question archive Armed and Dangerous? An Examination of Fatal Shootings of Unarmed Black People by Police   by Cassandra Chaney, Ph

Armed and Dangerous? An Examination of Fatal Shootings of Unarmed Black People by Police   by Cassandra Chaney, Ph

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Armed and Dangerous? An Examination of Fatal Shootings of Unarmed Black People by Police



Cassandra Chaney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, College of Human Sciences and Education, School of Social Work, Department of Child and Family Studies, Louisiana State University


Ray V. Robertson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University


Given the increasing number of unarmed Black men murdered by members of law enforcement, specifically the deaths of 78 Black unarmed males and females between 1999 and 2015, this study will examine whether the policemen involved in these murders were indicted. Through the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT), the following three questions were foundational to this study: (1) How does the murder of unarmed Black people by police support White Supremacy? (2) What do non-indictments of police suggest about the lives of unarmed Black people? (3) How does the murder of unarmed Black people escalate individual, familial, and communal mistrust of police? Content analysis of the data revealed the murder of unarmed Blacks supports White Supremacy by advancing the racist legacy of citizen slave patrols that were initiated during slavery, assumes that Blacks are dangerous, sub-human, and inherently criminal, and results in little personal accountability for Black murder among members of law enforcement. In general, officers are not indicted for the murder of Blacks, which suggests the lives of Blacks have no value. Ultimately, the death of unarmed Black people greatly undermines the confidence members of this group have in police and increases the likelihood they will regard law enforcement as a threat to their individual, family, and communal safety. Key Words: African-American; Black; critical race theory; discrimination; excessive force; men; murder; police; racism; shootings; white supremacy


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“Please don’t let me die” – 16-year old Kimani Gray’s last words on March 9, 2013

The aforementioned five words were the last ones uttered by a young unarmed Black male that died at the hands of police. Since police officers who come face-to-face with armed and dangerous suspects are trained to "shoot to kill"(Danyiko, 2014), it is imperative that scholars critically examine circumstances surrounding the deaths of unarmed African Americans. This topic is significant for four reasons. First, compared to other developed countries such as England, Australia, and Germany, the United States has a significantly higher number of civilians shot and killed by police (The Economist, August 15, 2014). According to a recent report, American police killed more people in March 2015 than the entire United Kingdom police have killed since 1900. Specifically, a total of 111 people were killed by police in the United States in March of 2015. Since 1900, in the entire United Kingdom, 52 people have been killed by police (King, April 1, 2015).

Second, the number of Blacks killed by police has reached epidemic proportions (Chaney

& Robertson, 2013; Cush, 2013; Fletcher, 2014; Gabiddon, 2010; Gabbidon & Greene, 2013; Huff Post, 2014; Kane & White, 2009; Karenga, 2010; Mitchell, 2014; Police Brutality Statistics, 2011; Robertson, 2014; Staples, 2011, Tonry, 2011). In a report on the extrajudicial killings of Black people by police, security guards, or self-appointed law enforcers, the Malcolm X grassroots organization found that from January 1 – June 30, 2012, one Black person was killed by law enforcement or someone acting in such a capacity every 36 hours, representing a total of 120 persons. Moreover, while five percent of the Blacks killed were women, the bulk of those killed have been Black men like Rodney King. Perhaps more alarming is that 46% of those killed were unarmed (just like King) and 36% were alleged to have weapons by police, including a cane, a toy gun, and a bb gun (Operation Ghetto Storm, 2012). Sadly, while the murders of Black men by police are well-known, incidents in which Black women are murdered by members of law enforcement receive far less attention (Dionne, 2014). Even Black children are not immune to being victims of police violence. One study found Black boys as young as 10-years old may be seen as less innocent than their white peers, are much more likely to be mistaken for being older and to be perceived as guilty, and face police violence if they are accused of committing a crime (Goff, 2014).

Third, the increasing number of incidents in which police have used excessive force or

killed unarmed Blacks (or other persons of color) has resulted in increased local and national scrutiny of law enforcement agencies (Aguilar, 2012; Boyer, 2001; Clifford, 2014; Crochett, 2015; Desmond-Harris, 2012; Elicker, 2008; Hassell & Archbold, 2010; Kumeh, 2010; Lozano, 2012; Rafail, Soule, & McCarthy, 2012; Stuart, 2011). The DOJ (Department of Justice) has investigated over 17 police departments across the country and has monitored no fewer than five settlements involving four police agencies since 2010 (Gabbidon & Greene, 2013). The recent findings of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation of the Ferguson Police Department confirmed the cries of many Black men and women that have made complaints about police.


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In particular, the DOJ found the Ferguson Police Department frequently engaged in “implicit and explicit racial bias" and "routinely violating the constitutional rights of its black residents" (The United States Department of Justice, Wednesday, March 4, 2015). As a result of the DOJ’s findings on the Ferguson Police Department, greater attention has been given to simultaneously protecting members of law enforcement whose mission is to protect and serve as well as protecting members of the citizenry from being harmed by police.

Finally, this paper will critically examine the circumstances around the deaths of 78 unarmed Black males and females by police in various parts of the United States between 1999 and 2015. Since the number of police beatings and killings of African Americans and other people of color, continue almost unabated since the Rodney King incident (African Americans Killed By Police, 2014; Victim Archive of Law Enforcement Murders, 2014), we will critically examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths of African Americans. The scholarly and societal importance of this examination of Black lives has been reinforced by "Black lives matter,” the rallying cry of the new movement against racist police violence,” which has been embraced by people of different races across America (Petersen-Smith, 2014). While the media is instrumental in giving national attention to a relatively few number of murdered Blacks (e.g., Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, or Eric Garner), our study validates the lives of Black men and women that received much less public attention.

This paper has three fundamental goals. The first goal is to examine how the fatal

shootings of Blacks by police support the aims of White Supremacy. The second goal is to examine the outcome of the fatality for the offending officer. The final goal is to discuss how Black fatalities greatly minimize Blacks’ individual and collective confidence in law enforcement. Through the use of Critical Race Theory, the following three questions were foundational to this study: (1) How does the murder of unarmed Black people by police support White Supremacy? (2) What do non-indictments of police suggest about the lives of unarmed Black people? (3) How does the murder of unarmed Black people escalate individual, familial, and communal mistrust of police?

In the section that follows, we present noteworthy scholarship related to the fatality of

Blacks by police. We begin by discussing the historicity of law enforcement in America. After this, we discuss the relevance of Critical Race Theory (CRT) to our current discussion. Then, we present the methodology on which this study was built. Finally, we present demographic information on the Blacks murdered by police between 1999 and 2015, the geographical location of those murdered, the unique circumstances of those murdered, as well as the aftermath for police in the wake of these fatalities.




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Review of Literature Historically, a large segment of the European American population has demonstrated an extraordinary amount of racial animus toward African Americans (Alexander, 2010; Bonilla & Rosa, 2015; Bonilla-Silva, 2009; Fields, 1990; Marger, 2012; Tonry, 2011). Since White policemen are selected from the larger White society, it stands to reason that policemen, who are a small subset of the population, share the same racial animosity towards African Americans as members in the larger population (Chaney & Robertson, 2014). Moreover, members of law enforcement, along with judges, are more likely to believe that African Americans ‘get what they deserve’ in their interactions with the legal system (Chaney & Robertson, 2014; Smith & Hattery, 2009; Walker, Spohn, & Delone, 2004). It is especially noteworthy that in some cases, minority members of law enforcement are more likely to assault a member of their same racial group. One study revealed African American officers to be more likely to hold negative ideals of African Americans and to be more inclined to brutalize African American suspects than White suspects (Dulaney, 1996).

The findings of one study are especially noteworthy. In their study of police officer attitudes and treatment toward Black men, Plant and Peruche (2005) found widespread perceptions of African American males as potential perpetrators legitimized the use of brutality. More seriously, officer’s general caricature of African American men as aggressive and criminal justified their disproportionate application of deadly force (Dottolo & Stewart, 2008; Goldkamp, 1982). Thus, when considering instances where officers act aggressively toward Black men, it is logical to acknowledge that these actions may be partially influenced by race (Jefferis, Butcher, & Hanley, 2011). Additionally, understanding the attitudes that law enforcement typically have of African American men can also be gleaned from official government investigations of police malfeasance.

In their analysis of findings from the Office of Civil Rights’ 2010 study of the New

Orleans Police Department, Gabbidon and Greene (2013) found support for Goldkamp’s (1982) earlier exploration of why people of color, particularly African Americans, are overrepresented as victims of police use of excessive force. To clarify, Goldkamp (1982) presented two primary explanations for minority over representation as victims of police use of excessive force: (1) differential law enforcement; and (2) minorities are involved in crimes that increase their rate of victimization by police. Essentially, Gabbidon and Greene’s (2013) analysis of the OCR’s report discovered strong support for the racism that motivates the mistreatment of Black men and women (Appleby, Colon, & Hamilton, 2011; Bell, 1992, 1991; Bryson, 1998; DuBois, 2004; Katz-Fishman, Scott, & Gomes, 2014; King, 2011; Martin, Mahalik, & Woodland, 2001; Pieterse, Todd, Neville, & Carter, 2012).



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An additional lesson regarding police views of African Americans are evident when one examines the circumstances surrounding the massive drug sting that occurred in Tulia, Texas on July 23, 1999. On this date, Tom Coleman, a corrupt undercover cop reportedly framed over 12% of the city’s African American population, which involved approximately 350 persons (Johnson, 2007). During this massive police drug sting, 38 of the 47 individuals arrested were African-Americans and came from the small section of town in which Blacks lived (Johnson, 2007). Sadly, approximately one of five African American residents of the town was arrested, and were done so solely on the word of Officer Coleman who worked for the Panhandle Regional Narcotics Trafficking Task Force (Balko, 2014). The prosecution accused each defendant of dealing cocaine to Coleman (Gupta, 2004). Coleman was later honored as “officer of the year” in the state of Texas and was photographed with then Attorney General, John Coryn. Even more disturbing was that the cases against the accused lacked virtually no corroborating evidence of the alleged drug sales. After a thorough investigation of Coleman’s actions was conducted, he was found guilty of the following ethical missteps: (1) falsifying reports; (2) perjury; (3) misidentifying defendants; and (4) misrepresentation of the nature of his investigative work (Gupta, 2004). In 2004, several of the defendants shared in a 5 million dollar settlement from a Civil Rights lawsuit (Johnson, 2007). In 2005, Coleman was convicted of perjury, sentenced to 10 years’ probation and fined $7,500.00 (Balko, 2014). How Perceptions of African Americans Influence how Members of This Group are Treated by Members of Law Enforcement

The marginalization of African Americans by police officers begins early, specifically during pre-pubescent years (Goff, Jackson, Culotta, Di Leone, & DiTomasso, 2014). Goff et al. (2014) examined whether African American boys are given the protections of childhood as their White counterparts. Tragically, African American boys are viewed as older than their actual age, and are also believed to be less innocent than their same age White peers. In fact, the findings demonstrated that generally perceiving African Americans as “apes” is an accurate predictor of racial disparities in police violence toward children. The aforementioned is reason for concern because African American children are 18 times more likely to be sentenced as adults than White children (Poe-Yamagata & Jones, 2007). Therefore, the assumed guilt of Black children has deleterious consequences for their life chances.

The experiences of Black men with police has been less than favorable. In their

qualitative study of how 40 young African American men experienced and discussed police harassment and police misconduct, Brunson and Miller (2006) revealed these men believed police viewed them as ‘symbolic assailants.’ The experiences of these men have been corroborated by research that has affirmed police perceptions of African American men as criminal to be the impetus behind the police brutality and deadly force experienced by these men (Jacobs & O’Brien, 1998; Smith & Holmes, 2003). Lastly, negative perceptions of African American men by police motivates law enforcement to be less responsive to crime in minority communities (Brunson & Miller, 2006).


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In a structural analysis of police brutality complaints, Smith and Holmes (2003) suggested the following to understand why such incidents occur: (1) authorities and White citizens may stereotype minorities as dangerous and criminally prone; (2) authorities perceive racially dissimilar minority groups as threatening to the existing social order; and (3) the police may recognize poor minority citizens as a direct threat to their well-being. The aforementioned serve to justify the imposition of stiffer formal and informal sanctions by police upon minorities in general, and African Americans in particular.

Finally, drawing on in-depth interviews of African American males in regards to their

encounters with police, Brunson (2007) revealed these men strongly believed members of law enforcement did not like them. While the latter is not particularly shocking, its significance is supported by other findings in the police-minority relations literature. For instance, Weitzer and Tuch (2005) revealed African American respondents were more likely to be victims of racially- biased policing and to be more likely than Whites to have a household member exposed to similar treatment. Also, African Americans encounter a disproportionate number of deleterious occurrences with police because of disparaging ideas that police have of them. Such ideas contribute to the unwarranted application of physical and deadly force, officer misconduct, slower response time and fewer police services (Anderson, 2000; Jacobs & O’Brien, 1998; Kane, 2002).

Police Brutality as an Extension of White Supremacy White supremacy is a historically positioned and institutionally embedded system of exploitation of people of color across the diaspora rooted in the premise that individuals who are racially-classified as “White” are inherently superior to individuals who are non-White (Blay, 2011; Halley, Esheleman, & Vijaya, 2011; Hoffer, 2012; Kelly, 2010; Thomas, 1996). Gilborn (2006) stressed White Supremacy is a comprehensive condition whereby interests and observations of White subjects are continuously placed center stage and assumed to be ‘normal.’ In addition, this social reality results in primacy being placed on ‘Whiteness’ and a racialized value on politics, policy, education and every other sphere of public life that has become deeply ingrained in the American social fabric. Therefore, as a political, economic, and cultural system whereby Whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas about White superiority become widespread and are maintained through the subordination of non-Whites within a broad array of institutions and social settings (Ansley, 1997).


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White supremacy positions Whites as recipients of unearned privileges, normalizes their values and oppresses non-Whites through various ways (Robertson, Bravo, & Chaney, 2014). Thus, White Supremacy specifically denies African American men any sense of self- determination and collective agency as doing so would place the foundation of White supremacy at risk (Gillborn, 2006; Wilson, 1993). To quell the likelihood for African American men to collectively advance, White Supremacy perpetually denigrates, controls, and makes these men appear inherently dangerous and sub-human (Karenga, 2010). Possibly, the institution that most closely approximates an extension of White supremacy is police/law enforcement (Skolnick & Fyfe, 1993).

In the American South, the modern police evolved from a system of citizen slave patrols that were responsible for maintaining the system of enslavement and the established racial order, preventing rebellions and uprisings, and capturing runaway slaves (Dulaney, 1996; Palmer, 2012; Reichel, 1999). The plantation overseer policeman or “patroller” was allowed to operate with impunity and dispensed horrific forms of injustice that included, but not was limited to, castrations, whippings, maimings, and lynchings (Anderson & Anderson, 2006; Dulaney, 1996; Robertson, 2014). In the South, lynching was such an effective method of policing the activities of African American men that from 1880-1950 there were at least 3,500 lynchings. Furthermore, the majority of the victims of these lynchings were African American men who were frivolously accused of violating a racial norm of some kind (Loewen, 2005). To put this in context, Ward (2012) noted from 1890-1917 two to three African Americans (particularly those that lived in the South) were hanged, burned, or quietly murdered each week.

Dulaney (1996) characterized the slave patrol as the first distinctively American police system that established a pattern of over-policing of peoples of African descent, a system that still exists today. So popular was policing as a form of racialized social control, in 1837 the one- hundred member slave patrol in Charleston, South Carolina was arguably the largest police force in the United States (Gaines & Kappeler, 2005; Shelden, 2001). Media Images of African Americans

Contemporary insensitivity to police brutalization against African American men is enhanced and given traction via negative portrayals of these men in the media (Chaney & Robertson, 2013b). The origins of negative media images of African American men in media can be traced to the 1830s and the introduction of Blackface minstrelsy, which was founded by Thomas Rice, Dan Emmett, Stephen Foster, and E. P. Christy (Patton, 2008; Saxton, 1975). For almost the next two decades, the “jumping Jim Crow” character became the widely-accepted conceptualization of ‘Blackness’ on stage. Given the racially egregious consequences of the “jumping Jim Crow” image, the strongest promoter of modern racially-negative media portrayals occurred in D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation (1915).


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While this film has been characterized as a cinematic masterpiece, it greatly advanced the aims of White Supremacy. In particular, this film had a deleterious effect on African American males because they were depicted as brutes whose sole intent in life was to rape White women and destroy the White man’s way of life (Loewen, 2007).

As an effective Ku Klux Klan recruitment tool, this film galvanized support for the Klan as the preeminent savior of White southern civilization. So far-reaching was the negative effects of this movie for African American people, during a private White House screening by-then President Woodrow Wilson, he reportedly described the film as painting an accurate portrait of African Americans (Loewen, 2007). In short, this film was a catalyst for most of the early 20th century media caricatures of African Americans that still exist today (Baker, 1996; Menzel- Baker, Motley, & Henderson, 2004).

The aforementioned images of African Americans have contributed to what Armour

(1997) calls Negrophobia, or an irrational fear of African Americans. This irrational fear has contributed to Whites’ general desensitization to African American suffering of all types as well as decreased support for social safety nets. Thus, African American males are devalued and seen as expendable (Burrell, 2010).

Unfortunately, Black as a metaphor for criminality is so deeply embedded in the minds of

societal members that Whites have reported seeing an African American criminal suspect at the scene of a crime when none was actually present (Chaney & Robertson, 2013b; Leverentz, 2012; Oliver & Fonash, 2002). In a study to determine the effect of network news images on viewer perceptions, Dixon (2008) found that exposure to network news depressed estimates of African American income, increased the endorsement of stereotypes of African Americans as poor and intimidating, and were associated with higher racism scores.

Media characterizations of violent criminals as Black has been deeply etched in the

psyche of many viewers (Dixon & Maddox, 2005; Leverentz, 2012; Oliver & Fonash, 2002; Oliver, Jackson, Moses, & Dangerfield, 2004). Such negative portrayals of African Americans in media have resulted in wanton stereotyping, extreme fear of African Americans, and African Americans with darker complexions and more Afrocentric phenotypic features being perceived as more worthy of the death penalty in research experiments (Blair, Judd, & Chapleau 2004; Chaney & Robertson, 2013b; Dixon, 2008; Eberhardt, Davies, Purdie-Vaughns, & Johnson, 2006; Maddox & Gray, 2002; Peffley & Hurwitz, 2013). All of the aforementioned serve to legitimize White supremacy, legitimize White life, and de-legitimize African American life so that incidents of police violence against African Americans are not punished nor viewed as a larger societal problem.


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The De-sensitization to African American Death Since members of law enforcement play a pivotal role in maintaining White Supremacy, it should not come as a surprise that Whites are generally desensitized to police use of excessive force against African Americans in general, and African American men, in particular. In a recent poll administered by the 2014 General Social Survey conducted by the independent research center the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, seven of ten White Americans polled posited they could envision a condition in which they would endorse an officer striking an adult male citizen. On the contrary, slightly more than four of ten African Americans (42%) and slightly less than four of ten Latinos (38%) would approve of such an action (Holland, 2015).

In an analysis of accounts of more than 12,000 police homicides from 1980 to 2012 contained in the FBI’s supplementary homicide report, young African American men (ages 15- 19) were twenty-one times more likely to get killed by police than their White counterparts (Gabrielson, Jones, & Sagara, 2014). Additionally, the analysis found that African American police officers account for only 10% of police killings and 78% of their victims are African American whereas White officers killed 91% of Whites who died at the hands of police and were responsible for 68% of deaths of people of color at the hands of police (Gabrielson et al., 2014). Even more disturbing is the fact that the above figures are a gross under-representation as police departments are not required to submit records of fatal shootings. In fact, several police departments have not submitted data regarding the number and/or circumstances of fatal shootings to the FBI in years. For instance, New York City has not submitted fatal shooting data to the FBI since 2007 (Gabrielson et al., 2014). Generally speaking, police officers do not serve time for killing African American men. According to analysis by The Washington Post and Bowling Green State University, which was based on public records and interviews with law enforcement and legal experts, it was discovered that officers were only charged 54 times for killing civilians since 2005 (Kindy & Kelly, 2015). Also, more than three-fourths of the officers charged were White and two-thirds of the victims were people of color (all but two were African Americans). Forty-three of the charged involved the following variables/factors: (1) A victim was shot in the back; (2) there was a video recording of the incident; (3) incriminating testimony from fellow officers; or (4) allegations of a cover-up (Kindy & Kelly, 2015). Of the 54 instances in which officers were charged, 35 had their cases resolved (21 were acquitted or cases were dropped) and when convicted they served an average of four years behind bars, some only a few weeks (Kindy & Kelly, 2005). Consequently, juries and Whites in general have trouble seeing African Americans as “true” victims and thus may find it more difficult to acknowledge Blacks’ humanity (Feagin, 2014; Fukurai, Butler, & Krooth, 1993; Fukurai, & Krooth, 2003; Tonry, 2011).


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As of April 15, 2015, unofficially 255 African Americans have been killed by agents of law enforcement in the United States in 2015 (Doy News, 2015). This statistic almost certainly represents an under-estimate since there is no standardized database on police killings of African Americans (Chaney & Robertson, 2013a; Gabrielson et al. 2014). The lack of a large-scale governmental response to this incessant problem represents a major judicial blemish on the United States. When examined from a socio-historical context, it appears that the slave patrols that were a fixture of early policing in America have not ended, have gained greater force, and that ultimately, the lives of this nation’s African American citizens do not matter. Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a useful theoretical approach to examine the deaths of unarmed Blacks in America by police. According to renowned Black Feminist Scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw (1995), “Critical Race Theory aims to reexamine the terms by which race and racism have negotiated in American consciousness, and to recover and revitalize the radical tradition of race-consciousness among African Americana and other peoples of color” (p. xiv). In addition to being a multidisciplinary perspective, Critical Race Theory focuses on the primacy of race and racism and their interconnectedness with other forms of subordination, questions the dominant belief system/status quo, is committed to social justice, and places a high value on society’s experiential knowledge (Crenshaw, 2011; 2002; Solorzano, Ceja, & Yosso, 2000; Yosso, Smith, Ceja, & Solorzano, 2009; Zuberi, 2011). Moreover, given this manuscript’s focus on the outcomes for members of law enforcement who have murdered unarmed African Americans, a critical race approach will highlight how White Supremacy is maintained as well as how Black life is minimized.

Methodology The methodology utilized in this study involved a careful analysis of the content provided in several public websites (Holsti, 1969) and involved several steps. The first step involved securing demographic information regarding the deceased from the following websites: ( 1666672349) and ( shoot-unarmed-man-oscar-grant-verdict-Mehserle). The second step involved entering the first and last names, gender, age, date of murder, location of murder, and the aftermath of the death (e.g., whether the officer was indicted, whether the family filed a law suit, whether a financial settlement was reached, how much the family was paid) into a 2015 Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software program (IBM SPSS Statistics). The third step involved calculating frequencies on the demographics of those murdered [See Table 1 for the Name, Gender, Age, Date of Murder, Location, and Aftermath for Police Responsible for Death of Unarmed Blacks between 1999 and 2015].


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Demographic Information on the Murdered According to Gawker, 78 incidents of police murders of Blacks occurred over a 16-year span, or specifically between 1999 and 2015. In two cases, two individuals (Black males) were murdered during the same incident (namely Ronald Beasley and Earl Murray of Dellwood, Missouri, and Ronald Madison and James Brisette of New Orleans, Louisiana). Sixty-six (66) males (85% of fatalities) were murdered and 12 females (15% of fatalities) were murdered. There was 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 1999; 4 substantiated murders of Black people in 2000; 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 2001; 3 substantiated murders of Black people in 2003; 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 2004; 2 murders in 2005; 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 2006; 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 2007; 1 substantiated murder of a Black person in 2008; 4 murders in 2009; 6 substantiated murders of Black people in 2010; 6 substantiated murders of Black people in 2011; 19 substantiated murders of Black people in 2012; 10 substantiated murders of Black people in 2013; 13 substantiated murders of Black people in 2014; and 3 substantiated murders of a Black person in 2015. The average number of murders per year was 4.56. Age. The age range of those murdered was 7 to 68 years old. The average age of those murdered was 27 years old. Fifteen individuals (19% of those murdered) were 19 years old or younger. Thirty-four individuals (44% of those murdered) were 20-29 years of age. Fifteen individuals (20% of those murdered) were 30-39 years of age. Ten individuals (13% of murdered) were 40-49 years of age. Three individuals (two males and one female), or 3% of those murdered were in their 50’s. One individual, a male (1% of those murdered) was in his 60’s. Location. Twenty-three (23) fatalities occurred in New York, (20 in New York City; 1 in Thornwood; 1 in White Plains; 1 in Brooklyn). Seven fatalities occurred in Ohio (2 in Cleveland, 2 in Cincinnati; 1 in Beavercreek; 1 in Dayton; 1 in Lima). Five fatalities occurred in Texas (1 in Austin; 1 in Bastrop; 1 in Dallas; 1 in Galveston; 1 in Houston). Four fatalities occurred in California (1 in Los Angeles; 1 in San Bernardino County; 1 in Oakland; 1 in Santa Rosa). Three fatalities occurred in Louisiana (2 in New Orleans; 1 in Iberia Parish). Three fatalities (4% of the total murders) occurred in Illinois (1 in Aurora; 1 in Chicago; 1 in Champaign). Two fatalities (3% of those murdered) occurred in Michigan (1 in Detroit; 1 in Southfield). Two fatalities occurred in Arkansas (1 in West Memphis; 1 in Jonesboro). Two fatalities occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada. One fatality (1% of those murdered) occurred in Phoenix Arizona. Two fatalities occurred in Missouri (1 in Dellwood; 1 in St. Louis). Two fatalities occurred in Florida (1 in Gainesville; 1 in Pensacola). One fatality occurred in each of the following areas: Dotham, Alabama; Denver, Colorado; Baltimore, Maryland; Bradfield Farms, North Carolina; North Charleston, South Carolina; Portland, Oregon; Fairfax County, Virginia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and Washington, State.


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Two individuals were murdered directly in front of (Aaron Campbell, age 25) or outside of their apartment (Amadou Diallo, age 23) and eight (8) individuals were murdered inside of their homes (Aiyana Jones, age 7; Ramarley Graham, age 18; Tarika Wilson, age 26; Shereece Francis, age 30; Carlos Alcis, age 43; Yvette Smith, age 47, Alberta Spruill, age 57; and Kenneth Chamberlain, age 68). Cases Involving Non-Police. Two fatalities (resulting in 3 fatalities, or 2.5% of total fatalities) involved non-police. In one case, a security guard was not indicted for the death of McKenzie Cochran (Abbey-Lambertz, 2014). In another case, Curtis Scott and Gary Jackson murdered Ervin Jefferson and were arrested and charged with impersonating police officers (NewsOne, 2012). Pending Cases. In six cases (involving a total of 6 families, or 8% of fatalities), the investigation is currently ongoing and a determination has not yet been reached. Indictments of Police Officers In 12 cases (15% of fatalities), the officer was indicted or charged. The first and last names of the murdered as well as the offending officer is as follows: (1) Yvette Smith (Deputy Daniel Willis, who shot Smith, was indicted on a murder charge); (2) Jonathan Ferrell (Officer Randall Kerrick was indicted on a charge of voluntary manslaughter. It took two grand juries to get there); (3) Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. (Officer Kleinert was indicted on a manslaughter charge); (4) Larry Eugene Jackson (Officer Kleinert was indicted on a manslaughter charge); (5) Wendell Allen (Officer Colclough pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to four years in prison in 2014); (6) Dante Price (Officers Justin Wissinger and Christopher Tarbert pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and abduction. They were sentenced from 3 to 11 years in prison); (7) Steven Eugene Washington (Police Chief Charlie Beck recommended that Officers Allan Corrales and George Diego be cleared of charges, but the civilian commission that oversees the LAPD disagreed; Washington's mother received $950,000 in a settlement with Los Angeles); (8) Oscar Grant (Officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to two years in prison); (9) Henry Glover (Officer David Warren was sentenced to 25 years and 9 months on a manslaughter conviction. Greg MacRae got 17 years and 3 months for obstruction of justice. About a year and a half later, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Warren's convictions and two of MacRae's, ordering new trials. Warren was acquitted in the retrial); (10) Ronald Madison and James Brisette (5 officers involved in the shooting were found guilty of various charges. Faulcon was sentenced to 65 years' imprisonment, Bowen and Sgt. Robert Gisevius Gisevius received 40 years, Officer Anthony Villavaso got 38 years, and Arthur "Archie" Kaufman, who was the investigator placed on the case and eventually found guilty of conspiring to conceal evidence, received 6 years.


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A month later, the same judge that convicted them, Kurt Engelhardt, vacated their convictions and ordered a new trial as a result of the defendants' appeal and "highly unusual, extensive and truly bizarre actions" by prosecutors); (11) Ousmane Zongo (Officer Conroy was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, received five years’ probation and lost his job); (12) Samuel Dubose (Officer Ray Tensing was indicted on murder charges and was terminated from his job with the University of Cincinnati). Non-Indictments of Police Officers In 49 cases (63% of fatalities), the officer was not indicted or charged. The first and last names of the murdered as well as the offending officer is as follows: (1) Michael Brown (No charges were filed against Officer Darren Wilson); (2) John Crawford (Non-indictment); (3) Kajieme Powell (Non-indictments - Powell's family has filed a wrongful death suit against the St. Louis police chief and arresting officers); (4) Ezell Ford (The LAPD, which hasn't closed the investigation into Ford's death, put an indefinite "investigative hold" on the coroner's autopsy report to prevent witness testimony from being tainted. However, the officer was cleared); (5) Eric Garner (Officer Pantaleo was not indicted); (6) Barrington Williams; (Williams died from an asthma attack after a police chase allegedly resulted from his illegal sale of subway swipes); (7) Miriam Carey (The U.S. Attorney's Office declined to press charges); (8) Andy Lopez (Non- indictment); (9) Kimani Grey (Non-indictments for the cops responsible for shooting Gray); (10) Clinton Allen; (11) Deion Fludd (Fludd's mother sued the officers involved, the NYPD, and the MTA); (12) Kyam Livingston (Family sued the NYPD); (13) Carlos Alcis (Alcis's family has filed a wrongful death suit against the city and the NYPD for $10 million); (14) Sharmel Edwards (The Clark County DA office ruled that the officers who killed Edwards acted "reasonably and lawfully); (15) Shantel Davis (The officers involved were placed on administrative duty); (16) Kendrec McDade (The police department and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office cleared the officers of wrongdoing); (17) Tamon Robinson; (18) Chavis Carter (21-year old African-American man who was found dead from a gunshot while handcuffed in the back of a police patrol car on July 29, 2012, was ruled a suicide by the Arkansas State Crime Lab); (19) Reynaldo Cuevas; (20) Noel Palanco; (19) Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell (Officer Brelo was acquitted in 2015); (21) Johnnie Kamahi Warren (An Alabama Bureau of Investigation probe; the sheriff's deputy was placed on paid leave); (22) Ramarley Graham (Officer Richard Haste, was initially indicted in 2012, but the case was later overturned. A second grand jury decided to not indict Haste); (23) Sgt. Manuel Loggins; (24) Raymond Allen; (25) Jersey Green (Police tasered Green during a chase, but Police Chief Greg Thomas said after the autopsy that the "Taser was not at all attributable." Green's official cause of death was cocaine overdose, according to his autopsy); (26) Shereese Francis (No criminal charges were filed); (27) Rekia Boyd (The officer was charged last November with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm, and reckless conduct, yet was later cleared of all charges); (28) Kenneth Chamberlain (Non-indictment for Officer Anthony Carelli, who shot Chamberlain twice); (29) Alonzo Ashley (Ashley's death was ruled a homicide by the coroner,


The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.8, no.4, September 2015



but no officers were charged); (30) Raheim Brown (Non-indictment for Officer Barhin Bhatt); (31) Derek Williams (Non-indictment for offending officer); (32) Kenneth Harding (San Francisco Police reported he was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound); (33) Reginald Doucet (The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled that officer Aaron Goff was justified in shooting Doucet); (34) Derrick Jones (Non-indictments for Officers Omar Daza-Quiroz and Eriberto Perez-Angeles); (35) Danroy Henry (Non-indictment for Officer Aaron Hess); (36) Aiyana Jones (Officer Weekley was charged with involuntary manslaughter. His first trial ended in a mistrial. So did his second); (37) Aaron Campbell (Non-indictment for Officer Ronald Frashour); (38) Steven Eugene Washington (Following the shooting, LAPD announced officers would complete a one-hour training on how to handle situations involving autistic individuals); (39) Kiwana Carrington (Non-indictment for Officer Daniel Norbits); (40) Niles Meservey (Non-indictment for Officer); (41) Shem Walker (Non-indictment for the officer); (42) Victor Steen (Non- indictment for Officer Jerald Ard; In the days after the incident, Officer Ard was placed on paid administrative leave, per Department policy. On October 13, 2009 he returned to plain-clothes duty doing administrative work for the Department's patrol division); (43) Tarika Wilson (Sgt. Joe Chavalia, who shot Wilson, was acquitted of two misdemeanors: negligent homicide and negligent assault); (44) Sean Bell (Officer Gescard Isnora, Officer Michael Oliver, and Detective Marc Cooper were acquitted on all charges); (45) DeAunta Terrel Farrow (Officer Sammis was not indicted); (46) Patrick Dorismond (Officer Anthony Vasquez was not indicted); (47) Timothy Stansberry (Officer Richard S. Neri, Jr. was not indicted. He was suspended for 30 days without pay and stripped of his gun permanently); (48) Timothy Thomas (Officer Roach was acquitted on a charge of negligent homicide. An investigation later revealed that Roach lied on his incident report and broke protocol); and (49) Ronald Beasley and Earl Murray (The officers were cleared of wrongdoing after a yearlong investigation). Financial Settlements Awarded Sixteen cases (involving a total of 17 families, or 21% of fatalities) received a financial settlement: (1) Prince Jones's parents and daughter were awarded $3.7 million in a wrongful death lawsuit; (2) Ousmane Zongo's family received $3 million in a wrongful death suit; (3) Alberta Spruill’s family was paid $1.6 million as a settlement for the wrongful death lawsuit they filed; (4) The NYPD settled the wrongful death lawsuit of Timothy Stansbury's family for $2 million; (5) New York City agreed to pay Sean Bell's family $3.25 million to settle their wrongful death suit; (6) Tarika Wilson's family received a $2.5 million wrongful death settlement; (7) BART paid Oscar Grant's mother and daughter $2.8 million to settle the civil suit they filed. Grant's father lost a civil case against Mehserle; (8) New York City paid $2.25 million to settle with Shem Walker's family; (9) Portland agreed to pay Aaron Campbell's family $1.2 million to settle their civil suit against the city; (10) Oakland settled with Derrick Jones' parents and daughter for $225,000. His widow lost a $10 million civil suit; (11) Orange County paid $4.4 million to Sgt. Manuel Loggins' family in a settlement last year; (12) The City of Chicago


The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol.8, no.4, September 2015



paid Rekia Boyd's family $4.5 million in a wrongful death suit; (13) Tamon Robinson's family reached a $2 million settlement in a wrongful death suit against New York City in 2014; (14) Noel Palanco’s mother received a $2.5 million settlement from the city of New York; (15) A judge approved a settlement between the city and the two's families of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell for $1.5 million each; (16) Steven Eugene Washington’s (who was autistic and had learning disabilities) mother (Kathleen Washington) was awarded $950,000 by the Los Angeles Police Department ( shot-lapd-wins-settlement/). Pending Cases. Six cases (involving a total of 6 families, or 1% of fatalities) are currently pending: (1) Victor White, III (District Attorney Phil Haney of the 16th Judicial Circuit said he will let a federal investigation run its course before making a decision); (2) Dante Parker (The NAACP has called for a federal investigation); (3) Jordan Baker (Officer J. Castro, who killed Baker, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Baker's mother was said to be considering filing a lawsuit); (4) Akai Gurley (District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that he is investigating); (5) Tamir Rice (Rice's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cleveland); (6) Philip White (Investigation occurring). Discussion

This paper critically examined the circumstances surrounding the fatalities of 78 Black males and females by police between the years 1999 and 2015. In this section, we argue how the fatal shootings of Blacks by police support the aims of White Supremacy. Furthermore, we will place the outcome of the fatality for the offending officer or officers in a socio-historical perspective. Finally, we will discuss how Black fatalities greatly minimize Blacks’ individual and collective confidence in law enforcement. Before we respond to the aforementioned, it is important to note a critical limitation associated with the fatalities presented. Since police departments are not required to submit regional, state, or national reports of misconduct to entities such as the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project (2011), nor the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) of the FBI which compiles the data into the SHR (Supplemental Homicide Report), reporting to the UCR is voluntary. That is why earlier in this manuscript, we mentioned that New York City had not reported homicide data in over five years. Thus, it is logical to assume the 78 Black males and females highlighted in this study is a gross underrepresentation of the actual number of Black males and females murdered annually by police. Earlier in this manuscript, we also mentioned that our study validates the lives of unarmed Black males and females that received little public attention. However, such cannot be accomplished without couching our discussion of the murder of unarmed African Americans within White Supremacy.



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As previously noted, White Supremacy’s bedrock rests on the belief that those who racially-classify as “White” are inherently superior to individuals who are non-White (Blay, 2011). Furthermore, White Supremacy stresses that the interests and observations of members of the dominant race should be placed above other race (Gilborn, 2006). Over time, such an attitude validates White thought, action, and feeling to such a degree that ‘Whiteness’ is accepted as a societal “norm,” and non-Whites (especially Blacks) are deemed inherently criminal, deviant, and deserving of death.


White Supremacy and the Murders of Unarmed Blacks

There are four ways that the murders of unarmed Blacks support the superiority of Whites. For one, the murder of unarmed Blacks carries forward and solidifies the racist legacy of citizen slave patrols that were initiated during slavery (Blackmon, 2009; Dulaney, 1996; Reichel, 1999; Robertson, 2014). Even though castrations, whippings, maimings, and lynchings (Dulaney, 1996; Loewen, 2005; Robertson, 2014; Ward, 2012) were frequently used in the South as a method of policing the activities of African American men from 1880-1950, the transition of these activities to murder by guns is no less precarious. So, regardless of whether these organizations are referred to as “citizen slave patrols” or “police/law enforcement” (Dulaney, 1996; Reichel, 1999; Roediger, 2010; Skolnick & Fyfe, 1993), a societal disdain for African Americans creates a desensitization to Black suffering and death.

Second, White Supremacy is maintained when juries refuse to acknowledge the

victimization and humanity of African Americans (Feagin, 2014; Fukurai, Butlter, & Krooth, 1993, Tonry, 2011). Since most juries are made up of Whites, this greatly increases the likelihood that even when members of law enforcement are on trial, members of this entity will share many of the same attitudes about Blacks that police generally have. Stated another way, chances are more likely than not that White jury members will share the same disdain of African Americans that White members of law enforcement have, and not convict Whites that have murdered unarmed Blacks. Ironically, Black members of law enforcement are part of the larger White Supremacist system of law enforcement that in many cases provides these minority members the same rights and protections as Whites. In other words, since Black officers are more likely to hold negative perceptions of Blacks and to be more inclined to brutalize Black suspects than White ones (Dulaney, 1996), it stands to reason that Black officers will rarely be penalized for murdering unarmed Blacks, as well.

Third, White Supremacy is maintained when Black men and women are perceived as

inherently dangerous and sub-human (Donner, 2014; Karenga, 2010; Walker, 2011). A blatant example of the “Black man as dangerous and sub-human” narrative was offered by Officer Darren Wilson, who when he was allegedly assaulted by the late Michael Brown publicly proclaimed that “He looked like a demon.”



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Interestingly, the word “demon” is reminiscent of the Black “brute” that originally entered America’s consciousness in the D.W. Griffith 1915 film The Birth of a Nation (Loewen, 2007). During that era, the Black brute’s sole purpose in life was to rape White women and destroy the White man’s way of life. Similarly, the contemporary “demon’s” sole purpose in life is to engage in criminal behavior and actively resist law and order in society. Furthermore, the word “demon” is not only a painful and erroneous characterization of Blackness that has remained stable over time, but is a flagrant societal reminder that Blackness needs to be stopped, regardless of the cost. In this context, the Black man is triply dangerous because of his dangerous mindset, his enormous size, and his race, which is inferior to Whites. In other words, White Supremacy is sustained when Whites embrace the belief that Black men are a menace to society and that society needs to be protected from these men via murder.

Finally, although it is impossible to put a monetary value on Black life, the general non-

indictment of law enforcement in the murders of unarmed African Americans provides resounding evidence that little personal accountability exists for these murders. While the heads of law enforcement agencies generally proclaim these deaths as “unfortunate” or “tragic,” regrettably, as the officer was indicted in only 13 cases (17% of fatalities), a very weak connection exists between behavior and consequences for tragic behavior among members of law enforcement.

Non-Indictments of Police and the Value of Black Life

There are several things that non-indictments of police suggest about the lives of unarmed African Americans. First and foremost, the general non-indictment of members of law enforcement who murder Black males and females demonstrates that White life is more valuable than Black life (Crenshaw, 2011; 2002; Solorzano et al, 2000; Yosso et al, 2009; Zuberi, 2011). Although many may bristle and immediately take issue with this statement, the irrefutable reality is that members of law enforcement are generally not indicted nor convicted for murdering an unarmed Black person. Recall that in only 13 cases, or 16% of fatalities between 1999 and 2015, the officer was indicted. To put this in context, this means that, on average, in only 1 out of every 6 cases was the officer charged.

A particularly tragic incident occurred before 1999 that demonstrates the precarious

nature of being Black and the pain of non-indictment endured by Black families. Case in point: On October 29, 1984, Officer Steven Sullivan (a White policeman) gunned down Eleanor Bumpurs, a 66-year old Black grandmother that lived in the Bronx in her home. Sadly, when an investigation was conducted, Officer Steven Sullivan, the officer that murdered her, was not indicted. Consistent with the tenets of Critical Race Theory, the rationalization of the murder of a poor, Black, elderly woman who was murdered in her home was validated by a White male who was part of the law enforcement system. Sadly, herein lies the primacy of the White race as well as the subordination of the Black race, and the lack of social justice afforded Blacks, even after death.


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Second, the mass media attention given to the murder of Black men, unfortunately, renders the murder of Black women virtually invisible. According to writer Victoria Law, the names of unarmed black women killed by police “very rarely stick in public memory and never gain the same traction as Eric Garner or Michael Brown.” (Dionne, 2014). Sadly, even the deaths of Black women who die in police custody (i.e., Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, Raynetta Turner, Ralkina Jones) do not evoke the same level of national outrage as the death of Cecil the Lion, the 13-year old protected Zimbabwean lion who was illegally poached by wealthy Midwestern dentist Walter Palmer in July 2015 (Ferguson, 2015). The virtual media invisibility of these deaths are tragic because the nation never truly recognizes the void that is felt by those who knew and loved these women. Specifically, our study validated the arrested lives of the 12 murdered females in this study namely Alberta Spruill, DeAunta Terrel Farrow, Tarika Wilson, Aiyana Jones, Shereese Francis, Rekia Boyd, Sharmel Edwards, Shantel Davis, Malissa Williams, Kyam Livingston, Miriam Carey, and Yvette Smith, who were once beloved mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, and grandmothers. Third, the non-indictments of members of law enforcement, especially in regards to legal minorities, suggest that the social standing of Black children is tenuous. Sadly, instead of being perceived as candidates for rehabilitation (Sterling, 2013), Black children are generally associated with criminality instead of innocence. This was vividly demonstrated with the media’s “monsterization” of Trayvon Martin, a young Black male who was painted as an “immense, athletically endowed, drug-addled “thug,” even though at the time of his death, he committed no crime (Williams, 2013, p. 19). Recall that White Supremacy rests on the belief that Whites are inherently superior to individuals who are non-White (Blay, 2011; Gilborn, 2006). So, while White children are generally assumed to be virtuous, Black children are generally assumed to be guilty. According to Phillip Atiba Goff, PhD of the University of California, Los Angeles: “Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection. Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.” Thus, when members of law enforcement are not indicted for murdering children these actions infer that society is better off when the lives of ‘Black Monsters’ (Williams, 2013) are cut short. The Murder of Unarmed Blacks and Blacks’ Perceptions of Law Enforcement Clearly, the murder of unarmed Black males and females has several negative consequences for members of this community. For one, these murders demonstrates to members of this group that, when compared with Whites, their lives have little value, and this is especially true when individuals who murder them are generally exempt from punishment. One could logically argue that terminating the employment and making the law enforcement agent financially accountable for the untimely death of an unarmed African American would not bring these individuals back to their families.


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While this is true, such public punishments would heighten Black confidence that the legal system will be fair, the outcome will be socially just, and that the termination of Black life has immediate and negative consequences (Crenshaw, 2011; 2002; 1995; Solorzano et al, 2000; Yosso et al, 2009; Zuberi, 2011). In addition, the murder of unarmed Black children signals to them, during an early stage of their life, that members of law enforcement are to be regarded with suspicion and fear (Ellis, 2014). Instead of viewing members of this agency as those who are sworn to “protect and serve” them, the murder of unarmed African Americans reinforces the primacy of White life and negatively effects the mental health of Black males and females in America (Pieterse et al, 2012). Over time, these children’s early life experiences are solidified when they, their family, and friends are victims of police mistreatment or death. Finally, the murder of unarmed Black males and females generally by White members of law enforcement may have especially precarious consequences for members of this group who have witnessed these murders and are still coping with the after effects. Past research in this area has found children who witness the murder of their parents are re-victimized and prone to exasperated mental distress during a criminal trial (Malmquist, 1986). Undoubtedly, the same can occur when Blacks are wrongly convicted of a crime that they did not commit (Free & Ruesink, 2012), or when members of law enforcement are not charged for the murder of an unarmed Black person in the face of overwhelming video-taped evidence (Douglass & Vogler, 2012). Conclusion While police officers who come face-to-face with armed and dangerous suspects are trained to "shoot to kill"(Danyiko, 2014), society should question why African Americans are overwhelming murdered by police and receive little legal accountability for these murders. Moreover, since Blacks are not armed and lack the extensive weapons training utilized by members of law enforcement, they are less dangerous than what they might appear. Will there will be more legal accountability for officer’s that murder unarmed Black males and females? The media’s heightened attention to the number of unarmed Blacks murdered by police may suggest that the tide of racial inequity is slowing changing. Case in point: On Thursday, May 21, 2015, it was announced that charges had been made against all six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray (a Black man who was arrested on April 12, 2015 and died in a hospital a week later due to not being properly restrained) (Associated Press, May 22, 2015).


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Although all six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray were indicted for various charges,1 the findings highlighted in this study provide irrefutable evidence that for the most part, members of law enforcement are rarely charged for the deaths of civilians since 2005 (Kindy & Kelly, 2015). Collectively, the “Black Lives Matter” movement asserts that when a murder occurs, the same level of accountability should exist for the general population and members of law enforcement, and that Black lives should have the same value as that of non-Blacks. Sadly, the murder of unarmed Blacks by members of law enforcement is a painful reminder that Black men and women in America are suspicious, or guilty, until proven innocent. Although this nation’s legacy of racism has made it possible for some racial groups to be superior to others, it is our sincere hope that members of society, and in particular, members of law enforcement, consistently and consciously acknowledge the individual and collective humanity of African Americans. For those who find this task difficult, perhaps the last five words uttered by 16-year old Kimani Gray, that is “Please don’t let me die,” will become a conscious reminder that within the heart of every unarmed Black person is an overwhelming desire to live. Table 1 [pp.64-67] Name, Gender, Age, Date of Murder, Location, and Aftermath for Police Responsible for the Death of Unarmed Blacks between 1999-2015 Name Gen

der Age Date of Murder Location Aftermath for

Police Amadou Diallo Male 23 February 4, 1999 New York,

New York Non-indictment

Malcolm Ferguson Male 23 March 1, 2000 New York, New York


Patrick Dorismond Male 26 March 16, 2000 New York, New York


Ronald Beasley and Earl Murray

Male & Male

36 June 12, 2000 Dellwood, Missouri


Prince Jones Male 25 September 1, 2000 Fairfax County, Virginia


Timothy Thomas Male 19 April 7, 2001 Cincinnati, Ohio


Orlando Barlow Male 28 February 28, 2003 Las Vegas, Nevada


Ousmane Zongo Male 43 May 22, 2003 New York, N.Y.


Alberta Spruill Fem ale

57 May 16, 2003 New York, N.Y.


1 Edward Nero and Garrett Miller were indicted on second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment. Caesar Goodson, who drove the transport van, faces manslaughter and a second- degree "depraved heart" murder charge. Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice and Officer William Porter are each charged with manslaughter, second-degree assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.



Timothy Stansbury Male 19 January 24, 2004 New York, N.Y.


Ronald Madison and James Brisette

Male & Male

40/ 17

September 4, 2005 New Orleans, Louisiana


Henry Glover Male 31 September 2, 2005 New Orleans, Louisiana


Sean Bell Male 23 November 25, 2006 New York, NY


DeAunta Terrel Farrow

Fem ale

12 July 22, 2007 West Memphis, Arkansas


Tarika Wilson Fem ale

26 January 4, 2008 Lima, Ohio Non-indictment

Oscar Grant Male 22 January 1, 2009 Oakland, California


Niles Meservey Male 51 June 10, 2009 Washington State


Shem Walker Male 49 July 11, 2009 New York, NY


Victor Steen Male 17 October 3, 2009 Pensacola, Florida


Kiwane Carrington Male 15 October 9, 2009 Champaign, Illinois


Aaron Campbell Male 25 January 29, 2010 Portland, Oregon


Steven Eugene Washington

Male 27 March 20, 2010 Los Angeles, California


Aiyana Jones Fem ale

7 May 16, 2010 Detroit, Michigan


Danroy Henry Male 20 October 17, 2010 Thornwood, N.Y.


Derrick Jones Male 37 November 8, 2010 Oakland, California


Reginald Doucet Male 25 January 14, 2011 Los Angeles, California


Raheim Brown Male 20 January 22, 2011 Oakland, California


Derek Williams Male 22 July 6, 2011 Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Kenneth Harding Male 19 July 16, 2011 San Francisco, California


Alonzo Ashley Male 29 July 18, 2011 Denver, Colorado


Kenneth Chamberlain

Male 68 November 19, 2011 White Plains, N.Y.


Ramarley Graham Male 18 February 2, 2012 New York, N.Y.


Sgt. Manuel Male 31 February 7, 2012 Orange Non-indictment



Loggins County, California


Raymond Allen Male 34 February 27, 2012 Galveston, Texas


Dante Price Male 25 March 1, 2012 Dayton, Ohio


Nehemiah Dillard Male 29 March 5, 2012 Gainesville, Florida


Wendell Allen Male 20 March 7, 2012 New Orleans, Louisiana


Jersey Green Male 37 March 12, 2012 Aurora, Illinois


Shereese Francis Fem ale

30 March 15, 2012 New York, N.Y.


Rekia Boyd Fem ale

22 March 21, 2012 Chicago, Illinois


Kendrec McDade Male 19 March 24, 2012 Pasadena, California


Ervin Jefferson Male 18 March 24, 2012 Atlanta, Georgia


Tamon Robinson Male 27 April 18, 2012 New York, N.Y.


Sharmel Edwards Fem ale

49 April 21, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada


Shantel Davis Fem ale

23 June 14, 2012 New York, N.Y.

Non- indictments

Chavis Carter Male 21 July 29, 2012 Jonesboro, Arkansas


Reynaldo Cuevas Male 20 September 7, 2012 New York, N.Y.


Noel Palanco Male 22 October 4, 2012 New York, N.Y.


Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell

Fem ale & Male

30/ 43

November 29, 2012 Cleveland, Ohio


Johnnie Kamahi Warren

Male 43 December 10, 2012 Dotham, Alabama


Kimani Gray Male 16 March 9, 2013 New York, N.Y.


Clinton Allen Male 25 March 10, 2013 Dallas, Texas


Deion Fludd Male 17 May 5, 2013 New York, N.Y.


Kyam Livingston Fem ale

37 July 24, 2013 New York, N. Y.


Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr.

Male 32 July 26, 2013 Austin, Texas


Carlos Alcis Male 43 August 15, 2013 New York, Non-indictment



N.Y. Jonathan Ferrell Male 24 September 14,

2013 Bradfield Farms, North Carolina


Barrington Williams

Male 25 September 17, 2013

New York, N.Y.


Miriam Carey Fem ale

34 October 3, 2013 Washington, D. C.


Andy Lopez Male 13 October 22, 2013 Santa Rosa, California


Jordan Baker Male 26 January 16, 2014 Houston, Texas


McKenzie Cochran Male 25 January 28, 2014 Southfield, Michigan


Yvette Smith Fem ale

47 February 16, 2014 Bastrop, Texas


Victor White III Male 22 March 22, 2014 Iberia Parish, Louisiana


Eric Garner Male 43 July 17, 2014 New York, N. Y.


Tyree Woodson Male 38 August 2, 2014 Baltimore, Maryland


John Crawford III Male 22 August 5, 2014 Beavercreek Ohio


Dante Parker Male 36 August 12, 2014 San Bernardino County, California


Ezell Ford Male 25 August 12, 2014 Los Angeles, California


Kajieme Powell Male 25 August 19, 2014 St. Louis, Missouri


Akai Gurley Male 28 November 20, 2014 Brooklyn, NY


Tamir Rice Male 12 November 22, 2014 Cleveland, Ohio


Rumain Brisbon Male 34 December 2, 2014 Phoenix, Arizona


Philip White Male 32 March 31, 2015 Vineland, New Jersey


Walter Lamer Scott Male 50 April 8, 2015 North Charleston, South Carolina


Samuel Dubose Male 43 July 19, 2015 Cincinnati, Ohio


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