July 5, 2016
Alton Sterling, 37, was selling CDs outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., when police responded to a 911 call, alerting them to a man with a gun. Two officers approached Sterling, pinned him to the ground, and then at least one of them shot him. Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were placed on administrative leave following the shooting. The Justice Department decided against bringing charges. The state’s attorney general said it is investigating whether to bring state charges.
Feb. 29, 2016
Akiel Denkins, 24, started to run away after Officer D.C. Twiddy sought to arrest him on outstanding charges in Raleigh, N.C. Twiddy pursued Denkins, tackled him and Denkins was shot four times during the struggle. A North Carolina prosecutor concluded that a white officer acted in self-defense.
Nov. 15, 2015
Jamar Clark, 24, was shot in the head after an encounter with two Minneapolis police officers, who were responding to a disturbance call at an apartment complex where Clark’s sister lived. His death prompted weeks of protests. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said his office would not bring charges against officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, saying the evidence supported the officer’s accounts. The police department later overhauled its use-of-force policy to require officers to exhaust nonlethal options before using force. Clark’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the two officers, alleging excessive use of force.
Read more about Jamar Clark
Aug. 7, 2015
Christian Taylor, 19, an unarmed black football player, was shot and killed during a suspected burglary at an Arlington car dealership last August. Officer Brad Miller, 49, a rookie officer, was fired. No charges were filed. The city agreed to pay Taylor’s family $850,000.
July 19, 2015
Samuel DuBose, 43, was stopped by University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing for a missing front license plate. The encounter quickly escalated after DuBose did not produce a driver’s license. Tensing fired, killing DuBose, who was unarmed. Tensing was charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said his body camera contradicted his account. His 2016 trial ended in a mistrial when the jury became deadlocked and he is being retried. The University of Cincinnati later agreed to pay $4.85 million to DuBose’s family, provide a free undergraduate education to his 12 children and establish a memorial in his name,
July 10, 2015
Sandra Bland, 28, was pulled over in Prairie View, Texas, for failing to use her signal when changing lanes. A dashcam video shows the situation quickly escalating between her and State Trooper Brian Encinia, when he tells her to put out her cigarette, she refuses, and he orders her out of the car. Bland is arrested for assaulting an officer, and put in jail. She’s found dead in her cell three days later. The coroner ruled her death a suicide, a finding her family disputes. Officer Encinia was fired and indicted on a perjury charge for a statement he made regarding the circumstances of her arrest. A grand jury declined to indict anyone with Bland’s death. Her family reached a $1.9 million wrongful death settlement.
May 5, 2015
Brendon Glenn, 29, an unarmed homeless man, was shot after police responded to a call about a man harassing customers outside a Los Angeles restaurant. During the arrest, officer Clifford Proctor shot Glenn in the back. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck recommended criminal charges be brought against Proctor and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is weighing whether to file charges. The civilian oversight board concluded that Proctor violated department policy. Glenn’s family reached a $4 million settlement with the city.
April 12, 2015
Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested in Baltimore, Md., for allegedly having an illegal switchblade. He was handcuffed, put into a police van and later found unresponsive and not breathing. He later died from a spinal cord injury. Six police officers were indicted in Gray’s death. Three officers were acquitted and a mistrial was declared in another. Prosecutors later dropped all remaining charges. Two investigations are ongoing, including one by the U.S. Department of Justice.
April 4, 2015
Walter Scott, 50, was pulled over for a broken taillight in North Carleston, S.C. Scott started to run away when Officer Michael Slager fired eight times, hitting Scott five times. Slager initially told investigators that Scott resisted arrest, but he was fired after a bystander’s cellphone video emerged that showed him shooting Scott as the unarmed man ran away. A jury deadlocked on state murder charges against Slager, who later pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges in exchange for the state to drop the murder case.
Nov. 23, 2014
Tamir Rice, 12, was playing with a pellet gun in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, when police responded to a 911 call that a man had a gun. A video released by police shows Officer Timothy Loehmann open fire within two seconds of pulling up. No one was charged in Rice’s death. The officer was fired for a separate matte and the officer who was driving, Frank Garmback, was suspended for 10 days. The Rice family settled a wrongful-death suit against the city of Cleveland for $6 million; the city did not acknowledge fault in the boy’s death.
Nov. 20, 2014
Akai Gurley, 28, was shot stairwell in Brooklyn, N.Y., by Officer Peter Liang, a rookie New York City police officer. It was declared an accidental discharge with the bullet ricocheting off the wall and fatally hitting Gurley in the heart. Liang was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years’ probation and 800 hours of community service. The Gurley family reached a settlement with the city for more than $4 million.
Oct. 20, 2014
Laquan McDonald, 17, who had a 3-inch folding knife, was shot by Chicago Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was responding to reports that a man was breaking into vehicles. More than a year later, the city released police dashcam video that showed Van Dyke shooting McDonald 16 times as he was walking away. A detective concluded that the shooting was justifiable homicide, but Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on the same day a police dashcam video of the incident was released to the public. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He and four other officers are accused of trying to cover up the investigation. The family reach a $5 million settlement with the city.
Aug. 9, 2014
Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson on the street in Ferguson, Mo., after a confrontation. A grand jury declined to indict Wilson. The Justice Department later called on Ferguson to overhaul its criminal justice system, declaring that the city had engaged in constitutional violations.
July 17, 2014
Eric Garner, 43, was approached by police in Staten Island, N.Y., because they believed he was selling untaxed cigarettes. NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was seen on a bystander’s video using a chokehold, prohibited by the New York Police Department. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” which he said 11 times in the video, became a rallying cry for protesters around the country. A grand jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo. The family reached a $5.9 million settlement with the city of New York. The Justice Department later announced an independent investigation.