Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police, 1999-2014
The following piece is from Gawker. It was written by Rich Juzwiak and Aleksander Chan.
By: Rich Juzwiak and Aleksander Chan
On Wednesday, after the announcement that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo would not be indicted for killing Eric Garner, the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund Twitter posted a series of tweets naming 76 men and women who were killed in police custody since the 1999 death of Amadou Diallo in New York. Starting with the most recent death, what follows are more detailed accounts of many of those included in the Legal Defense Fund’s tweets.
Rumain Brisbon, 34, Phoenix, Ariz.—Dec. 2, 2014
Brisbon, an unarmed black father of four, was shot to death in when a police officer apparently mistook his bottle of pills for a gun. Aftermath: Pending.
Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio—Nov. 22, 2014
Akai Gurley, 28, Brooklyn, NY—Nov. 20, 2014
Gurley was shot in a dark stairwell of an East New York housing project building by Officer Peter Liang. Gurley was unarmed. Police Commissioner William Bratton called Gurley “a total innocent.” “The cop who was standing behind Officer Liang doesn’t know what happened; the girlfriend doesn’t know what happened,” a senior police official told the New York Times. “There is a distinct possibility that Officer Liang doesn’t quite understand what happened.”Aftermath: District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that he is investigating.
Kajieme Powell, 25, St. Louis, Mo.—August 19, 2014
Powell was shot by police who responded to a 911 call accusing him of stealing some energy drinks and pastries. Cops claimed that he approached them holding a knife “in an overhand grip”; video footage of the incident shows that Powell did not come as close to the police as they reported and that his hands were by his side. Police shot him within 15 seconds of arriving at the scene. Aftermath: Powell’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the St. Louis police chief and arresting officers.
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