16 Unarmed Black People Killed by Police this Year

Originally published on December 13, 2014, at NationofChange.org

At least 16 unarmed black people have been killed by police officers this year including a woman and two children. According to law enforcement officials, these people lost their lives in instances of poor police training, miscommunication, justified tactics, and excessive brutality. Although the majority of unarmed individuals killed by police this year have been black, officers have also been killing unarmed people of other races.

On January 16, Jordan Baker was allegedly killed in a case of mistaken identity. Working off-duty as a mall security guard, Houston PD Officer Juventino Castro confronted Baker because he fit the description of some robbery suspects who had recently held up three stores while wearing black hoodies. Castro claims Baker charged at him, forcing the off-duty officer to shoot Baker to death. A grand jury is deciding whether to charge Castro with killing Baker.

In August, North Augusta Public Safety Officer Justin Craven was charged with misconduct in office for gunning down a 68-year-old unarmed man named Ernest Satterwhite. After a slow-speed chase that ended in Satterwhite’s driveway on February 9, Officer Craven ran up to Satterwhite’s car door and shot him to death. The prosecution sought to charge Craven with voluntary manslaughter, but the grand jury indicted him on a misdemeanor instead. Satterwhite’s family has filed a lawsuit alleging Craven had disobeyed orders and lied about Satterwhite trying to grab his gun.

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Autopsy Reveals Cop Shot Mentally Ill Man in the Back

Originally published on December 3, 2014, at NationofChange.org

In response to the district attorney’s lethargic investigation, the family of a mentally ill man who was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee police officer has released his autopsy report this week. According to the medical examiner, seven of the gunshots were fired in a downward trajectory and one of the bullet wounds proves he had been shot in the back.

On April 30, Dontre Hamilton took a nap next to the statue in Red Arrow Park while waiting for his brother, Nate, to give him a ride. Following company policy, a Starbucks employee called 911 to report someone sleeping in front of the store. Around 1pm, two Milwaukee police officers responded to the call and approached Hamilton.

The officers spoke with Hamilton for a few minutes and left without arresting him. A Starbucks employee called 911 again asking officers to remove Hamilton even though he was not panhandling or bothering anyone. Several minutes later, the same two officers returned and approached the coffee shop.

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