Due to the nature and depth of each person’s story, some are the complete story, as reported and others are just the initial outline with more depth to be added as time goes on.
#1 Known and Unknown
There have been 8000+ deaths of Black and brown people at the hands of police since Emmett Till’s murder… the names in this art installation are by NO MEANS comprehensive. We pray that the list has an end point now, but know that the country’s consciousness is (pray God) coming into sharper focus right now in its understanding of the epidemic of racism and how it is infused in every aspect of our society. We give thanks that reforms to policing are being envisioned. May the work of raising consciousness help to save Black lives and all bodies who are more vulnerable to police violence. Thank you for taking this journey here.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
People have asked me, “Why are you including MLK, Jr.; he wasn’t killed by police?” Well, I say, he is one of the most recognized Americans- a descendant of enslaved Africans- and he was an unarmed Black man, a leader in a nonviolent movement for black and poor people and he was murdered.
Assassinated at age 37 at his home in Jackson, Mississippi.
Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994. In 1997, De La Beckwith appealed his conviction in the Evers case, but the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld it.
Medgar Evers was an American civil rights activist in Mississippi, the state’s field secretary for the NAACP, and a World War II veteran who had served in the United States Army. He worked to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi, end the segregation of public facilities, and expand opportunities for African Americans, which included the enforcement of voting rights. Evers became active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s.
When he arrived home, Evers’ family was waiting for him. Evers rose and staggered 30 feet before collapsing outside his front door. His wife Myrlie was the first to find him. He was taken to the local hospital in Jackson, where he was initially refused entry because of his race. He died in the hospital 50 minutes later.
Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. The brutality of his murder and the fact that his killers were acquitted drew attention to the long history of violent persecution of African Americans in the United States. Till posthumously became an icon of the civil rights movement.
In September 1955, an all-white jury found Bryant and Milam not guilty of Till’s kidnapping and murder. Protected against double jeopardy, the two men publicly admitted in a 1956 interview with Look magazine that they had killed Till. Till’s murder was seen as a catalyst for the next phase of the civil rights movement. In December 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott began in Alabama and lasted more than a year, resulting eventually in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated buses were unconstitutional. According to historians, events surrounding Emmett Till’s life and death continue to resonate. Some writers have suggested that almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the Delta region in which he died, in “some spiritual, homing way.” An Emmett Till Memorial Commission was established in the early 21st century. The Sumner County Courthouse was restored and includes the Emmett Till Interpretive Center. Fifty-one sites in the Mississippi Delta are memorialized as associated with Till.
Artist Note: Emmett Louis Till was murdered and had his body abused nearly beyond recognition in Mississippi in 1955. He was 14 years old. I remember learning about the horrific and hateful murder of Emmet Till in school when I was 14 years old and it made an impact on me toward deepening my understanding of the particular vulnerability of black bodies in our country.
Eric was heard saying, “I can’t breath”.
JOHN CRAWFORD lll
No image available.
8. Ezell Ford
A 25 year old African American man, died from multiple gunshot wounds after being shot by Los Angeles Police Department officers in Florence, Los Angeles, CA on August 11, 2014. In the weeks and months that followed, Ford’s shooting triggered multiple demonstrations and a lawsuit by Ford’s family claiming $75 million in damages.
The officers and eyewitnesses offered competing accounts of the events surrounding the shooting,and an investigation by the LAPD’s watchdog unit, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, concluded in June 2015 that one officer had been justified in the shooting, while the other officer was unjustified, had acted outside of LAPD policy, and had violated Ford’s civil rights by detaining him.
The City of Los Angeles settled this lawsuit in October 2016 for $1.5 million.
In January 2017 Los Angeles County prosecutors said the officers involved, Wampler and Villegas would not face criminal charges in connection with the shooting.
Dante Parker, was a 36-year-old pressman at the Daily Press newspaper in Victorville, CA. Police were responding to a home break in and found him cycling away from the scene. Though Parker had no criminal record (other than a DUI), a scuffle ensued and Parker was tased repeatedly when he resisted arrest, according to witnesses. He began breathing heavily and was taken to a hospital, where he died on August 12th, two days before his 37th birthday.
After protests, NAACP’s called for a federal investigation and stern defense of law enforcement, the family of Dante Parker filed a lawsuit alleging 10 civil rights violations from Dante Parker’s death in deputies’ custody.
On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed by police officer Christoper Manney, at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No charges were brought, but Manney was fired from the force. As a result of the shooting and subsequent protests, Milwaukee police officers were equipped with body cameras.
Dontre D. Hamilton (1983 – April 30, 2014), of Milwaukee, was 31 years old at the time of his death. Hamilton had a history of mental illness. In 2013, he had made a suicide attempt by stabbing both sides of his neck and had been hospitalized. According to Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, Hamilton had a prior history of arrests in Milwaukee which were “directly connected to mental health issues.” Hamilton’s family stated that Hamilton had been treated for schizophrenia but was not violent. In the days before his death, Hamilton told his family that he was “tired and hungry, and that somebody was going to kill him.”
Source: Photo Not Available
JAMES N. POWELL Jr.
Photo Not Available
James was a 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed on July 16, 1964. He was killed by police Lieutenant Thomas Gilligan in front of Powell’s friends and about a dozen other witnesses. His death would be the catalyst that began what would become known as the Harlem Riots of 1964. Lieutenant Gilligan shot Powell as he exited a building managed by Patrick Lynch. Powell was attempting to intervene in an altercation where Lynch had sprayed several Black students with a hose and in doing so entered the building. Gilligan claimed he came to the scene after hearing glass break and shot Powell because he had a knife in his hand. This claim was disputed by witnesses. Six days of civil unrest followed. Gilligan was cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury September of that year. Powell was killed two weeks after the 1974 Civil Rights Act was signed into law.
Frank Smart was 39 when he died in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on January 5th, 2015. He died after having a seizure while being restrained and handcuffed under the care of an Allegheny County Jail. The medical examiner concluded the seizure was the cause of death but that the restraints were a “significant condition” in his death. Smart’s eldest daughter Tiara filed a wrongful death suit claiming that the jail failed to administer his seizure medication properly and had “failed to protect him.” This case as well as at least 6 other deaths in an 18 month period led Allegheny County to cut ties with Corizon Health who managed the inmates health in the jail where Smart was housed. He passed away at a local hospital shortly after arrival.
Nathasha, 37, died from cardiac arrest after being tasered by a Fairfax County Sheriff’s Deputy when she would not bend her knees to be put in a wheeled restraint chair. She was held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center in Virginia because of a warrant for being suspected of assaulting an officer. She had a history of mental health diagnosis and an emergency response unit fitted in hazmat suits and gas masks was called to transport her. She was on life support for five days before she was taken off and passed away. Her last words, recorded on video, were, “You promised you wouldn’t kill me.”
It was questioned whether use of force on a restrained detainee was justified but no charges were brought against the officers involved. Her death prompted civil rights investigations, a suspension of taser use by Fairfax Sheriff’s and a 51 page report was released on the incident.
Tony Robinson was 19 years old when he was shot to death by police officer Matthew Kenny in Maddison, WI. He had allegedly taken psilocybin, marajana, and xanax and was having an adverse reaction to at the time he interacted with police. He was reported to be running in and out of streets while yelling and emergency responders were called because of concerns for his safety. Officer Kenny was the first to arrive at the address where Robinson was and entered an open door to a stairway. Robinson was headed down the stairs as Kenny fired 7 shots. Robinson was unarmed when he was shot. His death sparked protests from BLM which mostly consisted of students who staged a walkout and filled the state capitol building. Officer Kenny was not charged for Robinsons’ death.
On March 30, 2015 27 year old, Mya Hall, a trans woman and sex worker was shot and killed at NSA headquarters that ‘was supposedly attacked by two “men dressed as women” who tried to barrel through a security cordon around Fort Meade.’
The vehicle, which was believed to have been stolen, was headed south on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Its driver, in what authorities believe could have been a mistake, took a restricted exit leading to a security post at the sprawling campus of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md.
An NSA statement said the driver ignored police commands to stop and instead accelerated toward a police vehicle as at least one officer opened fire. The stolen SUV crashed into the cruiser. One man died at the scene, and the other, Kevin Fleming, 20, was taken to a hospital for treatment and recovered. An NSA officer also was injured, though officials did not say how.
WILLIAM CHAPMAN ll
Brendon Glenn, 29, killed May 5, 2015, was an unarmed black man killed by a police officer. Like those of his innumerable predecessors, his death was captured on video. As usual, the officer who shot Glenn says that the man was reaching for a fellow officer’s gun even though eyewitnesses and video do not show it.
But unlike in most cases, the police chief says that the officer who shot Glenn should be prosecuted. The cop whose firearm Glenn was allegedly reaching for testified that he didn’t feel Glenn trying to reach for his weapon and said that he had no idea why his partner shot Brendon Glenn.
Police chief Charlie Beck, said “It is my belief that former Los Angeles police officer Proctor committed manslaughter by what is called imperfect self defense,in other words, he unreasonably believed that his life was in danger and therefore he took a life”
Clifford Proctor, the officer who shot Glenn resigned from the LAPD in 2017.
VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA
a 39-year-old Black Mississippi man died while being restrained by a police officer, Kevin Herrington, on July 8, 2015, in Stonewall, Mississippi. The officer was accused of choking the father of two to death with a flashlight after he dragged him off of one of his horses.
As Harrington pinned him down in the ensuing struggle, Sanders is believed to have told the officer: ‘Let me go. I can’t breathe’.
Harrington and a medic who was called to the scene both gave Sanders CPR, but he died a short time later. Charita Kennedy, his girlfriend, claims his family were not allowed to see the body when it was transferred to hospital.
The alleged incident has striking similarities to that of cigarette seller Eric Garner, who died after a cop put him in a chokehold in Staten Island, New York.
In January 2016, a grand jury declined to indict the officer, and in March 2016, a grand jury determined Sanders choked after swallowing a bag of cocaine, and police had not used excessive force while restraining him.
Incident and inquiry:
Witnesses reported that the officer had used a racial slur during his encounter with Sanders, and that Sanders’ breathing had been obstructed by officer Kevin Herrington for as much as 30 minutes. Sanders died at the scene. At his funeral on July 18, 2015, 1,000 people attended.
Outcome of grand jury
On March 9, 2016, a Clarke County, Mississippi grand jury determined that Sanders died of “mechanical asphyxia” after swallowing a bag of cocaine, and that the police officer “was in the right to pursue Sanders based on the suspicion he was involved in drug activity”. It furthermore determined there was no evidence showing a traumatic injury inflicted by the police officer. There was speculation over whether the police officer had used a racial slur during the incident. The jury found no evidence to support that. The jury concluded that Sanders “did not act in conformity with his normal character due to the influence of cocaine which was found in his system at the time of his death”.The NAACP doubted the grand jury findings and released a statement asking for an outside investigation by the Department of Justice.
FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR.
Freddie Carlos Gray, Jr.
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Carlos Gray Jr., a 25-year-old black man, was arrested by the Baltimore Police Department and subsequently charged for possessing a knife.
While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to the R Adams Cowley Shock 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. The circumstances of the injuries were initially unclear; eyewitness accounts suggested that the officers involved used unnecessary force against Gray during the arrest—a claim denied by all 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, because officers failed to follow safety procedures “through acts of omission.” On May 1, 2015, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, announced her office had filed charges against six police officers after the medical examiner’s report ruled Gray’s death a homicide.
The prosecutors stated that they had probable cause to file criminal charges against the six police officers who were believed to be involved in his death. The officer driving the van was charged with second-degree “depraved-heart” murder for his indifference to the considerable risk that Gray might be killed, and others were charged with crimes ranging from manslaughter to illegal arrest. On May 21, a grand jury indicted the officers on most of the original charges filed by Mosby with the exception of the charges of illegal imprisonment and false arrest, and added charges of reckless endangerment to all the officers involved.
Gray’s hospitalization and subsequent death resulted in an ongoing series of protests. On April 25, 2015, a major protest in downtown Baltimore turned violent, resulting in 34 arrests and injuries to 15 police officers. After Gray’s funeral on April 27, civil disorder intensified with looting and burning of local businesses and a CVS drug store, culminating with a state of emergency declaration by Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland National Guard deployment to Baltimore, and the establishment of a curfew. On May 3, the National Guard started withdrawing from Baltimore,and the night curfew on the city was lifted.
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 acquitted. The remaining charges against the officers were dropped on July 27, 2016.
On September 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not bring federal charges against the six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest and in-custody death of Freddie Gray.However, it was announced on October 5, 2017 that non-criminal, internal disciplinary trials for the officers will be prosecuted by a three person-panel chaired by someone from another Maryland police agency, likely Prince George’s County,and that outside lawyer and former chair of the Baltimore City School Board Neil Duke would serve on the panel as well.
On September 8, 2015, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that the city had reached a $6.4 million settlement with Gray’s family. Rawlings-Blake said the settlement “should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial”, but had been negotiated to avoid “costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal”. The city offered a settlement before they were sued.
On July 11, 2016, Randy Lozoya and John Tennis, two Sacramento police officers, attempted to run over, and later shot and killed Joseph Mann, a 51-year-old mentally ill and homeless African-American man armed with a knife.
Police received 9-1-1 calls about a man standing in the street waving a knife. Dispatchers told police that Mann had a knife and gun, and that he was acting erratically. Mann was carrying a 4-inch knife when police encountered him, but no gun was ever found.
Mann did not cooperate with the first officers who arrived at the scene. Mann’s family describes him as “doing karate moves and zigzagging back and forth across the street as he tried to walk away from the officers.”The initial responding officers ordered Mann to drop his knife, and get on the ground. He did not comply, and instead threw a thermos at the police cruiser, and shouted threats as he walked down Del Paso Boulevard.
When Lozoya and Tennis arrived, their cruiser’s dash cam audio recorded one of them as saying, “Fuck this guy. I’m going to hit him.”The other officer replies, “Okay. Go for it. Go for it.” They missed Mann the first time, and attempted again to try to hit him with their cruiser.As they accelerated toward Mann, one officer said, “Watch it! Watch! Watch”, as Mann jumped into the median strip to avoid the cruiser. After missing Mann the second time, the other officer said, “We’ll get him. We’ll get him.”They stopped the cruiser, exited it, and chased Mann on foot.The officers fatally shot Mann moments later. Police fired 18 shots, 14 of which hit Mann. The Sacramento Bee suggested that Mann was about 27 feet from the officers when he was shot.
The shooting led to protests by local religious leaders and Black leaders. Black Lives Matter demanded the release of the dash cam videos, and criticized the police for escalating the situation.The Sacramento Police Department initially did not release the videos, but later released three dash cam videos and two 9-1-1 call audios after pressure from city officials, including Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, as well as The Sacramento Bee, obtaining surveillance footage from a citizen showing the shooting of Mann. The audio of the dash cam videos was enhanced by The Sacramento Bee.
A toxicology report found that Mann had methamphetamine in his system.
Police spokesperson Bryce Heinlein told reporters that using a vehicle as a deadly weapon is something covered in use of force training. According to Heinlein, Lozoya and Tennis were placed on “modified duty”. Mann’s family has filed both a claim against Sacramento, and also a federal lawsuit. In addition to other shootings by police officers around the country, Mann’s shooting prompted the Sacramento City Council to propose a use-of-force policy change which restricts the use of lethal force, and examines the use of police vehicles.
On January 27, 2017, the Sacramento County District Attorney cleared the two officers of any legal wrongdoing, concluding that they were justified in shooting Mann,but after an internal investigation by the Sacramento Police Department, neither Tennis nor Lozoya remain on the force. Mann died at the scene.
Salvado Ellswood July 12 , 2015 – Salvado Ellswood, 36, was killed by a Plantation, Fla., police officer who encountered him behind an office building while on foot patrol. Police said that the officer told Ellswood, who was homeless, to leave and that he punched the officer in the face. The officer shocked Ellswood with a stun gun and, when Ellswood grew more aggressive, shot him with his handgun. The officer was placed on administrative leave until the investigation was completed. No additional information was found regarding the outcome of the investigation.
Date of Death: 7/13/2015
Sandra Bland was found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015, three days after being arrested during a pretextual traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide. It was followed by protests against her arrest, disputing the cause of death, and alleging racial violence against her.
Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation on July 10 by State Trooper Brian Encinia. The exchange escalated, resulting in Bland’s arrest and charge for assaulting a police officer. The arrest was partially recorded by Encinia’s dashcam, a bystander’s cell phone, and Bland’s own cell phone. After authorities reviewed the dashcam footage, Encinia was placed on administrative leave for failing to follow proper traffic stop procedures.
Texas authorities and the FBI conducted an investigation into Bland’s death and determined the Waller County jail did NOT follow required policies, including time checks on inmates and ensuring that employees had completed required mental health training.
In December 2015, a grand jury declined to indict the county sheriff and jail staff for a felony relating to Bland’s death. The following month, Encinia was indicted for perjury for making false statements about the circumstances surrounding Bland’s arrest and he was subsequently fired by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).In September 2016, Bland’s mother settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the county jail and police department for $1.9 million and some procedural changes. In June 2017, the perjury charge against Encinia was dropped in return for his agreement to permanently end his law enforcement career.
In 2019, Bland’s cell phone video became available to the public and to Bland’s family for the first time. The video was obtained and shown by Dallas news station WFAA. This video was not available during the civil trials.
ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS
Albert Joseph Davis
Date of Death: July 17, 2015
Albert Joseph Davis was shot in the chest by a rookie Orlando, Florida police officer, after the police were called to an apartment building where Davis and four others were fighting. Police attempted to arrest Davis, who fled. When officers caught up with Davis, a struggle ensued. The officer shocked Davis with a taser and then fatally shot him in the chest.
Darrius Stewart, the unarmed black 19-year-old shot and killed by a white Memphis police officer in July, was moving away from the officer when the second shot was fired, according to several eyewitnesses quoted in the official investigation.
The investigation, conducted by the Tennessee bureau of investigation and released by the Shelby County district attorney general on Tuesday, includes two eyewitness accounts of the incident that describe Stewart as turning to run from the officer, contradicting the officer’s account that Stewart advanced at him.
One witness said Stewart “stood up and ran away” from Schilling as the officer fired the second shot. Another witness claimed that the officer shot Stewart “as he turned away”. That same witness also claimed to hear Stewart yell “I can’t breathe” before the teen was hit with the second and, according to the Stewart family’s attorney, fatal bullet.
The identities of all the witnesses were redacted before the file was made public and the investigation notes that “while no witness saw this incident in its entirety, each person saw a portion of it”.
The incident occurred on 17 July when Memphis police officer Connor Schilling had stopped the car Stewart was riding in because one of the car’s headlights wasn’t working. Schilling ran checks for Stewart, the driver and a third passenger. The officer discovered two outstanding out-of-state warrants for the teen, including one for sexual abuse, and placed Stewart in the back of his patrol car. The officer did not handcuff the teen, who he said had been cooperative to this point, while he confirmed the warrants with his dispatcher.
According to the officer, once they had been confirmed, he asked Stewart to exit and be handcuffed. Schilling said Stewart then resisted and the two men became engaged in an altercation on the ground. Schilling said during the scuffle Stewart grabbed at his duty belt, where the officer’s firearm was holstered. Eventually, according to Schilling’s account, Stewart got hold of the officer’s handcuffs and used them as a weapon, striking the officer in the face and arms.
Fearing that the next strike could leave him unconscious and give Stewart access to his firearm, Schilling said he fired one shot from above the teen, and another as the teen had stood up and “advanced towards him”.
The Shelby County district attorney, Amy Weirich, recommended a grand jury indict the officer for voluntary manslaughter and employment of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony in November, but the grand jury declined. Schilling was supposed to face an administrative hearing on 13 November to determine whether he should be disciplined by his department, but the hearing was postponed because he reported he was sick.
The release of the files comes after an announcement by the Department of Justice on Monday that it would, in conjunction with the FBI, conduct a “comprehensive review” of the case.
Attorney Murray Wells, who is representing Stewart’s family, called the announcement “overdue” but also questioned its timing, just 20 hours before the investigation files were due to be released. “We’re wondering whether or not there’s some political motive of giving the community the impression of something being done,” Wells said. “Maybe part of it is simply to delay public reaction to what happened.”
The file also included portions of Schilling’s disciplinary records. Schilling and another officer were accused of excessive force after a July 2013 traffic stop, though investigators said the complaint was not sustained. In 2014, Schilling was arrested in connection with driving under the influence by Southhaven police. The charges were dropped, but an internal review found Schilling had violated two department policies and suspended him for 18 days without pay.
Feb. 10, 2020: Mary Stewart, Darrius’ mother created a petition to get the case reopened.
BILLIE RAY DAVIS
Billy Ray Davis
No photo available
Date of Death: 7/18/2015
Reported cause of death: Sudden cardiac death associated with hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia following agitation and physical restraint
Summary from official Custodial Death Report
On Saturday, July 18, 2015, at about 5:54 p.m., SPO P. Vela and Sergeant B Harris of Houston Homicide were informed of a Death in Custody at 2709 Broadway. Investigators were assigned to make the scene by the Homicide Hold desk personnel, Investigator E. Zugner.
Investigators learned the following: Police Officer A. Lopez riding unit 11H42E stopped to buy a bottle of water at a convenience store at 2709 Broadway when he saw a man crossing the street waving his arms and screaming at approximately 4:07 p.m. Officer Lopez went outside and saw that the man was bleeding from his mouth and head. Lopez told the man that he wanted to get help for him but the man stormed past Lopez and entered the shop at around 4:07 p.m.
The man was acting erratically. Lopez and all the officers involved have had basic C.I.T. training and assessed that the man was not only in physical distress but mental distress as well. After Lopez offered to assist the man, he started to act aggressively towards the officer telling the officer he was “not going back to the jail.”
The officer called for backup and requested HFD to come to the location. Additional officers arrived at the scene and they eventually put the man in handcuffs. Even though he was handcuffed, he continued to kick at officers. The officers described the man flailing around “as if it were a fish out of water”.
The officers used leg restraints to control the kicking but kept him on his side so he could breathe. The officers said this was hard because he would flip and flop onto his stomach. The officers kept him on his side as much as possible and monitored his breathing. The man was “kicking and moving” even when attended to by the Houston Fire Department, ambulance #36.
The surveillance camera at the gas station shows HFD arriving at approximately 4:21 p.m. The man suddenly became unresponsive, was loaded in the ambulance and was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Medical Center in downtown Houston. Dr. Anwar Rawat pronounced the male dead at 5:20 p.m. Even after struggling with the man, the officers were planning on taking him to Ben Taub to be psychologically evaluated as he was clearly mentally disturbed.
As as result, the report will be labeled dead man as the investigation continues. The officers described the man as having incredible Herculean strength. His wrists were so large and his shoulders so wide that they had to use two sets of handcuffs. Dr. Gonsoulin from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences performed the autopsy under M.L.#2581. She noted some minor hemorrhaging to his arms and legs and no significant injuries to his head.
She noted that there were no external wounds or injuries that could have caused death. She said that the heart was large but he was a large man. She also noted that there was no brain damage. The doctor said she would wait for Toxicology and the final ruling could take 6 to 12 weeks. The complainant was identified as Billy Ray Davis with a date of birth of 04-05-1956. If this is the deceased, he has a county history of untreated Bi-polar, schizophrenia and Hypertension disorder (high blood pressure).
At the time of this report, the identity has not been confirmed by the medical examiner’s office. Four civilian witnesses all said the officers kept on telling the man they wanted to get him help not arrest him. Witnesses said that the officers involved never threw any kind of strikes or holds on the body or neck area. They noted the officers were concerned about keeping him on his side so he could breathe. The store location is under investigation for the illegal sale of “Kush”.
Samuel DuBose. On July 19, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Samuel DuBose, a 43 year old unarmed black man, was fatally shot by Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, during a traffic stop for a missing front license plate and a suspended driver’s license.
Tensing fired after DuBose started his car. Tensing stated that DuBose had begun to drive off and that he was being dragged because his arm was caught in the car. 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 begun in May 2017 also ended in a hung jury. The charges against Tensing were later dismissed with prejudice.
Michael Sabbie. When Michael Sabbie was booked into jail by the Arkansas police on a misdemeanor assault charge in July 2015, he warned nurses there about his ailments — heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma — and told them he needed medication.
Less than three days later, Mr. Sabbie was dead on the floor of his cell. Videos captured his rapidly deteriorating health in the hours before his death as he pleaded with corrections officers for help. At least 19 times he could be heard saying, “I can’t breathe” — at one point as he crawled, gasping for air, while guards watched him through his cell door.
A federal lawsuit filed by his family on July 25, 2107 accuses at least 12 corrections officers and nurses at a for-profit jail on the Texas-Arkansas border of causing his death. The lawsuit claims that the employees at the jail, the Bi-State Justice Center in Bowie County, Tex., showed a “deliberate indifference” to his health and ignored obvious signs of his declining condition.
Mr. Sabbie, 35, was arrested on July 19 in Texarkana, Ark., on suspicion of verbal assault, a Class C misdemeanor, against his wife.
Mr. Sabbie’s medical issues were apparent almost immediately. At 3:30 a.m. on July 20, a nurse examined him for shortness of breath and an inability to breathe while lying down.
At a court hearing on July 21, several people in the room, including the judge, noticed Mr. Sabbie was sweating, breathing heavily and coughing, according to the suit. The judge asked if he was sick, and Mr. Sabbie replied that he had been spitting up blood and needed to go the hospital.
But Mr. Sabbie was taken back to the Bi-State Justice Center instead. During his return to his cell, a security camera in a hallway recorded him leaning against a wall to catch his breath. When he appeared to turn back down the hall, guards tackled him to the ground.
A jail employee with a hand-held camera recorded the ensuing struggle between Mr. Sabbie and five guards who were trying to pull his hands behind his back. “I can’t breathe; I can’t breathe,” he said before another guard used pepper spray on him.
The video shows Mr. Sabbie breathing heavily over the next nine minutes as corrections officers drag him to the nurse’s station and then into a shower. After he collapses in the shower, guards pick him up and pull him into his cell as his orange pants fall below his waist. Mr. Sabbie can be seen rolling on the floor and wiping his face with his shirt before the recording stops.
He was found dead the next morning, sprawled on the floor of his cell.
Lawsuit was settled before trial and the report finds there is sufficient proof that officers and nurses were deliberately indifferent to Sabbie’s suffering, that they falsified records and that they failed to follow or were not trained in LaSalle’s policies and procedures.
BRIAN KEITH DAY
Brian Keith Day, 26, of Las Vegas, on 7/25/2015
Police said, Day emerged from an apartment holding a gun and fired a shot striking one officer in the face.
Officers opened fire on Day a total of three times. Day died at the scene. Metro is looking in to whether mental illness played a role in Day’s actions leading up to the shooting. This is the sixth officer involved shooting this year for Metro.
Day’s gun turned out to be a pellet gun.
ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY
Asshams Pharoah Manley
KEITH HARRISON McLEOD
Keith Harrison McLeod
Junior Prosper. Junior was a 31 year old cab driver who crashed his car on the interstate in Miami, FL on September 28, 2015. He walked away from his car in a haze when the cops chased him down and attempted to tase him. Junior fought back and bit the officer’s finger who, in turn, shot him. As he was crawling away, the police officer shot him again, fatally. His wife was pregnant at the time of his death and is now left to raise four children alone. In January 2017 she filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Anthony Martin, the officer who murdered Junior – the case is still pending.
La MONTEZ JONES
LaMontez Jones. In October 2015, LaMontez, a 39 year old man, was killed by two traffic patrolmen after they tried to contact him about making a disturbance and he led them on a chase through downtown San Diego. At one point, LaMontez drew a steel replica of a gun and the officers shot him nine times – neither had their mandated body cameras on. The San Diego County district attorney has ruled the shooting legally justified since both officers believed the handgun was real. In April 2016, LaMontez’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department and officers, Scott Thompson and Gregory Lindstrom – the case is still pending.
PATERSON BROWN JR.
Paterson Brown Jr. In October 2015, an off-duty police officer shot 18 year old Paterson after he jumped into the officer’s car without permission at a carwash in Chesterfield, VA. The unidentified police officer asked Brown to leave the vehicle, but the teen remained seated in it. Paterson was a football star who had recently graduated high school. The former officer, David L. Cobb, resigned from the police force, was fined $1,000 and served 3 months for manslaughter.
Officers were called to a home in Cathedral City, CA in response to a report of domestic violence on October 24, 2015. Dominic shouted three times that he had a gun, then opened the door and rushed two officers while pointing the broken binoculars. He was shot 11 times, and he died on the spot – he was 30 years old. The two officers who shot him, Alan Lemus and Jeffrey Blachley, have been cleared of all criminal culpability by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Anthony Ashford. On October 27, 2015, San Diego Harbor police officer Sulimoni Ahfook spotted Anthony, 29, looking into parked cars late at night. The officer stated that Anthony crossed the street and attacked him. An altercation ensued where the officer tased Anthony who then reached for his service weapon. The officer broke free and shot and killed Anthony. There is no open investigation for this case.
Alonzo Smith. On the morning of November 1, 2016 in Southeast D.C., Alonzo was spotted running through the Marbury Plaza apartment complex screaming for help and that someone was trying to kill him. He caught the attention of two special police officers who then followed him as he ran inside the building and climbed a ladder to the roof. That’s when the special police officers grabbed Alonzo in a bear hug, put him on the ground and handcuffed him. Prosecutors also say when D.C. police officers arrived on the scene, they found Alonzo unconscious and they attempted to perform CPR – Alonzo died later at the hospital. The cause of death for the 27-year-old was “sudden cardiac death complicating acute cocaine toxicity while restrained” with a contributing factor of “compression of torso.” Alonzo’s mother has stated that she has never know Alonzo to use drugs. He was a father to a six year old boy and a school teacher for students with emotional and learning disabilities. The names of the special police officers have never been released and they will not be prosecuted for the death of Alonzo. They work for Blackout Security based in Charles County, Maryland. At this time, it is unclear if they are back on the job.
Tyree Crawford. Tyree was just 18-years-old when he was struck and killed by a police car in Newark, NJ. He and five acquaintances, all juveniles between 14 and 17 had just carjacked a Jaguar which led to a police pursuit. Tyree and the other teens jumped from the car – Tyree was fatally hit, three others were arrested immediately and two teens barricaded themselves in a nearby home. 115 police officers, some armed with assault rifles and tactical gear, responded to the scene to apprehend the two remaining juveniles. They have all since been charged with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest and possession of two handguns. In addition, one was charged with carjacking. There is no information as to arrests or charges for the police officer who struck and killed Tyree.
India Kager. On the fateful night of September 15, 2015, India was not the intended target outside a 7-Eleven in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Instead, she was in the car with Angelo Perry, the father of her 4-month-old son who was also in the backseat. When the police approached the car, Angelo began to fire his gun – four officers returned, firing 30 rounds into the vehicle. The baby was unharmed but both India and Angelo were killed. The police said that Angelo was a known criminal and they believed he would carry out a crime that night, but India’s family still questions why the police would plan a takedown with an innocent woman and baby in the car. India was a 28 year-old mother of two and a Navy vet. After a wrongful death lawsuit, India’s family was awarded $800k in damages in 2018. The lawsuit says officers did not shoot India Kager intentionally, but shot recklessly and should be held accountable for her death. Police Chief Jim Cervera said the officers did the right thing and he “stands by them one hundred percent.”
On July 22, 2018, three sisters, Nia, Letifah and Tashiya Wilson, were attacked by a man wielding a knife, later identified as John Cowell, after exiting a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train at MacArthur station in Oakland, California. 18-year-old Nia Wilson died after her throat was slashed. Her older sister, Letifah, was stabbed in the neck but survived. Tashiya was not physically harmed.
Cowell, aged 27, was identified as the suspect immediately following the attack, and he was caught the following day. Cowell had been paroled in May 2018 after serving time for second degree robbery, and had previous charges for assault and possession of methamphetamine.
Initial perception of the attack as apparently racially-motivated spurred protests at MacArthur BART station and online. Cowell’s parents stated their belief that the attack was possibly motivated by Cowell’s mental illness. Authorities have yet to establish a motive for the attack and have also stated that there is no evidence that the attack was racially motivated.
La’Vante Biggs. On September 5, 2015, La’Vante Biggs called 911 at 10:27 a.m., sounding like he was crying and told the dispatcher, “I love everybody.” He then said, “It’s not nobody’s fault.” When 911 dispatchers called the number back, his mother, Shanika Biggs answered but said she did not know what was happening. She called back at 10:31 a.m. and told dispatchers her son was sitting on the porch with “a big black gun” he kept pointing at his head.
The police said they asked his mother if the gun was real, and she told them, “Yes, it is real.” But speaking with the press a few days later, Biggs disputed that account, “I said ‘I don’t know if the gun is real because I don’t know guns,'” said Biggs. The police arrived at the scene in Durham, NC where La’Vante, 21 years old, was wielding what looked like a gun. After 20 minutes of hostage negotiators trying to talk him into dropping the presumed weapon, Biggs began walking towards the officers when four officers fired 12 shots, five of which hit her son in a “scattershot, reckless fashion” and six that entered the front room of the house “with complete disregard for the safety of the occupants.”
After investigation of the scene, the police found out that the object Biggs was holding was an Airsoft gun. His mother explained he had been depressed about a recent breakup and not being able to see his children. She questioned if more could have been done before the shooting. La’Vante Biggs put the gun down three times, including once for three minutes. She said her husband was on the phone, but police would not let the phone be given to her son. “I’m still trying to figure out how calling for help ended my baby’s life,” she said.
MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL
Michael Lee Marshall
Marshall had been arrested for a nonviolent offense of trespassing and was being held on a $100 bond, which he could not afford to pay. The lack of access to just $100 cost him both freedom and his life. Marshall, who was suffering from a psychotic episode, died on November 11, 2015 after he was restrained face-down for more than 10 minutes by multiple deputies. They held him down even after he had gone limp and vomited. Marshall asphyxiated on his vomit during the struggle and died after a nine-day hospital stay. The death was ruled a homicide.
Denver’s Independent monitor, Nick Mitchell, wrote a scathing 73 report of how the Denver Sheriff’s Department mishandled the situation. The district attorney declined to file criminal charges in the case. Garegnani was given a 16-day suspension, and Capt. James Johnson and Deputy Carlos Hernandez were suspended 10 days. A Career Service Authority hearing officer overturned all three suspensions. Deputy Bret Garegnani performed CPR on Marshall after he lost consciousness and was instructed by nurses to ease up for fear Marshall could aspirate on vomit. Garegnani a 16-day suspension, which was later overturned. Additionally, Garegnani’s sergeant nominated him for the department’s Life Saving Award, “Deputy Garegnani is ultimately responsible for prolonging the life of Michael Marshall, which allowed for those valuable moments that the Marshall family ultimately had with Michael and will forever be grateful to Deputy Garegnani,” according to a footnote in the monitor’s report. These valuable moments for the family were spent at the hospital, while Marshall was in a coma.
In November, Denver’s City Council agreed to pay a $4.6 million settlement to Marshall’s family, and the city agreed to changes at the sheriff’s department when it comes to providing mental health services.
Jamar Clark. In November 2015, 24 year old Jamar Clark was killed by two white officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze. Police reports and subsequent investigations demonstrated that on the morning of November 15 Clark had attacked his girlfriend, interfered with paramedics attempting to transport her to the hospital and refused officers’ demands to remove his hands from his pockets. Ringgenberg and Schwarze then took Clark to the ground in an attempt to place handcuffs on him, but during the scuffle, Ringgenberg landed on top of Clark, who then went for the officer’s gun, the prosecutor said.
Concluded that the officers acted in self-defense and would not face criminal charges for the killing.
NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT
Nathaniel Harris Pickett
BENNI LEE TIGNOR
Benni Lee Tignor
No Photo Available
KEITH CHILDRESS JR.
No photo available
No Photo Available
On February 4th, 1999, in the Southview section of the Bronx, a 23-year-old Guinean immigrant named Amadou Diallo was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers operating under the now defunct Street Crimes Unit. One of the officers claimed Amadou resembled a serial rapist from over a year before and had thus engaged him from their undercover vehicle. Amadou ignored their orders and turned to retreat into his residence when he reached into his pocket and removed his wallet. The officers, seeing him remove a square object from his pocket with his back turned to them, identified it as a gun and emptied 41 bullets at Amadou; Amadou was struck 19 times. All 4 officers were indicated for second-degree murder and reckless endangerment by a Bronx grand jury, however on February 25, 2000, after two days of deliberation, a jury in Albany acquitted the officers of all charges. Amadou’s family did file a wrongful death claim and received the largest amount for a single man with no dependents in history with a settlement of $3 million dollars.
To learn more about Amadou’s story: Diallo’s mother published a memoir, My Heart Will Cross This Ocean: My Story, My Son, Amadou.
On August 13, 2016, Sylville Smith (23) was shot and killed by Milwaukee Police officer Dominque Heaggan-Brown after fleeing from a traffic stop on suspicions of being involved with a drug deal because of his “out-of-state license plate”. The body camera of the incident shows Sylville running into a side yard where he tossed his unfired gun over a chain link fence before being shot in the arm and going down. Heaggan-Brown, who was now within arms reach of the crippled Sylville, fired the final lethal shot through Sylville’s heart and lung as he lay unarmed on the ground. This second shot became the central argument of the prosecutors in Dominque Heaggan-Brown’s first-degree reckless homicide case. The defendant informed the jury that “officers are taught to use the “one-plus rule” — or to expect that if a person has one weapon, he might have another.” and that “A gunfight doesn’t end until the threat is stopped,”. Dominque Heaggan-Brown was acquitted of all charges.
No Photo Available
Jordan Edwards was a fifteen year old high school freshman and honor roll student attending a house party in Balch Springs, Texas on April 29, 2017, when the police showed up for a noise complaint. While driving away with friends, Edwards was shot in the back of the head by officer Roy Oliver, killing him. In an official statement, Balch Springs police chief Jonathan Haber stated that the boys’ car was reversing towards the police in “an aggressive manner,” forcing Officer Oliver to fire. Body cam footage proved this to be a lie, and Oliver was later charged with murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
After Aaron Bailey crashed his car during a brief police chase following a traffic stop in Indianapolis on June 29, 2017, Officers Michal P. Dinnsen and Carlton J. Howard fired 11 shots into his car, hitting Bailey four times and killing him. They claimed to have seen him reaching for a weapon, but Bailey was unarmed. The officers faced no disciplinary action and a federal investigation brought up no charges.
On February 13, 2018, Ronell Foster was stopped by Officer Ryan McMahon in Vallejo, California for allegedly weaving through traffic on his bike without a headlamp. After a struggle, the 33 year old father of two was shot and killed. Police claim that Foster had stolen the officer’s flashlight and was holding it in a threatening way although attorneys for Foster say that he was shot in the back of the head. Officer McMahon stayed on the force and was one of six officers who shot and killed 20 year old WIllie McCoy while asleep in his car at a Taco Bell. Foster’s killing was deemed justified by the Solano County DA earlier this year.
On March 18, 2018, 22 year old Stephon Clark was shot and killed by police in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento, CA following a complaint that somebody had been breaking car windows in the neighborhood. He was shot at least 7 times, after 20 shots were fired by officers Jared Robinet and Terrence Mercadal, who mistook his cell phone for a weapon. During a press conference where she announced that the police would not face charges, district attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who at the time had investigated over 30 police shootings without ever filing charges, shared personal text messages, phone logs, internet searches and email drafts from Clark’s cellphone. The officers, who were cleared by the FBI in 2019 and returned to duty, were not subject to the same amount of scrutiny from Schubert.
ANTWON ROSE II
Antwon Rose II
On June 19, 2018 in East Pittsburgh, PA, a car that 17 year old Antwon Rose was a passenger in was pulled over after having been involved in an earlier, non-fatal, drive by shooting. When the car came to a stop, Rose, who was unarmed, ran away and was shot three times in the back, face, and elbow by officer Michael Rosfeld, killing him. Rosfeld, who had been sworn into the East Pittsburgh police department just hours earlier, was charged with homicide. The officer had left his previous job as a University of Pittsburgh cop after discrepancies were found between one of his sworn statements and evidence in an arrest. He was acquitted on all charges in the killing of Antwon Rose. Rose, a rising high school senior, who played basketball and the saxophone, wrote in a poem titled “I Am Not What You Think!”: “I see mothers bury their sons… I want my mom to never feel that pain.”
Just months after the infamous beating of Rodney King by the LAPD, on November 5, 1992, 35 year old Malice Green was approached outside of a known drug house in Detroit by two plainclothes officers emerging from an unmarked car. After refusing to drop a vial of cocaine in his hand, Green was beaten repeatedly by officers Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers. He later succumbed to his head injuries in a local hospital. Both officers were highly decorated and had a long history of excessive force complaints. Nevers had previously been a member of the STRESS unit, a Detroit police initiative, explored at length in the popular podcast Crimetown, that was shut down after its officers shot 20 black men over the course of 3 years. The officers were convicted of second degree murder, but the charges were reduced to manslaughter after a long appeals process. Green remained immortalized in Detroit by a mural on the building he was killed in front of for decades until it was demolished in 2013. A new mural was commissioned after the death of George Floyd.
On August 14, 2019, 23 year old Elijah McClain was walking home listening to music, after buying an iced tea for his brother, when he was approached by three Aurora, CO police officers. He was restrained by officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema, who were responding to a call of a “suspicious person” walking down the street. They held him down and put him in a chokehold, restricting the flow of blood to his head. Body cam footage, which wasn’t released until months later, showed McClain pleading with the police, saying that he had not heard them because of the music and that he “just can’t breathe correctly.” He is seen sobbing and at one point vomits, for which he apologizes to the officers. Paramedics arrived at the scene and injected McClain with ketamine to sedate him. He went into cardiac arrest and died days later. Elijah McClain is remembered as a kind, gentle man, who worked as a massage therapist and was known to play the violin for stray animals to soothe them. The officers returned to duty with no charges. Later Rosenblatt, and two other officers, were fired for pictures taken at a vigil for McClain where they mocked his killing.
AIYANA STANLEY JONES
Aiyana Stanley Jones
(July 20, 2002 – May 16, 2010)
Aiyana was a seven-year-old girl from Detroit’s East Side who was shot in the head and killed during a raid conducted by the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team on May 16, 2010. Aiyana Mo’nay Stanley-Jones slept on the couch as her grandmother watched television. Outside, Television was watching them. A half-dozen masked officers of the Special Response Team—Detroit’s version of SWAT—were at the door, guns drawn. In tow was an A&E crew filming an episode of The First 48, its true-crime program. The conceit of the show is that homicide detectives have 48 hours to crack a murder case before the trail goes cold. Thirty-four hours earlier, Je’Rean Blake Nobles, 17, had been shot outside a liquor store on nearby Mack Avenue; an informant had ID’d a man named Chauncey Owens as the shooter and provided Alyana’s address.
The SWAT team tried the steel door to the building. It was unlocked. They threw a flash-bang grenade through the window of the lower unit and kicked open its wooden door, which was also unlocked. The grenade landed so close to Aiyana that it burned her blanket. Officer Joseph Weekley, the lead commando—who’d been featured before on another A&E show, Detroit SWAT—burst into the house. His weapon fired a single shot, the bullet striking Aiyana in the head and exiting her neck. It all happened in a matter of seconds.
Officer Joseph Weekley was charged in connection with Jones’ death. In October 2011, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment with a gun. Weekley’s first trial ended in a mistrial in June 2013. His retrial began in September 2014. On October 3, the judge dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge against Weekley, leaving him on trial for only one charge: recklessly discharging a firearm. On October 10, the second trial ended in another mistrial. On January 28, 2015, a prosecutor cleared Weekley of the last remaining charge against him, ensuring there would not be a third trial.Her death drew national media attention and led U.S. Representative John Conyers to ask U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for a federal investigation into the incident.
Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old black man living in Dallas, TX, was a Harding University alumnus and an accountant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Jean was born in Saint Lucia.:1
On September 6, 2018, off-duty Dallas Police Department patrol officer Amber Guyger entered the Dallas, Texas, apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean and fatally shot him. Guyger said that she had entered the apartment believing it was her own and that she shot Jean believing he was a burglar. The fact that Guyger, a white police officer, shot and killed Jean, an unarmed black man, and was initially only charged with manslaughter, resulted in protests and accusations of racial bias.
Following the shooting, an attorney representing Jean’s family accused the Dallas police department of attempting to smear Jean’s reputation based on a police affidavit showing that police seized 10.4 grams of marijuana from Jean’s apartment. The lawyers also disputed the account of the incident that Guyger told officials, which was recorded in the arrest warrant affidavit, and asserted that two independent witnesses had come forward to give recollections that conflicted with Guyger’s account. An attorney for Jean asserted that witnesses claimed they heard knocking on the door to Jean’s apartment and that a witness claimed they heard a woman’s voice saying “Let me in, let me in.”
Guyger’s apartment was on the third floor, directly below Jean’s apartment on the fourth, in an apartment building with mostly identical floor plans on each level. Guyger testified that she thought the apartment was her own, and that she found the door slightly ajar, and she testified that she thought Jean was an intruder in the darkened living room of her apartment—when in fact Jean was killed in his own apartment. She claimed she feared Jean would kill her. Jean was unarmed.
After Guyger shot Jean, she called 9-1-1. Jean was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died from his wound. The Texas Rangers investigated the shooting, which led to Guyger’s arrest three days later.
Guyger was initially charged with manslaughter, but was later charged with murder. The initial charge of manslaughter and the racial aspect of the shooting resulted in protests in the following days.
The Dallas Police Department placed Guyger on administrative leave after the shooting. The department fired her on September 24, 2018.
On October 1, 2019, Guyger was found guilty of murder. The jury deliberated for six hours to reach the verdict of murder. The jurors also considered the lesser charge of manslaughter. She was the first Dallas police officer to be convicted of murder since the 1973 murder of Santos Rodriguez.
On October 2, 2019, Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after the jury deliberated for an hour. During the sentencing hearing, Jean’s mother Allison provided emotional testimony and some of Guyger’s text messages and social media posts that were “racist and offensive” were shared. Jean’s younger brother Brandt forgave and hugged Guyger during her sentencing. Jean’s father Bertrum also stated that he forgave Guyger but had wanted a stiffer sentence. Trial judge Tammy Kemp, who is also African-American, drew controversy when she embraced Guyger and handed her a Bible, with the Freedom from Religion Foundation criticizing her for alleged proselytizing.
On October 16, 2019, Guyger’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal requesting a new trial. Guyger is currently imprisoned in the Mountain View Correctional Center.
Pamela Turner, 44, was shot around 10:40 p.m. by the officer trying to arrest her at an apartment complex in Baytown, about 25 miles east of Houston, Lt. Steve Dorris, a Baytown police spokesman, said.
Authorities said the officer was patrolling the area and was “forced to draw his weapon and fire multiple rounds” after Turner grabbed his stun gun and used it on him. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
In the video of the shooting, which was posted on social media, Turner is heard saying “You’re actually harassing me” and “I’m actually walking to my house” to the officer as he tries to arrest her. The pair can be seen struggling and Turner falls to the ground. They continue to scuffle and she says, “Why? Why?” and then, “I’m pregnant.”
Moments later, something flashes as Turner reaches her arm out toward the officer. Suddenly, he pulls away from her, steps back and fires five gunshots.
Police have said that autopsy results show Turner was not pregnant, but the autopsy report has not been released. Online records show the woman died of multiple gunshot wounds and the death was ruled a homicide by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s office.
Turner’s family said at a news conference Thursday that she suffered from schizophrenia, after having been diagnosed with the mental illness many years ago.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family, said Turner was picking up trash in the neighborhood and putting it in dumpsters the night she was fatally shot, something he said she often did.
“She wasn’t a violent person. She’s wasn’t a mean person,” Turner’s sister Antoinette Dorsey-James said. “She was a person who made friends quickly.”
Turner’s son, Cameron January, and daughter, Chelsie Rubin, became emotional during Thursday’s news conference as they talked about their mother.
“My mother was not an evil person, she was not a criminal,” January said. “She was giving and caring … she didn’t deserve this.”
Rubin said she had given birth just days before Turner was killed, and her mother never got the chance to meet her newest grandchild.
“My mom is not a horrible person. She’s so loving, she’s so caring,” she said, crying.
Dorris said Tuesday that the officer involved in the shooting had dealt with Turner before and knew she had outstanding warrants.
According to Turner’s family, the officer routinely patrolled the area and Turner had “several bad experiences” with him.
OXFORD, Miss. — Dominique Clayton, a 32-year-old mother of four, was shot dead in her Oxford home May 19. A former Oxford police officer has been indicted by a grand jury in the Dominique Clayton murder case, the Lafayette County District Attorney’s Office confirmed.
The indictment, filed Friday, charges Matthew Kinne with capital murder, which is punishable by the death penalty.Clayton’s family says she was romantically involved with Kinne for a year. They say the mother of four tried to end things with the officer before she was killed.
Kinne — who, it later emerged, was in a relationship with Clayton — broke into her home prior to the murder, according to the indictment.
Recently, a relative of Clayton shared that she was found lying in bed and had a large amount of blood near the back of her head, a claim which was corroborated by WHBQ-TV. They reported that Clayton had been shot in the back of her head and was found by her eight-year-old son after he was dropped back home by a family member.
Clayton’s sister Shyjuan shared that Kinne was definitely having an affair with her sister. She told WHBQ, “She was having an affair with Matt, the police officer with OPD. He bought my sister a car and kept it in his name. He was about to get her a house. He just basically didn’t want his wife to find out.”
During Kinne’s court appearance on May 22, Lafayette County Circuit Judge Andrew Howorth shared with prosecutors and the defense that it was very likely that a reasonable bond amount would be set for Kinne, a declaration which has sparked outrage for the victim’s family given that it is a state which usually denies giving bond to murder defendants.Clayton’s family members have also claimed that they heard the judge laughing during the hearing. Clayton’s mother Bessie shared, “They are allowing the killer to decide his bond! That man came through the bushes while he was on duty and walked in behind my daughter’s home, put a bullet in the back of her head and executed her. And they laughed. They should discuss with him what his bond should be? We need help in Oxford! We need intervention in Oxford.” As of now, Kinne is in jail in the neighboring Panola Count
In June, the Clayton family asked the City of Oxford for $5 million to settle a wrongful death claim.
Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, a 28-year-old African American woman, was a pre-medical graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana. Relatives said she worked in human resources. She lived in the house to care for her mother and nephew.
Police arrived at her home after a neighbor called a non-emergency number, stating that Jefferson’s front door was open. Police body camera footage showed that when she came to her window to observe police outside her home, Officer Aaron Dean shot through it and killed her. Police stated that they found a handgun near her body, which according to her 8-year-old nephew, she was pointing toward the window before being shot.The bodycam video released publicly shows the perspective of an officer outside the home, peering into a window using a flashlight and spotting someone inside standing near a window and telling her, “Put your hands up — show me your hands.” A single shot is fired seconds later.
On October 14, 2019, Dean resigned from the Fort Worth Police Department and was arrested on a murder charge. On December 20, 2019, Dean was indicted for murder. Jefferson was black and the officer who shot her is white, prompting news outlets to compare Jefferson’s shooting to the September 2018 murder of Botham Jean.
On November 11, 2018, 26 year old Jemel Roberson was working as a security guard at a bar in the suburbs of Chicago when a fight broke out and shots were fired. Roberson subdued the shooter, holding him against the ground with a gun, which he was licensed to carry. Police arrived on the scene, and officer Ian Covey fatally shot Roberson. Multiple witnesses on the scene said that they were loudly identifying him as a security guard when Covey aimed his weapon, but the shots were still fired. The official police report did not mention the bystanders shouts that Roberson was a bar employee, and blamed the shooting on his not cooperating with verbal commands. They also stated that he was wearing all black without any identification, but witnesses maintain that Roberson was wearing his security vest. Later they amended their statement, calling Roberson “a brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation.” So far no charges have been filed against Covey.
RYAN MATTHEW SMITH
Ryan Matthew Smith
On May 13, 2019, Ryan Matthew Smith’s girlfriend called 911, stating that her boyfriend was intoxicated and threatening to kill both her and himself. She was locked in their bathroom and told the dispatcher that she was not injured and that he was not attempting to force his way into the bathroom, just that Smith was not well and “needs help.” Seattle police officers Chris Myers and Ryan Beecroft arrived and kicked in the front door. They saw Smith standing motionless in the hallway, holding a knife and after he ignored their commands to drop the weapon, shot him dead. It was later found that Smith’s blood alcohol level was .36, eight times the legal limit to drive, and a level of intoxication that can lead to unresponsiveness. Smith’s girlfriend said that she was screaming not to shoot when she heard the cops arrive and later told them multiple times “you didn’t have to kill him.” Beecroft and Meyers, who was previously involved in two fatal shootings, were cleared of all wrongdoing.
DERRICK AMBROSE JR.
Derrick Ambrose Jr.
On November 18, 2012, Derrick Ambrose Jr. was kicked out of a Waterloo, IA bar following an altercation and got a handgun, for which he had a permit, from his car. Officer Kyle Law was near the scene and a chase ensued between the two. Ambrose discarded his gun and continued running away before tripping. The officer stated that Ambrose ignored his calls to stay down and turned around in a threatening way, leading him to fatally shoot the 22 year old in the back of the head and back of the leg. The only witness to the shooting claimed this to be untrue, and that Ambrose never turned back towards Law. Both body cam audio and police car audio was said to have malfunctioned, according to attorneys for the Ambrose family. In 2016 the family was awarded $2.5 million dollars in a settlement from the city. The department still admits no wrongdoing and Law was never charged.
VICTOR WHITE III
REGINALD DOUCET JR.
Reginald Doucet Jr.
DANROY “DJ” HENRY JR.
Danroy “DJ” Henry Jr.
KARVAS GAMBLE JR.
Karvas Gamble Jr.
VICTOR DUFFY JR.
122. Victor Duffy Jr.
CLINTON R. ALLEN
Clinton R. Allen
MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN
Michael Lorenzo Dean
WILLIAM AUBREY MARTIN
William Aubrey Martin
No photo available
OSCAR GRANT III
Oscar Grant III
DOMINIQUE “REM’MIE FELLS
Dominique “Rem’mie Fells
No Photo Available
He leaves behind his only sister, Brittany, his mother, Carol and father, Sterling. He was the father of two young daughters, Eugenia 2.5 yrs and Ophelia 1.5 yrs.
Joel was full of life and was known for his infectious laugh and his ability to make you smile. HIs life blossomed when he became a father. His life was cut short due to police injustice. He will be remembered for the love he had for all.
“PRAY THEIR NAMES” Is A Compelling Visual Art Installation That Will Travel Between California Churches in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
Location: First Congregational Church UCC, 252 West Spain St., Sonoma
July 18- August 14, 2020
Open sunrise to sunset. No admission. All are welcome.
For more information https://www.facebook.com/Pray-Their-Names-111352017313180
Creator bio: Rev. Katie Morrison is a Special Education teacher known to her extraordinary learners at Venetia Valley K-8 School as “Ms. Mo.” Her students learn about their beauty, worth and belonging under Katie’s loving tutelage. Before she was a teacher Katie traveled the nation, teaching churches about inclusion.
The vision for this installation comes out of a lifelong sense of solidarity with the pain and suffering endured by black and brown bodies. Katie hopes that this visual work will be a source of healing for all bodies, a unifying force to bring people together to meet in the pain and wrestle with the implications of institutionalized racism. “Once we acknowledge and face the wrong, we can begin to do what is right.”
Pray Their Names is in the news!
Post-Civil War: https://www.history.com/emmett-till-lynchings-activism
USEFUL ONLINE RESOURCES RE UNDERSTANDING RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY
Jeffrey – ACLU Civil Rights Attorney
Please Just Follow the Rules
by Keith Giles
And when we murder you, could you please protest peacefully?
And when we choke your life away, please kindly refrain from outrage.
And when we chase you down in the streets with our shotguns, please don’t try to run. Please stop and obey our simple commands.
And when we press our knees into your throat
for 9 minutes, please don’t take a knee during our National Anthem and ruin our football games.
Things are not so bad, are they? Things are not so bad for us. Everyone has the same opportunity in this land of the free. At least, it’s always been that way for me.
And when we take your life away it’s only because you didn’t follow our rules.
And when we take your life away it’s just because you matched the description of someone else we feared.
And when we take your life from you it’s just because you were holding that cell phone. We thought it was a gun.
And that empty hand. We thought it was a gun.
And that toy you’re holding. We thought it was a gun.
And that gun you had a legal permit to own. It made us fear for our lives.
You make us fear for our lives. We don’t know why.
Our lives are precious. Our lives are at risk.
You have to understand.
It’s so hard to be white in America today.
You need to understand.
Is it so hard to understand?
Please just protest peacefully.
Please don’t interrupt our football games.
Please don’t remind us of how we’ve treated you.
Please just follow the rules.
USEFUL ONLINE RESOURCES RE UNDERSTANDING RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY
Eddie Moore’s Diversity Education website has an endless list of resources including:
https://www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge ©
Collective Practice to End White Supremacy // A Gathering for White Folks
Untraining White Liberal Racism
THINGS TO READ OR LISTEN TO:
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. DeGruy
Waking up White and finding myself in the story of race by Debbie Irving
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem Cultural Somatics University Free workshop based on My GrandMother’s Hand
White Fragility Robin J. DiAngelo
Roots Deeper Than Whiteness article by David Dean
Note on Grief and Action from Will Kabat-Zinn
White Supremacy Culture / Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun
The Transformative Power of Practice / Ng’ethe Maina & Staci Haines
Rev angel Kyodo williams “Why Your Liberation is Bound up with Mine ” / Meditation in the City
Rev angel Kyodo williams Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation
Ruby Sales / “Where Does it Hurt?” / On Being
Resmaa Menakem / “Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence” / On Being
What Does It Mean to Defund or Abolish the Police? / The Daily Show
- There are varied approaches to ending police violence. The best thing to do is to follow your local Black Lives Matter chapter or other local Black-led organization to find out the proposed policy and funding changes in your city or town. Donate to your local BLM chapter, sign up for updates, volunteer, and take action when asked.
- Campaign Zero has ten evidence-based solutions to address police violence. Contact your city or town government representative(s) and police chief to advocate for these policies.
- Within the evidence-based solutions in #2, Campaign Zero has a project called 8Can’tWait, with eight specific policies to be prioritized to end police violence. The website has a fantastic tool wherein you can see which of the policies your city or town have been enacted. Contact your city or town government representative(s) and police chief to advocate for the policies that have not yet been enacted.
- Find out your city or town’s policy on no-knock warrants (the policy that led to Breonna Taylor’s murder). Contact your city or town government representative(s) and police chief to ban no-knock warrants.
- Write to your state representative and senator to end qualified immunity like Colorado recently did. Qualified immunity permits government officials performing discretionary functions to be immune from civil suits unless the official violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.” In recent years, qualified immunity has been successfully used to defend the use of excessive or deadly force by police, like in this case. Thank you to Claudia S. Murray for the suggestion.
- Fund a project facilitated by Leap, the Law Enforcement Accountability Project, a fund that empowers activists to change the narrative around the police abuse of Black People. Leap is founded by Ava DuVernay.
- Understand and share what “defund the police” really means. It’s about a new, smarter approach to public safety, wherein we demilitarize the police and allocate resources into education, social services, and other root causes of crimes. What we’re doing now isn’t working — There are so many innocent people who have been harassed or killed by the police unjustly, and nearly every Black American has experienced some form of harassment by the police. Some good resources for this are this video by BLM , this Washington Post article and this Facebook post.
- More and more stories of Black folks encountering racism are being documented and shared through social media — whether it’s at a hotel, with the police, in a coffee shop, at a school, etc. When you see such a post, call the organization, company, or institution involved to tell them how upset you are. Then share the post along with the institution’s contact information, spreading the word about what happened and encouraging others to contact the institution as well. Whether the company initiated the event or failed to protect a POC during an onslaught by a third party, they need to hear from us.
- If you or a friend is an educator, buy said friend books that feature POC as protagonists and heroes, no matter the racial make-up of the class. A few good lists are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. And/or purchase educational toys that feature POC, such as finger puppets, Black History Flashcards, etc for their classroom. Use these items year-round, not just in February. The racial make-up of students doesn’t matter — kids of every race need to know American history and be exposed to people from different races, religions, and countries. If the friend is interested, buy them for your pal’s classroom. Don’t be shy to ask Facebook friends that you haven’t actually talked to in ten years.
- If you or a friend or family member is an educator, watch or share this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about his experience as a Black student telling people he wanted to be a scientist and astrophysicist. Tyson’s experience reminds me of a Black friend whose high school teachers tried to dissuade her from taking AP classes, because, with the best of intentions, they thought the AP classes would be “too much” for her. Be an educator who supports and encourages, not one who dissuades. Talk to educators you know about being educators who support and encourage, not educators who dissuade.
- Work on ensuring that Black educators are hired where Black children are being taught. If you want to know more about why and how this makes a difference for Black children, check out this episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast. There are some really good nuggets in there about how schools can support the achievement of Black students — from ensuring Black students aren’t closed out of gifted programs by using test results instead of white teachers’ recommendations to the influence that having a Black teacher has on a Black student’s education to the importance to fostering a school ethos wherein Black students think, “This school is here for me.”
- Many companies have recruiting channels that are predominantly white. Work with your HR department to recruit Americans who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Recruiting from HBCUs is a good start. Work to put descendants of enslaved Africans already hired under supportive managers.
- Donate to anti-white supremacy work such as your local Black Lives Matter Chapter, the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, United Negro College Fund, Black Youth Project 100, Color of Change, The Sentencing Project, Families against Mandatory Minimums, A New Way of Life, Equal Justice Initiative, and Dream Defenders. Join some of these list-serves and take action as their emails dictate.
- Support Black businesses. Find them on WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street. Another great list is here. Yelp now has a feature to search for Black-owned businesses, and Etsy features Black-owned businesses here. Thank you Corinna Tricarico for the info on Etsy.
- Bank Black, as advocated by Killer Mike. It doesn’t have to be all of your checking or savings. Opening up an account with some money is better than no account at all. You can use the link from #14 (type “banking” in the Category field) or Blackout to find a bank. At the very least, move some or all of your checking, savings, mortgage, etc out of Wells Fargo as a part of the divestment movement to protect Standing Rock.
- Get your company to move some or all of its money to Black-owned banks, like Netflix is doing.
- Don’t buy from companies that use prison labor. Find a good list here. While Whole Foods is on that list, but pledged to stop using prison labor in 2016, they haven’t made amends for that abuse. You can’t pour gas on a burning building, decide to stop pouring the gas, then walk away like everything is fine. Until Whole Foods pays reparations, they stay on the boycott list.
- Stand outside of the stores from #17 with a sign that reads “[Company] uses prison labor” even if for 30 mins a few times a month.
- Read up about mandatory minimum sentences and watch videos about this on Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM’s) website. FAMM’s website includes work being done at the federal level and state level. Call or write to your state legislators and governor about reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes.
- To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write to your federal legislators in support of the bipartisan (sponsored by Sen Lee (R-UT)) Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 2850) which reduces the length of federal mandatory minimum drug sentences by half, makes the Fair Sentencing Act’s crack sentencing reforms retroactive, and expands the “safety valve” exception to mandatory drug sentences.
- To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write to your federal legislators in support of the bipartisan (sponsored by Sen Paul (R-KY)) Justice Safety Valve Act (S. 399, H.R. 1097), which would allow judges to give sentences other than the mandatory minimum sentence for any federal crime.
- To reduce mandatory minimum sentences on a federal level, call or write your federal legislators in support of another great criminal justice reform bill, the Second Look Act, which would make reduced sentences for crack convictions from the previously passed Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, reduce mandatory minimums for people convicted more than three times for drug crimes from life without parole after the third offense to 25 years, reduce mandatory sentences for drug crimes from 15 to 10 years, limit the use of solitary confinement on juvenile prisoners, etc.
- Call or write to your state legislators and governor to support state-wide criminal justice reform including reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing sentences for non-violent drug crimes, passing “safety valve” law to allow judges to depart below a mandatory minimum sentence under certain conditions, passing alternatives to incarceration, etc. Study after study shows that racism fuels racial disparities in imprisonment, and about 90% of the US prison population are at the state and local level.
- Call or write to state legislators, federal legislators, and your governor to decriminalize weed. No, not because Black folks use weed more frequently than white folks. Because Black Americans are arrested for marijuana possession far more frequently than whites.
- Call or write to state legislators to require racial impact statements be required for all criminal justice bills. Most states already require fiscal and environmental impact statements for certain legislation. Racial impact statements evaluate if a bill may create or exacerbate racial disparities should the bill become law. Check out the status of your state’s legislation surrounding these statements here.
- Find and join a local “white space” to learn more about and talk out the conscious and unconscious biases us white folks have. If there’s not a group in your area, start one.
- Join or start a Daughters of Abraham book club in your Church, mosque, or synagogue.
- Join your local Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) group. There is a lot of awesome work going on locally — Get involved in the projects that speak to you.
- Do deep canvassing about race and racial justice. Many SURJ groups are organizing them, so many people can do it through your local SURJ group. If they’re not already doing it, start it.
- Research your local prosecutors. Prosecutors have a lot of power to give fair sentences or Draconian ones, influence a judge’s decision to set bail or not, etc. In the past election, a slew of fair-minded prosecutors were elected. We need more.
- Call or write to state legislators, federal legislators, and your governor to end solitary confinement in excess of 15 days. It is considered torture by the UN, and it is used more frequently on Black and Hispanic prisoners. For more information on solitary, two good overviews can be found here and here.
- Watch 13th. Better yet, get a group of friends together and watch 13th.
- Watch The House I Live In. Or get a group of friends together and watch it.
- Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article The Case for Reparations and From Here to Equality by William A. Darity Jr., A. Kirsten Mullen. The US has already participated in reparations four times. Thank you to Clyanna Blyanna for suggesting this addition.
- Participate in reparations. One way is through this Facebook group. Remember reparations isn’t just monetary — share your time, skills, knowledge, connections, etc. Thank you to Clyanna Blyanna for suggesting this addition.
- Read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Better yet, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss. Buy it from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read Caught by Marie Gottschalk. Better yet, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss. Buy it from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Yep, get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss. Buy it from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Thank you to Steve Senatori for this suggestion. Buy the book from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. The information the author shares about the ease with which one can be charged with “conspiracy” to sell drugs, the damage done from long sentences that don’t fit the crime due to mandatory minimum sentencing, the ever-present threat of solitary confinement at a Correction Officer’s whim, and other specific harmful practices in the prison system are well done. Get a group of friends together to read it like a book club would — read, then discuss. Buy the book from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. Get your friends on board reading it, too. Buy it from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Especially if you or a friend is an educator, read or share bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress. Buy it from one of these Black-owned bookstores.
- Read Nikole Hannah-Jones’ The 1619 Project.
- Buy books, choose TV shows and movies, and opt for toys for your kids, nieces, nephews, etc that show people from different races, religions, countries and that teach real American history. A few ideas: the books, toys, and flashcards from #9.
- Decolonize your bookshelf.
- Listen without ego and defensiveness to people of color. Truly listen. Don’t scroll past articles written by people of color — Read them.
- Don’t be silent about that racist joke. Silence is support.
- Follow Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garzia, bell hooks, Luvvie Ajayi, Melissa Harris-Perry, Van Jones, Ava DuVernay, thenewjimcrow, Laverne Cox, DeRay Mckesson, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Ibram X. Kendi, and Killer Mike. Follow them with the intention of listening and learning only.
- Read Awesomely Luvvie, Blavity, Madame Noir, The Root, The Grio, and Jamelle Bouie’s opinion pieces with a desire to learn and understand better the lives of Black Americans.
- Find out how slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era are being taught in your local school. Advocate that history is taught correctly and certain parts are not skipped over or barely mentioned. Advocate that many voices be used in the study of history. Is the school teaching about post-Civil War convict leasing, the parent to our current mass incarceration system? Talking about slavery alone, is your high school showing images such as Gordon’s scourged back, a slave ship hold, and an enslaved nurse holding her young master? Are explorers, scientists, politicians, etc who are POC discussed? Are male and female authors who are POC on reading lists? In my mostly white high school, reading books like Having Our Say, To Be a Slave, The Bluest Eye, and Their Eyes Were Watching God was really important. A great starting list of such books is here. A great starting list of such books is here. Are Japanese internment camps being discussed? Is history explained correctly in history books? As an example of a severe failure to teach the reality of slavery and its ramifications, check out image 1 and image 2 . There are a lot of great resources out there with a little googling, like PBS’s resources for teaching slavery, this POC Online Classroom blog, Teaching for Change, The Zinn Project’s This Day in History, Teaching Tolerance at the Southern Poverty Law Center (thank you Adajhand), and The National Association for Multicultural Education.
- Arrange for cultural exchanges and cultural ambassadors in your local school’s classrooms. The International Classroom program at UPenn and People to People International are options. The Dept of Education has a good list. Cultural exchanges via the interwebs are very valuable. Actual human interaction between people from different races, religions, and countries (ie: cultural ambassadors) and students in the physical classroom is ideal.
- Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids.
- Seek out a diverse group of friends for you. Practice real friendship and intimacy by listening when POC talk about their experiences and their perspectives. They’re speaking about their pain.
- Watch these videos to hear first hand accounts of what our Black brothers and sisters live. Then read everyday people’s experiences through the hashtag #realizediwasblack. Watch the rules Tik Tok user @skoodupcam’s mother makes him follow just so he comes home each night. Share with others.
- If there are Black children/teens in your life, contribute to their college savings plans. You can also contribute to an HBCU or to the UNCF. Thank you to Rev Dr Pollard for this contribution. Consider making HBCUs and the American Indian College Fund beneficiaries through your will or living trusts. Thank you Janice Crawford for this contribution.
- Call or write to your national legislators, state legislators, and governor in favor of affirmative action. Encourage friends to do the same.
- Write to your college/university about implementing all or some of these diversity strategies that effectively promote racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity on campus. Write to the public universities your tax payer dollars support about implementing these diversity strategies.
- Recognize that in the same way saying “slavery is a necessary evil” (Thomas Jefferson’s words) was acceptable by many in 1820, the same way saying “separate but equal” was acceptable by many in 1940, choosing to not condemn white nationalism, the fact that Black people are 2.7 times as likely to be killed by police than white people, the fact that unarmed Black Americans are roughly five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer, that the fact the Black imprisonment rate for drug offenses is about 5.8 times higher than it is for whites, etc are acts of overt racism in 2020.
- Write to the US Sentencing Commission (PubAffairs@ussc.gov) and ask them to:
— reform the career offender guideline to lessen the length of
— change the guidelines so that more people get probation
— change the criminal history guidelines so that a person’s
criminal record counts against them less
— change guidelines to reduce mandatory minimum
sentences for non-violent crimes
— conduct a study to review the impact of parental incarceration on minor children. With more data, the Commission could modify the Sentencing Guidelines and allow judges to take this factor into account when sentencing individuals for non-violent crimes.
— conduct a study to review whether the Bureau of Prisons is following the Commission’s encouragement to file a motion for compassionate release whenever “extraordinary and compelling reasons” exist.
— consider amending the guidelines to reduce sentences for first offenders.
- Read Van Jones’ short and to-the-point article about the racial biases of reporters. More examples are here and here. Check out this article discussing how media coverage of the opioid epidemic — which largely affects suburban and rural whites — portrays it as an outside threat and focuses on treatment and recovery, while stories of heroin in the 1970s, crack-cocaine in the 1980s, and other drug problems that impact urban people of color today have focused on the drug user’s morality. Keep an eye out for such biases, and use social media and direct communication to the media outlet to call them out when they occur.
- Donate to groups that are working to put women of color into elected office, to get out the vote, and to restore voting rights to disenfranchised voters.
- Know our American history. Watch Roots, 12 Years a Slave, and Selma, to name a few.
- Check out Black movies, TV, and other media that show POC as lead characters and in their full humanity. Queen Sugar, Insecure, Dear White People, The Carmichael Show, Blackish, Grownish, Atlanta, 2 Dope Queens, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, Get Out, Girls Trip, Sorry to Bother You, United Shades of America, Mudbound, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, The Cloverfield Paradox, Sorry to Bother You, Blindspotting, BlacKkKlansman, Little, If Beale Street Could Talk, Queen and Slim, A Black Lady Sketch Show, PBS’ Great Performance of Much Ado about Nothing, youtube videos of Amber Says What, and Pose are a few. Share them with friends. In addition, if you can’t watch the whole video, watch 13:12 to 15:17 of this discussion about working in Hollywood when you’re not white.
- Know what indigenous land you’re living on by looking that this map and research the groups that occupied that land before you did. Find out what local activism those groups are doing and give your money and time to those efforts.
- When people say that Black Lives Matter is a violent/terrorist group, explain to them that there are fringe groups that are being misrepresented as part of BLM. If conservatives don’t want to be lumped in with the KKK, they can’t lump violent protesters in with BLM.
- When people ask, “Why aren’t you talking about ‘black-on-black crime’?” and other myths about BLM, let Francesca Ramsey help you with those talking points.
- Stop shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods. They advertise on -that’s to say fund- white supremacist media. An easy alternative to Amazon is buying from Black-owned businesses through webuyblack.com, featured in #14. Also check out this “How to Stop Using Amazon” Facebook post.
- Be honest about our history. One genocide, another genocide, then apartheid. It sucks, but it’s true. We’ll never be free from our history unless we’re honest about it. Denial is our pathology, but the truth will set us free.
- If you have a close relationship with a young person of color, make sure he/she knows how much you love them. Love and affirm that child. Thank you to Rev Dr Pollard for this contribution.
- Write to your city or town government representative to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day like these cities did.
- Donate to Standing Rock through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
- Write to your city or town government representative to divest from banks that are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, private prisons, and detention centers. Seattle, Davis, CA, and Los Angeles divested from banks that are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and there are campaigns going on in many cities to divest. Cities like New York and Cincinnati have divested from private prisons. Start here: http://howtodivest.org/
- Personally divest your investments in private prisons and detention centers. Start here. Many people are divesting from Wells Fargo for their substantial role in Standing Rock and from private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group, CoreCivic, and G4S.
- Get your company, place of worship, etc to divest from private prisons and detention centers. Since the start of a national prison divestment campaign, higher ed institutions, churches, and corporations have divested.
- Write to your state legislators to end cash bail. It means that a someone who is legally innocent is put in jail because they can’t afford bail. It means that a defendant can be released pre-trial because of their wealth, not how much of a flight risk they are. It puts more people in detention (which tax payers pay for) and affects a defendants’ ability to maintain employment, access mental and physical healthcare, and be in communication with their family and friends, etc. Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail in the US awaiting trial who cannot afford bail costs US taxpayers $9 billion a year. Thank you to Elizabeth B. and Cynthia Astle for suggesting this addition.
- Support organized efforts to end of cash bail by donating to The Bail Project. Bail out a Black mother through The National Bail Out. Thank you to Elizabeth B. and Cynthia Astle for suggesting this addition.
- Attend town halls, candidate meet-and-greets, etc for political candidates and ask about ending mass incarceration, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing or ending solitary confinement, decriminalizing weed, ending cash bail, divesting from private prisons, divesting from banks, divesting from banks that finance the Dakota Access Pipeline, etc.
- Read this article about an overt white supremacist’s son’s journey to relinquish white supremacy and watch this video about Daryl Davis, a Black man who gets KKK members to disavow by befriending them. For those you know who are overtly racist (see #58), think about ways you can create exposure for them to people who don’t look like them, share their religion, etc. Jane Elliott says, “People who are racist aren’t stupid, they’re ignorant. And the answer to ignorance is education.” Frederick Douglass notes, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” It may be best to focus on children, adolescents, and young adults currently being raised by overtly racist parents. Maybe it’s tutoring them so they could get on a college track, encouraging them to study abroad, or turning them on to colleges where not everyone looks like them and shares their religion, etc. Maybe it’s spending time with them on some regularity and showing them the achievements and beauty of non-white cultures. Be creative.
- Talk to the white people you know who aren’t clearly upset by white supremacy. Use “I” statements and “I care” messages (“I feel [feeling] when you [behavior]”). They need to know you see a problem. Call them out, and call them in. As a start, ask them to watch the videos in #54. For people you know who’ve been radicalized by FOX News and other nationalist (not conservative) media, who’ve been so pummeled with fear and hatred of “the other” that they’ve become ISIS-like towards others, how can you and other family and friends guide them through conversation to show them that their actions are now in direct contrast with the values they feign to purport?
- A wise former teacher once said, “The question isn’t: Was the act racist or not? The question is: How much racism was in play?” So maybe racism was 3% of the motivation or 30% or 95%. Interrogate the question “How much racism was in play?” as you think about an incident. Share this idea with the people in your life when they ask, “Was that racist?”
- Credit Black men and women. Kara Springer, a Black woman artist, created the image/public art that begins this piece. It’s called A Small Matter of Engineering, Part II. Christian Campbell tweeted to ensure the art was attributed appropriately and correctly.
- Watch Jane Elliot’s blue eyes/brown eyes racism experiment here. Watch Jane Elliot’s a follow-up on the blue eyes/brown eyes racism experiment on Oprah here, and watch Jane Elliot and Roland Martin’s conversation at the University of Michigan’s Women of Color Task Force here. Thank you to Jourdain Blair for this suggestion.
- Anti-racism is a global fight. Don’t buy electronics or jewelry made from conflict minerals. Find an overview and rankings of electronics and jewelry companies’ efforts to source conflict-free minerals here. At your place of work, establish a policy that your company or organization will only purchase electronics from companies that are top-rated. Write to companies on the list and ask them to improve their rank.
- Read this article by educator and activity Bettina L. Love about the harm done by schools to their Black students. Ensure your local school/School Board has a clear and strong policy of zero tolerance for racial slurs, physically touching a child to discipline them, invasions of privacy like strip searches, hair discrimination, etc. “Zero tolerance” means loss of a job, loss of a pension, and mandatory reporting to state Department of Education. If and when school officials don’t comply with their own policies, or when a school refuses to create these policies altogether, use resources at your disposal like social media, local news media, connections to the School Board, etc to hold them accountable.
- Visit sites of American concentration camps, memorials, and museums dedicated to teaching about the genocide and apartheid, past and present. Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston; The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery; the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC; the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, NC; the Whitney Plantation near New Orleans, the quarters of enslaved people at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA; a tour discussing the lives of enslaved people at Mount Vernon, VA, Underground Railroad locations, etc. Google sites, museums, etc where you can learn about Black history and current life near you or at your next travel destination. Thank you to Charles Chukwuemeka Ekeke for this addition.
- We need to raise children who understand race and are comfortable talking about it. A few resources for that: the book Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey, the NPR podcast Talking Race With Young Children, these children’s books, and these resources compiled by the Children’s Community School in Philadelphia.
- Write to your state representative and senator to ban voter ID laws, ease the voter registration process, implement early voting, and implement voting-by-mail. The unfortunate reality of efforts to “fight against voter fraud” is that voter fraud isn’t statistically a problem in this country. Even The Heritage Foundation counts only 1,285 cases of voter fraud… since 1998. Just like poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses were “race-neutral” policies that inhibited Black Americans from voting until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, voter ID laws, cuts to voting registration processes, and cuts to early voting are efforts to inhibit Black Americans from voting today. A well-off white person in my life lamented that their children could easily get their ID, so why couldn’t anyone else? This person neglected to recognize that her children had cars to get them to the DMV, lived relatively close to the DMV, had the time to go, etc. This excerpt from the previous link is quite striking: “In the 1930s one Georgia man described the situation this way: ‘Do you know I’ve never voted in my life, never been able to exercise my right as a citizen because of the poll tax? … I can’t pay a poll tax, can’t have a voice in my own government.’ ” Saying, “Just get your ID!” today is the equivalent of saying “Just pay the poll tax!” in 1964. Remember that the restrictive voting laws passed since 2013 have been considered legal only because the Supreme Court gutted the most powerful protections of the Voting Rights Act. Thank you Alice Smith and Sarah Weiss for this suggestion.
- Ibram X Kendi says we need to move beyond saying “racist” and “not racist.” Instead, some white people are practicing anti-racism by (1) divesting themselves of white fragility and defensiveness and choosing to continue to learn and listen to Black folks and (2) dismantling white supremacy in the institutions around them. White supremacy is not just targeted murder of Black men by police. White supremacy pervades every institution — places of work, education, criminal justice, healthcare, government, banks, places of worship, etc. It is our work to dismantle white supremacy in all of these institutions, not just the police. Those who are not practicing anti-racism are perpetuating white supremacy. And we cannot do the external work without doing the internal work.
- Contact your high school and college/university to create a class that teaches white privilege, use of racial stereotypes by individuals and the media, the subconscious nature of racism in every US institution (schools, companies, etc). This class should be mandatory for all students. One such class is CFE 444 — Schooling & Diversity at Syracuse University.
- When people lament that the policing problem is just “a few bad apples,” share the following evidence that it is not: comedian Amber Ruffin discussing her police encounters, the Buffalo cop who intervened on a chokehold and lost her job and pension, the Minneapolis police union chief who used his powerful position to try to justify George Floyd’s torture and death, and the Philadelphia Police Union President who, in his position of authority, called Black Lives Matter protestors ‘rabid animals.’ Remember that the fourth stage of genocide is “dehumanization, wherein members of a particular group “are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.”
- Check out this Anti-Racist/Anti-Fascist Education playlist.
- Don’t gentrify neighborhoods.
- Support that new apartment building proposed to be built in your neighborhood. Don’t participate in “snob zoning,” which is opposing new builds of apartments because wealthy white folks are afraid the apartment building will “change the character of a community.”
- If you or a friend or family member is an educator, ensure anti-racism is in your teaching practice. Some resources for this are the book Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, the book Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen, the Abolitionist Teaching Network, American University’s Summer Institute on Education, Equity, and Justice, Teaching Tolerance, The National Seed Project, The NAIS People of Color Conference, The Race Institute for K-12 Educators, the book The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys, Teaching While White, the White Privilege Conference, and specifically for white teachers of middle school students, the website The Collaborative. Another resource: Each link on this page is a montage of video clips related videos of teachers and students talking about teaching Black boys.
- Array is an independent film distribution and resource collective founded by Ava DuVernay. For students of all ages, Array is creating learning companions for the works they produce and distribute, starting with When They See Us. Check out the learning companion for it here.
- Work on this excellent document of scaffolding anti-racism resources.
- Check out the White Ally Toolkit, which helps white folks become more persuasive in conversations with racism skeptics by empowering and equipping us with best practice communications skills based on listening, storytelling, and compassion.
- Check out the White People Confronting Racism workshop.
- Have an idea to fight white supremacy or sexism or homophobia, etc? Do the research to see if someone who’s Black is already doing it. A Black friend was contacted by a white woman who wanted to organize a BLM protest in her town — my Black friend’s first response was, “Do you know if any Black leaders are already doing it?” The white woman wasn’t sure. Similarly, if Alyssa Milano had checked for #metoo on Twitter before her tweet, she may have found Tarana Burke’s original #metoo tweet from 2006 and could have rightly attributed the idea from the start and amplified a Black woman’s voice.
- When you see someone Black stopped by the police, record the entire encounter. Listen to Twitter user @kingkeraun discuss his experience seeing a white woman videotape him while he was pulled over by the police.
- Write to your federal legislators in support of The Breathe Act. An overview of the legislation can be found here, and a more in-depth summary can be found here. You can become a community co-sponsor of the bill here.
- Write to your federal legislators in support of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2019, which will invest $100 billion over 10 years in fixing America’s public schools. Investing less in incarceration and more in education will go a long way. Because of limited education funding, schools desperately in need of renovations need to compete against each other to be next on the list for the reno. The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), a part of the Department of Education, reports that in 2012–2013, “21 percent of schools were in fair condition, and 3 percent were in poor condition.” 3 percent of schools is millions of American children. Millions. The NCES also reports that “the building systems/features were rated as being in fair or poor condition in their permanent buildings in 14 to 32 percent of the schools.” This article gives examples of school facilities in poor condition across the country. Our kids deserve so much better.
- Remember the wise words of Twitter user @itsjacksonbbz: You will continue to mess up racism. So continue to be teachable, open to correction from POC, and vigilantly monitor yourself for defensiveness and white fragility. You never “arrive” as an ally, you must continually *practice* allyship.
http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin/ What does white privilege mean to you?
https://www.pbucc.org/index.php/menu-news-sep/latest-news/1319-a-pastoral-reflection-on-racism A Pastoral Reflection on Racism
I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
https://www.ucc.org/news_commentary_ucc_military_chaplains_address_the_church_in_the_wake_of_the_use_of_force_during_protests_06122020 UCC military chaplains address the Church in the wake of the use of force during protests
You may register for the e-course (Racialized Trauma Home Study Course hosted by Resmaa Menaken June 15 – 19) by clicking here: https://www.resmaa.com/about
https://www.ucc.org/never_forget_to_say_their_names_06112020 Never Forget to Say Their Names
https://youtu.be/h7mzj0cVL0Q Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo
https://youtu.be/6O27_yBQ8Qc Robin DiAngelo on “white Fragility” | Amanpour and Company
https://youtu.be/S0jf8D5WHoo Angela Davis and Jane Elliott
https://youtu.be/Gln1JwDUI64 The New Jim Crow
https://youtu.be/LNgS78-Wjcc Jane Elliott and Roland Martin
https://youtu.be/YBYUET24K1c White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation’s Divide
https://youtu.be/-aCn72iXO9s Let’s get to the root of racial injustice | Megan Ming Francis | TEDxRainier
https://youtu.be/Fr8G7MtRNlk Implicit Bias – How it Effects Us and How We Push Through | Melanie Funchess | TEDxFlourCity
https://youtu.be/thkmVv54e6M It’s About Time We Challenge Our Unconscious Biases | Juliette Powell | TEDx StLouisWomen
https://youtu.be/zdV8OpXhl2g Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion: Helen Turnbull at TEDxDelrayBeach
https://youtu.be/OLQzz75yE5A No. You Cannot Touch My Hair! | Mena Fombo | TEDxBristol
https://youtu.be/ORp3q1Oaezw Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies. | Daryl Davis | TEDxNaperville
https://youtu.be/u5GCetbP7Fg Learning from my white grandchildren – truths about race | Anthony Peterson
https://youtu.be/EmLI6tuq22Y The Mission Century of Black History in the Americas: Jane Landers at TEDxNashville
https://youtu.be/bb04xj7LS34 The Dangers of Whitewashing Black History | David Ikard | TEDxNashville
https://youtu.be/gF1fJ_cTcwk Disrupting the Miseducation of African American Youth: Kwame Shaka Opare at TEDxChesterRiver
https://youtu.be/kkXseTHxusw Emancipation from Mental Slavery | Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills | TEDxCulver City
https://youtu.be/N0acvkHIiZs The Power of Privilege: Tiffany Jana at TEDxRVAWomen
https://youtu.be/t2-RvClIZdE Recognizing Privilege: Power to All People | Michael Yates | TEDxTexasStateU
https://youtu.be/Bo3hRq2RnNI The Cost of Code Switching | Chandra Arthur | TEDxOrlando
https://youtu.be/NJy5yeBSQ7o Everyday Struggle: Switching Codes for Survival | Harold Wallace III | TEDxPittsburgStateU
https://youtu.be/XlRxqC0Sze4 Understanding My Privilege | Sue Borrego | TEDxPasadenaWomen
https://youtu.be/5SBFdtqW0GM Understanding Systemic Oppression and Institutionalized Racism | Kyol Blakeney
https://youtu.be/HF5K3J_Z8nk Black Self/White World – Lessions on Internalized Racism | Jabari Lyles | TEDxTysonsSalon
https://youtu.be/ZTN2yUVQTGg Internalized Oppression – Naming and Peeling Away the Layers of Shame | Zed Xaba | TEDxLytteltonWomen
https://youtu.be/3qELiw_1Ddg What Trauma Taught Me About Resilience | Charles Hunt | TEDxCharlotte
https://youtu.be/KK1JQjiDmxM Daddy, What’s a Racist? | Ahmad Ward | TEDxBirmingham
https://youtu.be/dOdsEgPlU_0 Lessons from a Recovering Racist | Andrew Judd | TEDxRuakura
https://youtu.be/1RO8RI9Wqms Racism and America’s Concentration Camps | Was Hashimoto | TEDxMeritAcademy
https://youtu.be/r9DDE7NV1Nw 50 Years of Racism – Why Silence Isn’t the Answer | James A White Sr. | TEDxColumbus
https://youtu.be/FKYLpmHe2D0 Race is a Fiction. Racism is Not: Francys Johnson at TEDxUGA
https://youtu.be/SSH5EY-W5oM My Descent Into America’s Neo-Nazi Movement & How I Got Out | Christian Picciolini | TEDxMileHigh
https://youtu.be/fw0vS0qvYo0 Klan We Talk? | Daryl Davis | TEDxCapeMay
https://youtu.be/GwRzjFQa_Og The Magic of Not Giving a F*** | Sarah Knight | TEDxCoconutGrove
https://youtu.be/ZnHNbmt_oR8 Racism – What Will It Take to End It? | Cynthia Silva Parker | TEDxSarasota
https://youtu.be/5LdwxTwh7VQ Racism & Health | Dennis Pocekay | TEDxMSJHS
https://youtu.be/rR5zDIjUrfk White Men: Time to Discover Your Cultural Blind Spots | Michael Welp
https://youtu.be/CHsdJ010p9Y A Franework for Civil Discourse About Race and Racism | Wornie Reed | TEDxVirginiaTech
https://youtu.be/-LZ2wMuwc8E The Sky Didn’t Fall: How I Learned to Call Out Racism | Susan Naimark | TEDxJamaicaPlain
https://youtu.be/huO_PSbO2L8 Everyday Racism | Robert Tinajero | TEDxElPaso
https://youtu.be/OGM48CI1oaU Listen. Talk. Connect. | Leslie Wingo | TEDxElPaso
https://youtu.be/hQwVnUjAgHU A Return to Civil Discourse | Malcolm Glover | TEDxUofCEntralArkansas
https://youtu.be/15Vp7_CRNnY Walking the Walk: Standing Up Against Racism | Zelda La Grange | TEDxAmsterdam
https://youtu.be/UojLHDG_Y4w How to Talk About Race: Eric Deggans at TEDxBloomington
https://youtu.be/N0acvkHIiZs The Power of Privilege: Tiffany Jana at TEDxRVAWomen
https://youtu.be/Sm3UfctR5ZA Hidden in Plain Sight – Slavery in Your Community: Dr. Kate Transchel at TEDxChico
https://youtu.be/zUDA5NLnGYY Black History Matters | Don John | TEDxSouthampton
https://youtu.be/IsdwybV07e8 Using African History as a Tool for Change | Zeinab Badawi | TEDxEuston
https://youtu.be/A4ZSd7H1aV4 The Power of the Black Experience in the Classroom | Keith Mayers | TEDxMinneapolis