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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FBI Investigates Handcuffed Suspect Shot in the Chest

Originally published on September 5, 2014, at NationofChange.org

After months of silence, the FBI is launching an investigation into the alleged suicide of Victor White III. Shot in the chest with his hands cuffed behind his back, White reportedly produced a hidden gun in the back of a patrol car and killed himself. Contradicting the claims of his arresting officers, a recent autopsy report proves the police lied about his death while leaving further questions unanswered.

According to a Louisiana State Police press release, deputies with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a fight on the evening of March 2. After confronting White and searching him, the deputies allegedly found drugs in his pockets. They placed White into custody, cuffed his hands behind his back, and put him in the backseat of a patrol car. Upon arriving at the Sheriff’s Office, White reportedly became uncooperative, pulled out a gun, and shot himself in the back. But witness reports and the coroner’s office contradict the police’s allegations.

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Demand Justice for Handcuffed Suspect Shot in the Chest by Police

Originally published on September 2, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana

Goal: Investigate the alleged “suicide” of a handcuffed black suspect who police claim shot himself in the chest

Notorious for excessive brutality and corruption, police officers in Louisiana are attempting to cover up the murder of 22-year-old Victor White III by falsely labeling his death a suicide. At first, law enforcement officials claimed White produced a hidden gun and shot himself in the back. The autopsy report refutes their claims by revealing White had been shot in the chest with his hands cuffed behind his back. An investigation into the shooting of White must be launched to provide justice for his family and punishment for his killers.

According to the police, White had been arrested for a fight he was not involved in and taken into custody. After searching him twice and claiming to find drugs on him, the police cuffed White’s hands behind his back and placed him inside the back of the patrol car. As they arrived at the station, police claim White became uncooperative and refused to exit the vehicle. Even though they searched him twice, White allegedly pulled out a hidden gun and fatally shot himself in the back.

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