For decades, demonstrators against acts of violence targeting Black Americans have chanted: "No justice, no peace." Since 2013, protesters in the streets and on social media have shouted that "Black Lives Matter."
After Breonna Taylor was shot dead in March 2020 by police who raided her apartment with a no-knock warrant, protesters demanding accountability urged the country to "Say her name." Following the murder of George Floyd by an officer who knelt on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, protesters who rallied nationwide told anyone listening to "Say his name."
Despite the efforts to stop the bloodshed by both protesters and some law enforcement agencies through reforms, names continue to be added to the list of those killed by law enforcement.
The following is a chronicle, in no way comprehensive, of police shootings since Floyd was killed May 25, 2020. The majority of victims are Black men. Some of the incidents led to charges filed against the officers involved, while some were categorized by officials as justified shootings.
Tallahassee, Florida | May 27, 2020
Tony McDade, 38, was shot and killed by a Tallahassee police officer on May 27, 2020, after McDade fatally stabbed his next-door neighbor and pointed a gun at the officer, according to police. Witnesses have offered differing accounts about the confrontation that killed McDade, who identified as a transgender man.
An attorney representing his family said McDade had suffered mental health problems and was in and out of jail. The attorney requested authorities release all documents related to the case, including body camera video, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The documents have not been released.
A Florida grand jury in September declined to issue indictments against the officer, concluding the officer was justified in using lethal force. Jurors noted the officer, whose identity is unreleased under a 2018 Florida constitutional amendment, violated police department policy by not activating a body camera.
Louisville, Kentucky | June 1, 2020
David McAtee, a 53-year-old barbecue cook in Louisville, Kentucky, was fatally shot by a member of the National Guard after McAtee fired his gun as law enforcement responded to a report of a crowd gathering on a night of protests prompted by the deaths of George Floyd and Louisville native Breonna Taylor, officials said.
The National Guard was deployed in the city to help enforce a curfew.
McAtee was cooking when Louisville officers and the National Guard approached a crowd that officers attempted to disperse by deploying pepper balls, some of which struck McAtee’s niece, who was in front of the restaurant, according to an attorney representing McAtee's family.
A video of the June 1 incident released by police appears to show McAtee firing a gun from the front of his restaurant as officers shot crowd-control projectiles. Two Louisville Police officers and two National Guard members returned fire. McAtee died from a single shot to the chest.
In September, McAtee’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Louisville police and the Kentucky National Guard, WFPL News reports.
A heavily redacted Kentucky National Guard administrative investigation concluded the soldiers followed proper training and procedures in response to the protest and the shooting.
Atlanta, Georgia | June 12, 2020
Rayshard Brooks, 27, was fatally shot in the back by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe on June 12, 2020.
Officers were responding to a complaint that Brooks fell asleep in his car while in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy's restaurant. Body camera video of the incident shows Brooks struggling with two officers when they try to arrest him on the suspicion of driving under the influence.
Brooks grabbed a stun gun from an officer and fired it. Brooks was running away from officers and was nearly 20 feet away from Rolfe when the officer began shooting. Stun guns have a range of around 15 feet. An autopsy concluded Brooks was shot twice in the back.
Prosecutors filed murder charges against Rolfe, citing that Brooks was not a deadly threat and that Rolfe, as Brooks lay dying on the ground, kicked Brooks and did not offer medical treatment for over two minutes. Devin Brosnan, the other officer involved in the incident, was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath.
In early May, a review board reversed the decision to fire Rolfe.
Kenosha, Wisconsin | Aug. 23, 2020
Jacob Blake at the age of 29 survived being shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer Rusten Sheskey, who was not charged in the Aug. 23 incident that left Blake paralyzed from the waist down.
At the time, Kenosha police did not have body cameras but the incident was captured on cellphone video from across the street. Sheskey returned to duty from administrative leave in April. Blake in March filed a civil lawsuit accusing the officer of excessive force.
Los Angeles County, Westmont, Calif. | Aug. 31, 2020
Dijon Kizzee, 29, was fatally shot on Aug. 31 by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after they stopped him for bicycling on the wrong side of a street.
Police said that deputies ordered Kizzee to stop but he refused. Kizzee abandoned his bike and fled while carrying a firearm hidden within a piece of clothing, according to officials.
During a physical confrontation, Kizzee dropped the gun, picked it up and raised it toward the deputies, who shot at Kizzee 19 times, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Attorneys representing Kizzee's family have filed a claim seeking $35 million, alleging the county failed to properly train the deputies involved and that Kizzee “did nothing to justify this use of serious and unreasonable force against him."
Washington, D.C. | Sept. 2, 2020
Deon Kay, 18, was fatally shot by Metropolitan Police Department officer Alexander Alvarez during a confrontation that arose from officers investigating "a man with a gun” in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 2, according to police. Body camera footage from the incident was released to the public.
According to police, Kay was running from patrol officers and pulled out a gun before the officer shot him. The gun police reported seeing in Kay’s hand was found 98 feet from the scene of the shooting, police said.
After an investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia announced the "review uncovered no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution." Kay was the first person killed by law enforcement in Washington, D.C., since local police reforms went into effect in summer 2020.
Tafara Williams and Marcellis Stinnette
Waukegan, Illinois | Oct. 20, 2020
Tafara Williams and her boyfriend Marcellis Stinnette were both shot by a police officer after a brief car chase in Waukegan, Illinois, on Oct. 20. Stinnette, 19, did not survive.
The officer, who has not been named, was fired for committing policy and procedure violations during the incident, the Waukegan Police Department chief said.
Police said the incident began with one officer investigating an "occupied vehicle" shortly before midnight. Body camera footage shows an officer telling Stinnette, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, that he is under arrest and that Stinnette "got a warrant."
As the officer continues demanding Stinnette exit the vehicle, Williams speeds away. A second officer, the one who shot Williams and Stinnette, begins pursuing them in his vehicle, dash camera footage shows.
Moments later, Williams makes a sharp right turn but ends up hopping over a curb and onto a sidewalk — stopping in front of what appears to be a cable from an electricity pole.
Video shows Williams begins to reverse about one second after the officer stops his vehicle beside them. The officer yells out a command. The sound of Williams' engine roaring and tires spinning can be heard as she's reversing right before the officer fires what appears to sound like six shots.
Still in reverse, the car crashes into a building. Williams yells "Why did you shoot us?" The officer replies: "You almost tried to run me over." The video does not show where the officer was standing as Williams reversed.
During an interview from her hospital bed days after the shooting, Williams told reporters that officers did nothing more than cover Stinnette with a blanket after he was shot — leaving him on the ground to die.
Walter Wallace Jr.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Oct. 26, 2020
Walter Wallace Jr., 27, was fatally shot on Oct. 26 by Philadelphia police officers in an incident caught on video. Wallace's family said they had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis but police arrived first.
Police said Wallace was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before two officers shot. Wallace's parents said officers knew their son was in a mental health crisis because police responded to the family's house three times the same day.
Wallace was shot in the shoulder and chest. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Neither officer had stun guns or other similar non-lethal equipment.
No charges have been filed against the officers. Wallace's family filed a lawsuit in early April against the two officers seeking more than $50,000 in damages, citing assault, battery and emotional distress, NBC 10 Philadelphia reports.
Kevin E. Peterson Jr.
Clark County, Washington State | Oct. 29, 2020
Kevin E. Peterson Jr., 21, was shot four times by deputies attempting to arrest him on narcotics charges in Oregon's Clark County on Oct. 29, according to police. The deputies, who believed Peterson Jr. shot at them, fired 34 rounds. Police said a firearm was recovered at the scene.
Peterson Jr.'s family has questioned the account from authorities. The family contends Peterson could have been holding a phone in his hand and not a gun, The Oregonian/OregonLive reports.
“Nobody should die over a fistful of Xanax,” a lawyer representing Peterson Jr.'s family said.
Columbus, Ohio | Dec. 22, 2020
Andre Hill, 47, was fatally shot by Columbus police officer Adam Coy as Hill emerged from a garage while holding up a cellphone. Hill was visiting a family friend when he was shot.
Coy and another officer had responded to a neighbor's nonemergency complaint related to a car outside. The shooting was only partially captured on video and did not have audio. Coy, who had a long history of complaints from citizens, was fired on Dec. 28 for failing to activate his body camera and for not providing medical aid to Hill.
Coy has pleaded not guilty to murder and reckless homicide charges. In May, the city of Columbus reached a $10 million settlement with Hill's family.
North Charleston, South Carolina | Jan. 5, 2021
Jamal Sutherland, a 31-year-old Black man with mental health issues who was an inmate at a South Carolina jail, died on Jan. 5 after deputies used pepper spray and repeatedly deployed stun guns in an attempt to take Sutherland to a court appearance.
Sutherland was booked into jail on Jan. 4 on charges of third-degree assault and battery after officers were called to investigate a fight at a mental health and substance abuse center. Officers would arrest Sutherland as a result.
The following morning, deputies arrived at Sutherland's cell to take him to a court appearance. Videos show Sutherland refusing to come to the door of his cell to be handcuffed after being asked repeatedly to do so. Deputies then use pepper spray and stun guns on Sutherland.
Videos also show deputies kneeling on Sutherland's back before he stops moving. An hour later, he was pronounced dead, officials said.
An attorney for Sutherland's family said his mental health issues were so severe he should never have been held in a nonmedical portion of the jail, adding the use of force was "unnecessary and excessive." The attorney said that the family is pursuing civil litigation.
Chicago, Illinois | March 29, 2021
Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Hispanic boy, was fatally shot by Chicago police officer Eric Stillman on March 29.
Stillman and other officers were responding to reports of shots fired in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Body camera footage shows Stillman chasing Adam down an alley for several seconds while yelling "Police!" and ordering Adam to stop.
Adam drops a handgun, turns toward Stillman and begins raising his hands. Stillman shoots Adam a fraction of a second after, video shows. Nineteen seconds passed from when Stillman got out of his vehicle to when he shot Adam.
Stillman has remained on administrative leave past the Chicago Police Department's routine 30-day period, WTTW reports. Many have called on Stillman to be charged or fired.
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota | April 11, 2021
Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot during a traffic stop on April 11 by former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, officer Kim Potter, who is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge. Police said Wright was pulled over for expired tags, but then officers wanted to arrest him after learning of an outstanding warrant.
The former police chief of Brooklyn Center said he believes Potter meant to use her stun gun instead of her firearm during a struggle. Body camera video shows Potter shouting “Taser!” multiple times before firing.
Protesters and Wright's family have disputed that the shooting was accidental, arguing an experienced officer knows the difference between a stun gun and a handgun.
Columbus, Ohio | April 20, 2021
In an incident caught on body camera, Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, was fatally shot on April 20 by officer Nicholas Reardon as Bryant swung a knife at a young woman.
Bryant's family, witnesses and advocates have argued that the officer could have used other methods to stop Bryant instead of shooting, such as using a stun gun. Many experts and even some civil rights attorneys have said the officer followed his training and may have saved the girl Bryant was attacking. The national Fraternal Order of Police called the shooting “an act of heroism, but one with tragic results.”
Andrew Brown Jr.
Elizabeth City, North Carolina | April 21, 2021
Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was fatally shot while in his car outside his home by Pasquotank County deputies attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Video of the April 21 shooting was released after a district attorney announced he would not prosecute the officers, saying the sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting Brown because he struck a deputy with his car and nearly ran him over while ignoring commands to show his hands and get out of the vehicle.
Before the video was released to the public, a few members of Brown's family and attorneys were able to see redacted versions.
After viewing the redacted clip, attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said Brown did not appear to be a threat to officers as he backed his vehicle out and tried to drive away.
“They’re shooting and saying ‘Let me see your hands’ at the same time,” she said. “Let’s be clear. This was an execution.”
Spotsylvania, Virginia | April 21, 2021
Isiah Brown, 32, had called 911 for help but was shot by the responding officer outside of his home in Pennsylvania's Spotsylvania County on April 21.
The incident was captured on video.
“Show me your hands,” the deputy shouts at Brown. “Show me your hands, now. Show me your hands. Drop the gun. He’s got a gun to his head. Drop the gun now. Stop walking towards me. Stop walking towards me. Stop. Stop.”
Brown had a phone in his hand. He was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher. The officer shot him 10 times, Brown's family said.
Brown's family said he has a long road to recovery after being in critical condition for weeks and undergoing numerous surgeries. His family hopes the officer will be charged, The Free Lance Star reports.
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