George Floyd Breonna Taylor Ahmaud Arbery: The Black Men And Women Killed By Police In 2020
The police killing of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25 sparked outrage that has seen protests across the world denouncing police brutality, demanding change, and the end of systemic racism.
Floyd’s death, unfortunately, is just one of a slew of police killings upon black men and women, including those who were unarmed and just going about their daily lives.
In some cases body cameras were turned off, police departments have refused to share footage, and officers have yet to be criminally charged.
Below are some of the black men and women who have died by the hands of police in 2020:
27 years old, June 12, Atlanta, Georgia
Rayshard Brooks , 27, was killed by police in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta on Friday
On June 12 Rayshard Brooks, a black man, was shot dead in a confrontation with Atlanta police officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Bronsan.
Officers were called to the scene following reports of a man sleeping in his vehicle at a Wendy’s parking lot. Cops awoke him and had him complete a sobriety test, which he failed.
When trying to handcuff him Brooks grabbed one of the officera’s Taser and ran from the officers and pointed the stun gun at one of them. Officer Rolfe then shot Brooks twice in the back and he died at a hospital. His death has been ruled a homicide
Felony murder that carries a possible sentence of life without parole or the death penalty.
53 years old, June 1, Louisville, Kentucky
The Truth About Police Shootings In America
Dan ODonnell dives deep into the data to provide perhaps the most comprehensive analysis yet of officer-involved shootings in the United States.
Perspective by Dan ODonnell
Policing in our country is inherently and intentionally racist, Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib tweeted Monday in a predictably hysterical response to a deadly officer-involved shooting in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
On Sunday, while arresting 20-year-old Daunte Wright for an outstanding warrant, Officer Kim Potter fired a single shot at Wright as he wrestled with fellow officers and tried to drive away.
Taser! Taser! Taser! Potter can be heard yelling on body camera video of the incident.
As I watched the video and listened to the officers commands, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said in a news conference the following day. This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officers reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.
An investigation is ongoing, but Potterand, it seems, every police officer in America by extensionhas already been judged to be guilty.
We need to abolish American policing as it currently exists, .
Just 6% were unarmed.
0.0016% of all people who encountered a law enforcement officer in 2019 were killed by one.
William Howard Green Jr
According to CBS affiliate WUSA, 43-year-old William Howard Green was fatally shot by a Prince George County police officer while he was handcuffed.
Police said that the officer was responding to a 911 call alleging a male driver struck multiple cars along a road. The officer was told at the scene that Green was asleep in his car. The officer then took him out, handcuffed him and put him in the front seat of the police cruiser, police said.
Minutes later, a second officer heard gunshots and found that Green had been shot seven times. He later died at the hospital.
Also Check: Can I Join The Police Academy At 18
Police Shootings: A Closer Look At Unarmed Fatalities
Police Shootings: A Closer Look at Unarmed Fatalities
Last year, fifty-five people were killed by police shootings while unarmed. This number comes from the Washington Post dataset of fatal police shootings, which is aggregated by local news reports, law enforcement websites and social media as well as other independent databases. In this dataset, the recorded weapons that victims were armed with during the fatal encounter range from wasp spray to barstools. Here is a breakdown of the types of arms that were involved in the fatal police shootings of 2019.
We see a large number of fatalities among people who were armed with guns and knives, but also vehicles and toy weapons. In my opinion cars and toys are not weapons and would more appropriately fit the category of unarmed. But what exactly does unarmed mean? The basic Google search definition is not equipped with or carrying weapons. Okay, well what is a weapon? Another Google search defines weapons as a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage. Toys and cars were not designed for inflicting bodily harm, but may have been used to do so. Now with the same logic, would we call our arms and legs weapons, since many people have used their appendages to inflict bodily harm? No. So why do we distinguish the cars and toys from the unarmed status?
Now lets look at the breakdown by race, specifically White versus Black .
Us Police Have Killed 135 Unarmed Black People Since 201: Npr
A review of thousands of documents found officers with troubled pasts are hired and rarely face prison time over the deaths.
An investigation by US broadcaster National Public Radio published on Monday found that 135 unarmed Black people have been killed by police since 2015, often by police with red flags on their record.
NPR looked at thousands of pages of police records in its reviews of the deaths and found that 75 percent of the officers are white. Nineteen officers involved in the shootings had little time on the force. One had been an active police officer for four hours before the shooting.
The report also found officers who had troubled pasts of domestic violence and drug abuse, repeated citizens complaints and use of force incidents, officers convicted of crimes and others who violated departmental policies.
One officer, Zechariah Presley, who is white, performed poorly during interviews with the St Marys Police Department in 2016, who did not offer him a job.
Presley travelled about 13 kilometres to a nearby town and applied for a position in the Kingsland Police Department.
He was found to have 10 red flags by hiring authorities, the report notes, including admitting to being involved with domestic violence, assault and buying or selling drugs. Presley was still hired.
Green was hit at least five times and died.
You May Like: How To Become A Police Officer In Wilmington Nc
How Many White Americans And Black Americans Are Killed By Us Police
According to MappingPoliceViolence.org, whose data include not only police shootings but also other fatal actions such as the suffocation restraint that killed George Floyd in 2020, U.S. police have killed approximately 400-500 white Americans per year over the past half-decade. In the case of black Americans, the yearly averages between 250-280 people killed per year.
March : Breonna Taylor
Former police officer Derek Chauvin – who had knelt on Mr Floyd – was convicted on charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter after a three-week trial.
Three other officers who were involved in the incident will be tried later this year accused of aiding and abetting Mr Chauvin.
Also Check: How To Find My Police Report Number
The Claim: More Black People Have Died In Floyd Aftermath Than In Police Shootings In 2019
Some of the earliest demonstrations, particularly in Minneapolis where Floyd was killed, turned violent, resulting in damages to buildings and other property.
The damages were met with criticism and resulted in curfews across the country. Critics of the riots argued that the violence took away from the importance of the message, while supporters said the demonstrations were necessary in order to be heard.
One Instagram post from conservative content creator Drew Hernandez, claimed “More Black people have been killed due to the George Floyd riots than unarmed Black people fatally shot by police in 2019. This is not progress.”
Already A Particularly Deadly Year For People Killed In Police Encounters Cbc Research Shows
CBCâs Deadly Force database looks at role of race, mental health in deaths
Inayat SinghCBC News â¢ July 23, 2020
It has already been a particularly deadly year in terms of people killed in encounters with police in Canada â and Black and Indigenous people continue to be over-represented among the fatalities.
There were 30 people killed after police used force in Canada in the first half of 2020, which is the full-year average for such deaths over the past 10 years . This is according to the Deadly Force database, updated and maintained by the CBCâs own researchers.
The database shows Black and Indigenous people are disproportionately represented amongst the victims compared to their share of the overall population.
The data also finds most of those killed in police encounters suffer from mental illness or substance abuse.
There is no government database listing deaths at the hands of the police available to the public in Canada, so CBC News created its own. The CBCâs research librarians have collected detailed information on each case, such as ethnicity, the role of mental illness or substance abuse, the type of weapon used and the police service involved, to create a picture of who is dying in police encounters.
The database focuses onfatal encounters where police used force. It does not include in-custody deaths, self-inflicted wounds as a result of suicide or attempts to evade police, or accidental police-caused deaths .
You May Like: What Kind Of Drones Do Police Use
No Progress Since George Floyd: Us Police Killing Three People A Day
As Joe Biden pushes to fund the police, data from Mapping Police Violence shows high rates of deaths at the hands of law enforcement persist
Police officers in America continue to kill people at an alarming rate, according to a data analysis that has raised concerns about the Biden administrations push to expand police investments amid growing concerns about crime.
Law enforcement in the US have killed 249 people this year as of 24 March, averaging about three deaths a day and mirroring the deadly force trends of recent years, according to Mapping Police Violence, a non-profit research group. The data, experts say, suggests in the nearly two years since George Floyds murder, the US has made little progress in preventing deaths at the hands of law enforcement, and that the 2020 promises of systemic reforms have fallen short.
Police have killed roughly 1,100 people each year since 2013. In 2021, officers killed 1,136 people one of the deadliest years on record, Mapping Police Violence reported. The organization tracks deaths recorded by police, governments and the media, including cases where people were fatally shot, beaten, restrained, and Tasered. The Washington Post has reported similar trends, and found that 2021 broke the record for fatal shootings by officers since the newspaper started its database tracking in 2015.
Advocates argue that the persistent rate of killings was a critical reason the US should not be expanding its police forces.
How Many Black Men Have Been Killed This Year
Of the 765 people killed by police in 2020, 28 percent of them have been black people – despite comprising only 13 percent of the US population.
Global demonstrations have also taken place to protest the harsh treatment of black people by law enforcement.
Also Check: How Do You Get A Police Report Online
Funding The Police Versus Redirecting Funding
For a period after Floyds killing, lawmakers vowed to cut police funding in many cities. But many of those budgets were restored or increased by the end of 2021. That happened even as the national rate of police killings overall, but especially of Black Americans, increased, according to The Washington Posts data.
Theyre turning these encounters into ghastly encounters, said Mac, the activist. I dont know any other instance where an apparatus can be so bad at its job and continue to get increased funding. It really flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Its just putting bad money on top of bad money.
Beyond defunding the police, she said, redirecting resources should be the objective.
I dont see a way out of this until we look beyond policing for safety for our communities, she said. The very righteous call to defund the police is not just about taking resources away from the police. Its also about where we put those resources to get us beyond these moments of people being killed.
Like others who want to abolish police and systems of incarceration, Mac said funds intended for police should instead address root problems like ensuring safe housing and sufficient clothing, food and mental health and addiction services.
Reginald Leon Boston Jr
According to CBS affiliate WJAX, 20-year-old Reginald Leon Boston Jr. was fatally shot by Jacksonville police who said they had set up an undercover operation to find a man who robbed someone at gunpoint. Police had three suspects, including Boston.
Officers attempted to arrest Boston and two others when suspects allegedly displayed a gun that they would not put down, WJAX reported. Officers shot two suspects, including Boston. Boston was killed at the scene.
It is not clear if Boston was the person holding the gun.
Recommended Reading: What Education Is Required To Be A Police Officer
Perception Of Violence And Race
Why are African-Americans more likely to be killed? To understand that, one needs to dive into sociology. African-Americans are more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods and suffer from a lack of access to basic facilities. That leads to a rise in crime rates, which in turn leads to aggressive over-policing and the use of force. It’s a deadly cycle that is an inherent part of American life. Historically, African-Americans are also incarcerated at higher rates than White Americans. Both these factors lead people to perceive Black Americans are more dangerous, a bias that police officers implicitly have.
It’s not just police officers, the perception that African Americans are more dangerous is a common bias shared by many Americans. Joshua Correl, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, found that “civilians were more likely to shoot unarmed Black men, relative to unarmed White men and even armed White men, which was attributed to the stereotypes associating Black people with danger.”
That stereotype isn’t new. Going back to the colonial empire, White men have always viewed Blacks as “savages”, over the years that bias has been fine-tuned to fit into modern society. Today, racial bias against African-Americans takes many forms. The link between violence and race is seen in more overt examples like incarceration and police violence, and subtle ones like hiring and firing.
William Wade Burgess Iii
St. Louis, Missouri
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 27-year-old William Wade Burgess III was killed by an off-duty St. Louis sheriff’s deputy. Burgess had allegedly stolen a pickup truck and tried to run over the truck’s owner and a young boy.
Burgess crashed the truck and the deputy chased and eventually shot him in the chest, the Post-Dispatch reported. Burgess, who was not armed when he was shot, died at the hospital.
Burgess’ mother said he had been in a mental health facility months prior and that, at the time of the incident, he was battling heroin addiction and paranoia.
Recommended Reading: Can I Call The Police To Ask A Question
Killings Of Black People In The Usa
On 25 May 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year old Black man, died after a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota kept his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
This horrific killing sparked widespread protests across the USA and beyond, calling for the officers involved to be held accountable and systemic change in policing more broadly.
Georges death came in the wake of a series of acts of racist violence against Black people that illustrates astounding levels of violence and discrimination. The police in the USA commit human rights violations at a shockingly frequent rate, particularly against racial and ethnic minorities, and especially Black people.
Protesters want the US justice system to be fundamentally reformed to end the deadly police violence that ravages communities of colour, particularly Black communities, across the country.
Leveraging The Race Of The Officer
Intuitively, it seems reasonable to assume that black police officers have less antiblack bias than white officers do. So in theory, if white officers are shooting black suspects out of antiblack bias, black officers should shoot black suspects less often.
However, this assumption is difficult to leverage in a statistical analysis. For one thing, the African-American population is not evenly distributed throughout the country in places with higher black populations, both police and civilians are more likely to be black, causing officer and civilian race to be correlated in national data sets unless researchers account for local demographics. Also, black officers are more likely to be assigned to black neighborhoods even within some cities, often by choice. For example, a recent study by Bocar Ba and four coauthors, using data from Chicagowhere district assignments are based on officers preferences and seniority found: Black officers have the greatest preference for working in majority-black districts and the lowest preference for working in majority-white districts.
Bearing in mind these limitations, it helps to divide research on officer race into three categories: studies focusing on the overall racial composition of police departments studies of the correlation between officer and civilian race among those shot by police and an especially promising study that leveraged the quasi-random assignment of cops of different races to calls for service.
Also Check: Where Can I Buy A Police Scanner