flip me over while the dog was still biting me,” she said. “And I’m yelling out (that) I didn’t do anything, I am a female, why are you doing this to me!” She said one of the officers put his knees on her head and back. “I told him ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and I started yelling out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody help me! They’re gonna kill me!’” she said.

Demetrius Hollins
April 2017
Lawrenceville, Georgia

Demetrius Hollins’ was pulled over for not having a license plate.  Hollins told CNN that the license plate was in the rear window.  Upon seeing Officer Bongiovanni, Hollins said, he reached out to grab his cellphone.  Hollins said he recognized the officer from a previous traffic stop back in August 2016 that did not sit well with him.  Officer Bongiovanni ordered Hollins out of the car and attacked him including punching, tasering and while Hollins was handcuffed, kicking him. Another officer was seen racing to the scene later, only to stomp the young man in his face.

Bongiovanni wrote in his police report that Hollins resisted arrest.  Once the videos were released both officers were fired.  No criminal charges yet.

Demarco Anderson
Columbus Ohio
April 2017

In April 2017, Columbus police responded to a call of a weapon being fired and spotted Demarco Anderson leaving the scene. After the officers had restrained Anderson in handcuffs, Officer Zachary Rosen, to make sure the arrested man was not armed, decided to run through the four cops who were already handling Anderson and step on the detainee’s head so hard that it visibly bounced off of the street like a basketball.  Officer Zachary Rosen will be reinstated at the police force after his firing was reversed on the grounds of no one giving a damn about black people.

Nandi Cain Jr.
April 2017
Sacramento, California

A Sacramento Police Officer attempted to detain a Nandi Cain Jr. for jay walking. Cain then questioned the officer’s validity to stop him at which time a violent encounter occurred between the officer and the pedestrian. For an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times.

Cain was initially charged with resisting arrest but it was later dropped and he was released, officials said.

Rodney Hess
March 2017
Alamo Tennessee

Rodney Hess suffered from bipolar disorder and was confused and disoriented.  Officers were called on the scene when he blocked traffic on the Highway 412 East ramp by parking his car sideways.  Authorities said Hess became “erratic” and when he attempted to use his vehicle to hit officers, a deputy shot him. Hess was taken to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis where he died.

Shelton Adams
March 2017
Columbus Ohio

Three OhioHealth Grant Medical Center security officers have been suspended after a video was posted on social media showing a man outside the hospital’s entrance getting pepper sprayed, struck with a baton and forced to the ground Monday night. The video shows three security officers standing around 38-year-old Shelton Adams outside the hospital entrance, talking with him. Adams takes a step toward the center of the half-circle of officers and is shoved backward toward a wall behind him by one officer.

When Adams flicks a cigarette in the direction of the officer who shoved him, that officer sprays him with pepper spray before striking him with a baton. The other two officers then help bring Adams to the ground.

Dejuan Hall
March 2017
Vallejo California

Police responded to a 911 call claiming a man was acting “crazy” at a gas station. Witnesses said the first arriving officer chased the suspect for several minutes until the suspect finally gave up and sat down in the middle of the street. The officer pushed the man to the ground and tried to place him in handcuffs, but the suspect appeared to struggle, according to witnesses.
In the video, the officer beats the suspect with his fists and his flashlight, as the suspect repeats, “I am God, I am God.” The officer later pulls a gun on the crowd observing, telling them to “get the f— back.”

Rolesville High School Student
Janaury 2017
Rolesville, NC

Cellphone video shows a police officer slamming a 15-year-old female to the floor in effort to stop a fight involving three students. Officer Ruben De Los Santos was placed on paid administrative leave, and did not face criminal charges. He resigned in March.

2016

Jacqueline Craig
December 21, 2016
Fort Worth, Texas

Jacqueline Craig, a black mother, called the police after a white neighbor choked her son for littering on his yard.  The white officer who showed up, never addressed the neighbor but said it was the mom’s fault for not teaching her son not to litter and that it was okay for the neighbor to choke her son.  She argued with the officer and he violently arrested the mom and her two daughters.

The officer is on restricted duty while the mother and daughters are being charged with interfering with public duties and resisting arrest.

Kajuan Raye
November 2016
Chicago, Illnois

During a foot chase, Kajuan Raye was shot in the back and killed by police sergeant who believed Raye matched the description of a battery suspect. The sergeant claimed Raye turned and pointed a gun at him twice during the pursuit, but a grid search by police failed to locate a weapon.

There was footage of the chase but not of the actual shooting.   The officer is on paid administrative leave pending further investigation.

Terence Crutcher
September 16, 2016
Tulsa, Oklahoma

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old African-American man, was fatally shot by white police officer Betty Shelby. Crutcher was unarmed during the encounter, in which he was standing near his vehicle in the middle of a street.

Police stated that Crutcher kept reaching into his pocket, refused to show his hands, walked towards his vehicle despite being told to stop, and then angled towards and reached into his vehicle. Shortly after Turnbough tased Crutcher, Shelby shot him.  Shortly before the shooting, officers in a helicopter conversed with each other: “This guy’s still walking. He isn’t following commands.” “It’s time for a taser, I think.” “I’m kind of thinking that’s about to happen. That looks like a bad dude, too, to be on something.  2 minutes after the shot, an officer checked Crutcher’s pockets, 45 seconds later someone crouched to offer aid.  Police said Crutcher died in the hospital later that day. Tulsa police chief Chuck Jordan said no weapon was recovered from Crutcher’s body or vehicle.

The shooting led to protests in Tulsa. On September 22, the Tulsa County District Attorney charged Shelby with first-degree manslaughter and later the shooting was labeled a homicide.

Charles Kinsey
July 18, 2016
North Miami, Florida

Charles Kinsey, a black behavioral therapist in North Miami, was trying to help a man with autism who was sitting in the street blocking traffic. A cellphone video shows Kinsey himself lying on the ground with his hands in the air. He was trying to explain to police that the other man had a toy truck and not a gun, contrary to what a 911 caller had reported. One of the officers, Jonathan Aledda, fired three times, shooting Kinsey in the leg.  Even though police understood, from the outset, that the man they shot was the victim; Kinsey reported that he was, inexplicably, handcuffed and left bleeding on the street for 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived.

Kinsey filed a federal lawsuit against Jonathan Aledda, alleging that Aledda violated his civil rights, used excessive force, and falsely arrested him.

July 6, 2016
St. Anthony, Minnesota

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was fatally shot by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer, after being pulled over in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. Castile was driving a car with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter as passengers, when he was pulled over by Yanez and another officer.  According to Reynolds, after being asked for his license and registration, Castile told the officer he was licensed to carry a weapon and had one in his pants pocket.  Reynolds said Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling Yanez he had a gun permit and was armed. Remarkably, the officer, pointblank, fired seven shots at Castile.

Diamond Reynolds live-streamed a video on Facebook in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. The recording shows Reynolds interacting with the armed officer as a mortally injured Castile is slumped over, moaning slightly, with his left arm and side covered in blood.  The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office ruled Castile’s death a homicide and said he had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. The office reported that Castile died at 9:37 p.m. CDT in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical Center, about 20 minutes after being shot.

On November 16, 2016, John Choi, the Ramsey County Attorney, announced that Yanez was being charged with three felonies: one count of second degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. Choi said “I would submit that no reasonable officer knowing, seeing, and hearing what Officer Yanez did at the time would have used deadly force under these circumstances.”

Alton Sterling
July 5, 2016
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

An anonymous caller reported that a man believed to be Alton Sterling was threatening him and waving a handgun while in the process of selling CDs. Ultimately, officers responding to the report tased Sterling; forced the heavy-set man to the hood of a sedan; and then to the ground. Sterling was pinned to the ground by two officers, one kneeling on his chest and the other on his thigh, both attempting to control his arms.

One officer exclaimed, “He’s got a gun! Gun!” One of the officers yelled, “If you fucking move, I swear to God!”  Then officer Salamoni was heard on the video saying, “Lake, he’s going for the gun!” One of the officers aimed his gun at Sterling’s body, then three gunshots were heard. The camera panned away just before the camera panned back and three more gunshots were heard. The police officer sitting on Sterling’s chest was not in the picture and the other officer who drew the gun, was about 3 feet away. His gun was pointed on Sterling, who had a gunshot wound to his chest.  According to witness Abdullah Muflahi, Sterling never wielded a gun or threatened the officers, but the officers then retrieved a firearm from Sterling’s pocket. 

Multiple witnesses recorded the incident.  However, the police claimed that somehow all of their body cameras fell off during the altercation. The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and a request for a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Police waited till after the officers involved were acquitted to release this incriminating body camera footage.

Paul O’Neal
July 28, 2016
Chicago Illinois

Videos taken from police officers’ body and dashboard cameras show two officers firing their guns at a stolen car moments before the driver, Paul O’Neal, 18, crashed it into a police vehicle. Mr. O’Neal was shot and killed in the back as he fled the scene and ran behind a nearby house. Police officers could be seen gathering around Mr. O’Neal as he lay on the ground.

Joseph Mann
July 11, 2016
Sacramento, California

Dashboard camera audio suggests that police officers tried to hit Joseph Mann with their patrol car as he fled on foot. “I’m going to hit him,” one officer is heard saying. “Go for it,” another says. Officers then followed Mr. Mann on foot and fired 18 shots, 14 of which hit him.

2015

Lawrence Crosby
October 2015
Chicago, Illinois

Lawrence Crosby, a black man and an engineering doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, was fixing his car in a suburb outside Chicago when a woman passing by called police claiming he was stealing the car. The woman followed Crosby, giving updates to police. Evanston police arrived on the scene around 7 p.m. and ordered Crosby out of his vehicle. Dashcam video of Crosby’s arrest was released Wednesday by Evansville police. The video shows Crosby exiting his vehicle with his hands raised before cops take him down and begin punching him.

Crosby was charged with resisting arrest and disobeying an officer, but a judge threw out those charges, Fox 32 reports. An investigation by the Evanston Police Department found the use of force justified.

Crosby filed a civil rights lawsuit against the EPD in 2016, and that case is now pending, Fox 32 reports.

South Carolina Student
October 2015
Columbia, South Carolina

A student was asked to leave the classroom. When she refused, a school resource officer was called in. The officer, identified as Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields, can be heard on cell phone video telling the girl to get up from her desk. “You’re either going to come with me, or I’m going to make you,” he says. When she remains seated, he tells her, “Come on, I’m going to get you up,” before picking her up from the desk and throwing her to the floor. As he continues to try to restrain her, she is thrown several feet across the classroom as the officer tells her repeatedly to put her hands behind her back.  The officer was fired.

James Blake
Sept. 9, 2015
New York, New York

James Blake, a retired tennis star who is biracial, was standing outside a Manhattan hotel when Officer James Frascatore threw him to the ground, mistaking him for a thief. Investigators studying the surveillance video concluded that the officer had used excessive force.

McKinney Pool Party
June, 2015
McKinney, Texas

Twelve police officers responded to an altercation at a pool party at Craig Ranch, an upper middle class neighborhood in McKinney. Tatyana Rhodes, who was hosting a party, said a fight started when two white women told a group of African-American teens they should leave and “go back to their Section 8 homes.” One of the women, she said, smacked her in the face causing a fight that resulted in residents calling the police.

Eric Casebolt, one of the responding officers, violently grabbed a 14-year-old bystander girl by her dreads and pushed her to the ground while kneeling on her back.  When two African-American teenage bystanders attempted to intervene, the officer drew his handgun and aimed at the clearly unarmed teens until they retreated.

An 18-year-old party-goer who was arrested at the incident was booked into Collin County Jail on charges of misdemeanor, evading arrest, and interfering with police. The charges against him were later dropped.

Officer Eric Casebolt later resigned from his post with no charges against him.

2015

Samuel DuBose
July 19, 2015
Cincinnati, Ohio

On July 19, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio Samuel DuBose, an unarmed black man, was fatally shot by Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, during what should have been a routine traffic stop involving a missing front license plate. Tensing fired after DuBose started his car. Tensing stated that DuBose began to drive off and that he was being dragged because his arm was caught in the car window. However, in contradiction to Tensing’s statement, Prosecutors alleged that footage from Tensing’s bodycam showed that he was not dragged and a grand jury indicted him on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. He was then fired from the police department. He was released on bond before trial. A November, 2016 trial ended in mistrial after the jury became deadlocked. A retrial is scheduled to begin in May, 2017.

Freddie Grey
April, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland

Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr., a 25-year-old Black American man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department for possessing what the police alleged was an illegal switchblade.  While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. Gray died on April 19, 2015; his death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord. On April 21, 2015, pending an investigation of the incident, six Baltimore police officers were suspended with pay.

The circumstances of the injuries were initially unclear; eyewitness accounts suggested that during the arrest, the officers used unnecessary force against Gray—a claim denied by all of the officers involved. Commissioner Anthony W. Batts reported that, contrary to department policy, the officers did not secure him inside the van while driving to the police station. This policy had been put into effect six days prior to Gray’s arrest, following review of other transport-related injuries sustained during police custody in the city, and elsewhere in the country, during the preceding years. 

The medical investigation found that Gray had sustained the injuries while in transport. The medical examiner’s office concluded that Gray’s death could not be ruled an accident, and was instead a homicide. On May 1, 2015, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, announced that her office had filed charges against six police officers after the medical examiner’s report ruled Gray’s death was a homicide.

In September 2015, it was decided that there would be separate trials for the accused. The trial against Officer William Porter ended in mistrial. Officers Nero, Goodson, and Rice were found not guilty at trial. The remaining charges against the officers were dropped on July 27, 2016.

Sandra Bland
July 13
, 2015
Waller County, Texas

Sandra Bland was a 28-year-old black woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015. Bland’s death was classified as a suicide by the county coroner and was followed by protests challenging the grounds for her initial arrest; disputing the cause of death; and alleging racial violence against her.

State trooper Brian Encinia stopped Bland for failure to signal a lane change. In a series of events recorded by his dashcam, Encinia initially wrote a routine traffic violation warning for Bland. After he returned to her car and spoke briefly to her again, he asked her to put out her cigarette. She responds, “Why do I have to put out a cigarette when I’m in my own car?” Encinia then ordered her to “get out of the car”, and, when she repeatedly refused to exit, he told her she was under arrest. In the video, Bland can be heard repeatedly asking why she is under arrest, and Encinia responds, “I am giving you a lawful order.” She refuses to leave her car, stating she is not under arrest as she is unaware of the reason and not obliged to. Encinia then opens her car door and tells her more than a dozen times to get out of the car  before he tries to pull her out. After struggling, he draws his Taser and points it at Bland, shouting “I will light you up! Get out! Now!”, at which point she exits her vehicle.

Once Bland is out of her car, the officer orders her to put down her cell phone and tells her she is going to jail. In response, Bland asks why. In the video, both Bland and the officer move to the passenger side of the vehicle and are no longer visible but a bystander videos, Bland lying on the ground with Encinia and a female police officer above her. Bland says that she cannot hear, and states that the officer has slammed her head into the ground. In the video, Encinia orders the bystander to leave the area.

Officers took her to the Waller County Jail and placed her in a cell alone, because they said they deemed her a high risk to others.After her arrest, Bland told her sister that the arresting officer had pushed his knees into her back, and that she feared her arm was broken.  3 days later she was found dead hanging from a garbage bag wrapped around her neck.

An autopsy conducted by the Harris County medical examiner ruled Bland’s death a suicide and said it found no evidence of a violent struggle. The results from a second independent autopsy requested by her family have not been released.

In December, 2015, a grand jury declined to issue an indictment in connection to Bland’s death. In January, 2016, the grand jury indicted Encinia for perjury. The Texas Department of Public Safety dismissed Encinia as a result of his indictment. In September, 2016, Bland’s family settled for $1.9 million in a wrongful death civil lawsuit.

Breaion King
June 2015
Austin, Texas

Breaion King was violently arrested during a traffic stop, due to speeding, which escalating rapidly in the seven seconds from when officer Bryan Richter, who is white, first gives a command to 26-year-old Breaion King to close her car door to when he forcibly removes her from the driver’s seat, pulls her across a vacant parking space and hurls her to the asphalt.

Richter wrote in his report of the incident that he acted quickly because King demonstrated an “uncooperative attitude” and was “reaching for the front passenger side of the vehicle.” He didn’t know whether she had a weapon, he wrote. He said King resisted by pulling away from him and wrapping her hands and arms around the steering wheel.

Police charged King with resisting arrest, but the Travis County attorney dismissed the case after reviewing the police dashcam video.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo apologized to King and put both officers involved under investigation.

Walter Scott
April, 2015
North Charleston, South Carolina

Walter Scott was pulled over  for a broken taillight and fled his car.  Police Officer Michael Slager chased Mr. Scott to a lot where the men engage in a struggle, and then, as Mr. Scott runs away, Mr. Slager shots Mr. Scott 5 times in the back.  He was at least 17 feet away when Mr. Slager began to shoot.  In the report of the shooting filed before the video surfaced, Slager said he had feared for his life because Scott had taken his Taser, and that he shot Scott because he “felt threatened”.

After Scott was shot and had dropped to the ground, Slager approached him, repeatedly instructed him to place his hands behind his back, and handcuffed him, leaving him face down on the ground. Although police reports stated that officers performed CPR on Scott, no such action is visible on the video.  The video shows that Slager ran back toward where the initial scuffle occurred and picked something up off the ground. Moments later, he dropped the object, possibly the Taser, beside Scott’s body.

In June 2015, a South Carolina grand jury indicted Slager on a charge of murder. He was released on bond in January 2016. In late 2016, a five-week trial ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The prosecution has stated their intent to retry the case.

 Phillip White
April 2015
Teaneck, New Jersey

Residents on the 100 block of Grape Street called police after seeing a man acting strange on the sidewalk. When officers Louis Platania and Richard Janasiak responded to the disorderly conduct call, the situation escalated and 32-year-old Philip White was handcuffed, restrained, and placed in an emergency vehicle accompanied by an officer, but died en route to the hospital.

In the days following the incident, a video from an eye-witness emerged showing one of the officers on Mr White’s back before a police dog is called over. The Officers allow the dog to attack Mr White while the officer on his back continues to punch. The dog is allowed to maul the unconscious body of Mr White, biting and tearing several times on his head, neck and arms while he lay in the road. The video did not show how Mr White came to be in the road.

Two of the officers involved had been placed on administrative leave pending further investigations.

Eric Harris
April, 2015
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Eric Courtney Harris was fatally shot during an undercover sting in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Harris ran from authorities unarmed.  While Harris was being subdued, Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Charles “Bob” Bates, 73, confused his personal weapon, a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver, for a Model X26 Taser. Bates shot Harris in the back when he was on the ground.   Deputy Bates was caught on tape saying “Oh, I shot him! I’m sorry.”  It was later determined that Harris did not have a gun when he was tackled and shot.
In the video, Harris can be heard saying, “I’m losing my breath,” to which 38-year-old Deputy Joseph Byars replies, “Fuck your breath.” 24-year-old Deputy Michael Huckeby is also shown in the video kneeling on Harris’ head as the dying Harris is told, “You shouldn’t have ran,” and “Shut the fuck up.” A third deputy restraining Harris was not identified.The official police report said Harris was “uncooperative and combative” as firefighters attempted to administer aid which was later challenged since Harris was struggling with labored breathing, his hands were cuffed and kind of writhing in pain from the gunshot wound.  Harris later died at a local hospital.

On 28 April 2016, Bates was found guilty of manslaughter.  Based on the jury’s recommendation, he was sentenced to four years in prison.

Charley Keunang
March, 2015
Los Angeles, California

Charley Leundeu Keunang was ordered by police to come out of his tent in Skid Row after fighting with someone inside the tent. Someone called 911 and reported that a robbery had occurred in the area. When police arrived on scene, Keunang threatened the caller with a baseball bat. The officers stated that Keunang became aggressive and ignored commands.  After he allegedly refused the police order, they forcibly dragged him out of the tent. A physical altercation ensued with several police officers, during which one or more officers shot and killed Keunang. At least two videos captured the incident. Keunang was shot six times.

On December 1, 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the officers who shot Keunang, and considered it an act self-defense.

Sureshbhai Patel
February, 2015
Madison, Alabama

57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel, who was visiting his grandson from India was stopped by police while taking a walk around his son’s neighborhood.  According to a statement by the Madison Police Department, a neighbor called to report a “suspicious” person walking around the neighborhood. When the police arrived, “there was a communication barrier” because Patel did not speak English. When he began to put his hands in his pockets, officer Eric Parker slammed him to the ground, resulting in injury to his neck that required paramedics, hospitalization, and later, cervical fusion surgery to fuse two vertebrae due to swelling in the spine, which left Patel partially partial paralyzed.  Eric Parker lost his job but was acquitted of any assault charges.

Antonio Zambrano-Montes
February, 2015
Pasco, Washington

Antonio Zambrano-Zambrano, a 35-year-old man originally from Michoacan, Mexico, was shot and killed by three police officers after allegedly throwing rocks at cars and police officers. His hands were not in the air when the police fired the shots.  Reports indicated that seventeen shots had been fired.  Police officers said one of the rocks was as large a softball. A toxicology report conducted by police found Zambrano’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine.

Three officers, Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz, fired on Zambrano-Montes. The shooting was caught on video by a civilian who recorded the incident from about 50 feet away showing Zambrano-Montes was running away from police, either with a rock in his hand or unarmed, and suddenly turned and faced the officers before he was executed by them. 

No charges against the three officers were filed.

Richard Ramirez
January 2015
Billings, Montana

Officer Grant Morrison repeatedly ordered Richard Ramirez and others to raise their hands during traffic stop.  Ramirez’s actions were largely obscured in police video, but Morrison said Ramirez dropped his left hand to his side, out of the officer’s view, and “started to jiggle it up and down”.  Morrison said he thought it was a gun and fired three times at Ramirez killing him.

A seven-person jury cleared Officer Morrison of any wrong doing.


2014

Jerame Reid
December, 2014
Bridgeton, New Jersey

The two-minute fatal encounter started from a routine traffic stop, in which Bridgeton officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley pulled over a vehicle for running through a stop sign. While questioning the two men in the car, Leroy Tutt and Jerame Reid, the video shows Days suddenly shouting to his partner, “We’ve got a gun in his glove compartment!” followed by “Show me your fucking hands.” Days, who appears to recognize Reid, as he is heard calling him by his first name, retrieves a large silver handgun from the glove compartment. Days continues to warn Reid to not move, as Reid continues to move his hands around inside the vehicle. Several times, Days exclaims, “He’s reaching for something!” As the situation intensifies, someone in the vehicle can be heard telling the officers, “I’m not reaching for nothing. I ain’t got no reason to reach for nothing.” Reid then tells Days, “I’m getting out and getting on the ground.” The officer responds, “No you’re not, stay right there, don’t move.”

A struggle ensues as Reid tries to push the door open, and the officer attempts to keep the door closed. Days steps back, and Reid pushes the door open, gets up, and exits the car with his hands at chest level. Days backs up and fires as Reid exits the vehicle. Reid reacts to the shots by moving his hands upwards. Worley fires one shot, and Reid is killed. Reid was unarmed.

According to a statement from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, the two officers told investigators that they feared for their lives, believing that Reid was reaching for a weapon. On August 20, 2015, a grand jury voted not to file charges against the two officers involved in the shooting.

Tamir Rice
November 22, 2014
Cleveland, Ohio

Two police officers, 26-year-old Timothy Loehmann and 46-year-old Frank Garmback, responded after receiving a police dispatch call “of a male black sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people” in a city park.  A caller reported that a male was pointing “a pistol” at random people in the Cudell Recreation Center. At the beginning of the call and again in the middle he says of the pistol “it’s probably fake.”  Toward the end of the two-minute call, the caller stated “he is probably a juvenile.” 

However, this information was not relayed to Loehmann or Garmback on the initial dispatch.  The officers reported that upon their arrival, Rice reached towards a gun in his waistband. Within two seconds of arriving on the scene, Loehmann fired two shots,  hitting Rice once in the torso.  He died on the following day.  Rice’s gun was later found to be an Airsoft replica that lacked the orange safety feature marking it as a replica and not a true firearm.

A surveillance video without audio of the shooting was released by police on November 26 after pressure from the public and Rice’s family. It showed Rice pacing around the park, occasionally extending his right arm. The video briefly shows Rice talking on a cellphone, and sitting at a picnic table in a gazebo. A patrol car moves at high speed across the park lawn and then stops abruptly by the gazebo. Loehmann then jumps out of the car and immediately shoots Rice from a distance of less than 10 feet.  

Neither Loehmann nor Garmback administered any first aid to Rice after the shooting.Almost four minutes later, a police detective and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the latter of whom was working a bank robbery detail nearby, arrived on the scene and treated the boy. Three minutes after that, paramedics arrived and took him to MetroHealth Medical Center.

Rice’s mother said that the toy gun had been given to him to play with by a friend minutes before the police arrived, that police tackled and put her 14-year-old daughter in handcuffs after the incident, and that police threatened her with arrest if she did not calm down after being told about her son’s shooting.

A second video obtained by the Northeast Ohio Media Group and released on January 7, 2015, shows Rice’s 14-year-old sister being forced to the ground, handcuffed and placed in a patrol car left to watch her brother continue to bleed while the officers did nothing for four minutes before providing any first aid to Rice.

On June 3, the County Sheriff’s Office released a statement in which they declared their investigation to be completed and that they had turned their findings over to the county prosecutor. Several months later, the prosecution presented evidence to a grand jury, which declined to indict.  A lawsuit brought against the city of Cleveland by Rice’s family was subsequently settled for $6 million.

Laquan McDonald
October 20, 2014
Chicago, Illinois.

Police were called to investigate McDonald at 4100 South Pulaski Road responding to reports that he was carrying a knife and breaking into vehicles in a trucking yard at 41st Street and Kildare Avenue. When officers confronted McDonald, he used a knife with a 3-inch blade to slice the tire on a patrol vehicle and damage its windshield. McDonald walked away from police after numerous verbal instructions from officers to drop the knife, at which point responding officers requested taser backup

A video of the shooting shows that Van Dyke was advancing on McDonald, while McDonald was walking away from Van Dyke when the first shot was fired. The first shot hit McDonald, who spun and fell to the ground. As McDonald laid on the ground, Van Dyke fired more shots into him. In total, MacDonald was shot 16 times in 14–15 seconds, expending the maximum capacity of Van Dyke’s 9mm pistol.

Van Dyke was on the scene for less than 30 seconds before opening fire and began shooting approximately six seconds after exiting his car. The first responding officer stated that he did not see the need to use force and none of the at least eight other officers on the scene fired their weapons. Laquan McDonald was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:42 p.m.

The initial police portrayals of the incident, consisting of about 400 pages of typed and handwritten reports, prompted police supervisors to rule the case a justifiable homicide and within the bounds of the department’s use of force guidelines.  The reports did not say how many times McDonald was shot and said McDonald was acting “crazed” and lunged at officers after refusing to drop his knife.  One police report described that McDonald “raised the knife across chest” and pointed it at Van Dyke. Van Dyke told investigators that he feared McDonald would rush him with the knife or throw it at him. 7 Chicago Officers Face Firing Over Laquan McDonald Cover-Up.

A criminal investigation also began weeks after the shooting after contradictions between the initial police report and dash-cam video were found. The initial report wrote that McDonald had lunged at an officer, but the video footage showed that McDonald made no lunges. On December 2, 2015, Attorney General Lisa Madigan asked the U.S. Justice Department to launch a separate civil rights investigation of Chicago police tactics. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder.  If convicted of first-degree murder, Van Dyke faces a prison sentence of 20 years to life imprisonment. The case marks the first time a Chicago police officer has been charged with first-degree murder for an on-duty fatality in nearly 35 years.

John Crawford III
August 5, 2014
Beavercreek, Ohio

Surveillance footage from an Ohio Walmart store, where police killed a young black man who was holding an unloaded air rifle and talking on his cellphone, shows he was was shot from the side as he moved to run away from advancing officers.

Police had repeatedly been told via a customer on the line to a 911 dispatcher that John Crawford III was pointing the gun at shoppers and may have loaded it with bullets. But the footage, released by prosecutors on Wednesday, shows Crawford walking past several customers in the minutes before he died without pointing the gun at them.

In the final moments of the footage from 5 August, Crawford is seen standing at the end of an aisle, pointing the gun downwards at his side, occasionally swinging it and holding it towards a store shelf containing pet products. Oblivious to the unfolding police response, Crawford, 22, talks casually on the phone with the mother of his two young sons.

A grand jury in Greene County declined on Wednesday to indict Sean Williams, the police officer who shot Crawford, on charges of murder, reckless homicide or negligent homicide. After hearing from 18 witnesses and considering video and audio evidence, the jurors concluded on their third day in session that Williams acted reasonably in shooting Crawford dead at the store in Beavercreek, a suburb of Dayton.

Eric Garner
July 17, 2014
Staten Island, New York City

On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold for about 15 to 19 seconds while arresting him. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office attributed Garner’s death to a combination of a chokehold, compression of his chest, and poor health. NYPD policy prohibits the use of chokeholds.

NYPD officers approached Eric Garner on suspicion of selling “loosies” (single cigarettes) from packs without tax stamps. After Garner told the police that he was tired of being harassed and that he was not selling cigarettes, the officers went to arrest Garner. When officer Daniel Pantaleo tried to take Garner’s wrist behind his back, Garner pulled his arms away. Pantaleo then put his arm around Garner’s neck and took him down onto the ground. After Pantaleo removed his arm from Garner’s neck, he pushed the side of Garner’s face into the ground while four officers moved to restrain Garner, who repeated “I can’t breathe” eleven times while lying facedown on the sidewalk. After Garner lost consciousness, officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing. Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive. The officers and EMTs did not perform CPR on Garner at the scene; according to a spokesman for the PBA, this was because they believed that Garner was breathing and that it would be improper to perform CPR on someone who was still breathing. He was pronounced dead at the hospital approximately one hour later.  The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide.

On December 3, 2014, the Richmond County grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo. On that day, the United States Department of Justice announced it would conduct an independent investigation. The event stirred public protests and rallies, with charges of police brutality made by protesters. By December 28, 2014, at least 50 demonstrations had been held nationwide specifically for Garner while hundreds of demonstrations against general police brutality counted Garner as a focal point. On July 13, 2015, an out-of-court settlement was announced in which the City of New York would pay the Garner family $5.9 million.

2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/16/us/video-of-2013-police-shooting-of-unarmed-man-renews-familiar-questions.htmlJune 2, 2013
Gardena, Calif.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, 34, was trying to help his brother find his stolen bike. Dashboard camera videos (which the police in Los Angeles tried to keep secret) later showed that he was shot when he was mistaken for the thief and did not keep his hands still in the air as instructed. The three officers involved were not charged.

1991

Rodney King
March 3, 1991
Los Angeles, California

LA officers pulled over Rodney King following a high-speed car chase. A witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of the beating from his balcony. The footage shows four officers surrounding King, several of them striking him repeatedly, while other officers stood by.  The four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. Three were acquitted of all charges. The jury acquitted the fourth officer of assault with a deadly weapon but failed to reach a verdict on the use of excessive force. The jury deadlocked at 8–4 in favor of acquittal at the state level. Within hours of the acquittals, the six-day 1992 Los Angeles riots started, in which 55 people were killed and over 2,000 were injured, ending only when the California national guard was called in. The acquittals also led to the federal government’s obtaining grand jury indictments for violations of King’s civil rights. The trial of the four in a federal district court ended on April 16, 1993, with two of the officers being found guilty and subsequently imprisoned. The other two were acquitted again.

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Other Recorded Police Brutality

Andrew Thomas
November 2015
Chico California

Office Patrick Feaster was chasing Andrew Thomas in a high speed pursuit when the car Thomas was driving crashed and rolled over.  A passenger in the SUV, Darien Ehorn, 23, was thrown from the vehicle and died on site.   As Thomas was climbing out of the car, Officer Peaster shot Thomas in the neck with a single bullet.  Feaster then spent the next several minutes looking for his spent bullet casing instead of checking on Darien Ehorn as she was dying at his feet.  After 11 minutes on the scene Feaster told a supervising officer at the scene his gun had accidentally discharged.

Thomas was hospitalized, paralyzed and eventually died on Dec. 19 2015. Feaster is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Trump’s Encouragement of Police Brutality

 

Further Research

How to Deal with Police, Parents Explain

NY Times: The Raw Videos That Have Sparked Outrage Over Police Treatment of Blacks

VICE: Baltimore Cops Carried Toy Guns to Plant on People They Shot, Trial Reveals

Independent: Black Americans shot dead by police are twice as likely to be unarmed as white counterparts

NY Times: Looking for Accountability in Police-Involved Deaths of Blacks

Here Are 13 Killings by Police Captured on Video in the Past Year

List of killings by law enforcement officers in the United StatesList of killings by law enforcement officers in the United States

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