Black Lives Matter Protests - A Brief History of Violence

The number of police killings in the US disproportionately affects African Americans. Despite only making up 13 percent of the US population, Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by the police. This and other incidents of racism have sparked outrage across the United States. Below is a small list of deaths that have led to the current protests.  Fact Not Opinions has been following employment and incarceration trends that demonstrate an underlying issue in the United States involving race.

George Floyd

"Floyd moved to Minneapolis from his native Houston several years ago in hopes of finding work and starting a new life, said Christopher Harris, Floyd's lifelong friend. But he lost his job as a bouncer at a restaurant when Minnesota's governor issued a stay-at-home order. On Monday night, an employee at a Minneapolis grocery store called police after Floyd allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $ 20 bill. 

In widely circulated cellphone video of the subsequent arrest, Floyd, who was black, can be seen on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back while Officer Derek Chauvin presses him to the pavement with his knee on Floyd's neck. The video shows Chauvin, who is white, holding Floyd down for minutes as Floyd complains he can't breathe. The video ends with paramedics lifting a limp Floyd onto a stretcher and placing him in an ambulance."

Breonna Taylor

"Taylor was shot at least eight times when three officers forcibly entered her apartment to serve a search warrant in a narcotics investigation. The department said the men announced themselves and returned gunfire when Taylor's boyfriend fired at them.

But in a wrongful death lawsuit, Taylor's mother says the officers didn't knock at all and should have called off their search because the suspect they sought had already been arrested.

Officers didn't find drugs in her apartment when they entered, Taylor's mother said in the lawsuit.... None of the three officers who entered Taylor's apartment wore body cameras, the department said"

Dominique Clayton

"Dominique Clayton was killed in her Oxford, Mississippi home on Sunday, May 19. She was shot early that morning, in the back of the head while she slept. Her youngest son, Jadarius, found her body later that night. It took the city of Oxford two days to arrest Matthew Kinne, a white Oxford police officer, and charge him with the murder."

Atatiana Jefferson

"Dean and another officer were responding to an early-morning house call after a neighbor became concerned when they noticed the front door of a home, which belonged to Jefferson's mother, was left ajar and requested a welfare check.

Jefferson had been babysitting her 8-year-old nephew inside and playing video games. According to police and body camera footage, Dean failed to identify himself before firing his weapon, striking Jefferson.

The bodycam video released publicly shows the perspective of an officer outside the home, peering into a window using a flashlight and spotting someone inside standing near a window and telling her, "Put your hands up — show me your hands." A single shot is fired seconds later."

Botham Jean

"An off-duty Dallas officer fatally shot an unarmed neighbor last year after she said she mistook his apartment for her own. Prosecutors said during opening statements Monday that Jean was sitting in his living room eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream when Guyger walked into his home and shot him."

Ahmaud Arbery

"Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed, 25-year-old black man, was shot to death while jogging in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, after being pursued by two white men in a pickup truck. Neither of his pursuers, a father and son named Gregory and Travis McMichael, were arrested or charged with a crime until May, even though Gregory admitted to police that Travis was responsible for the shooting."

Trayvon Martin

"Martin, a Miami high school student, was in Sanford visiting his father. Dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, the teen was on his way back to the home of his father’s fiancée, after buying a bag of Skittles and a bottle of juice, when he was spotted by Zimmerman, a 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator who was captain of the neighborhood patrol at the Retreat at Twin Lakes, which recently had experienced a series of break-ins and burglaries. Zimmerman called the non-emergency line of the Sanford police to report that Martin looked suspicious then ignored a police dispatcher’s advice not to follow the young man. Moments later, gunfire rang out. When officers arrived, Martin was dead at the scene."

Oscar Grant

"Bay Area Rapid Transit Officer Anthony Pirone "started a cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting of Grant," and that he then lied about those events in an effort to put his own "actions and conduct in a more favorable light."

Pirone hit Grant and used profanity and the N-word during the incident, the report says, and later lied to investigators about Grant's actions, claiming he hit Pirone's partner and kicked Pirone in the groin. Pirone's account was directly contradicted by video evidence reviewed by investigators, the report says."

Samuel Dubose

"The officer asks for Mr DuBose's driving licence, but he says he does not have it. He also shows an unopened bottle of alcohol in the car. Mr Tensing then asks Mr DuBose to unbuckle his seatbelt. Almost immediately after that, a shot is fired and the car appears to move. The officer fired a single round, hitting Mr DuBose in the head. Mr Tensing had testified that he feared he could be run over as Mr DuBose tried to drive away."

Tamir Rice

"On November 22, 2014, Tamir Rice was throwing snowballs and playing with a toy pellet gun in a Cleveland park when a police car rolled into the snowy field. Within two seconds of getting out of his squad car, officer Timothy Loehmann shot and killed the 12-year-old."

NPR has created an additional list.

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