Black Lives Matter

This is a companion piece to go with the charts I posted in Two Thoughts on Ferguson. That post showed the disproportionate number of police-inflicted deaths in the U.S. compared to Australia, Germany, and England & Wales, as well as the fact that when you look at the percentage by population, black people in the U.S. are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people.

The links below are some of those deaths from 2014. This is in no way a complete list.


February 16. Bastrop County, TX. 47-year-old black woman Yvette Smith was shot and killed by white police officer Daniel Willis after opening the door for police. Police had been responding to a call about an altercation between two men. Police initially claimed Smith was armed and ignored their commands. They later retracted these claims. Officer Willis was indicted for murder in June.

April 30. Milwaukee, WI. A mentally ill 31-year-old black man named Dontre Hamilton was shot 14 times by white police officer Christopher Manney. An autopsy suggested that roughly half of those shots were fired from above, as if Manney was standing over Hamilton.

July 17. New York City, NY. 43-year-old black man Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by white police officer Daniel Pantaleo. Police had confronted Garner on suspicion of selling loose/untaxed cigarettes. Garner was heard on video saying, “I can’t breathe” eleven times. The grand jury declined to indict the officer.

August 5. Beavercreek, OH. 22-year-old black man John Crawford was shot and killed by white police officer Sean Williams while carrying a BB rifle inside of a Walmart store. Police claim Crawford was waving the rifle around and refused to obey orders. Surveillance video contradicts this. No officers were indicted.

August 9. Ferguson, MO. 18-year-old black man Michael Brown was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. A grand jury did not indict the officer. Between payment for an interview with ABC and donations from various fundraisers, Wilson has reportedly received more than $1,000,000 as a direct result of killing Michael Brown.

August 11. Los Angeles, CA. An unarmed, mentally ill, 25-year-old black man named Ezell Ford was shot and killed by two LA police officers. Officers claim Ford resisted and tried to grab an officer’s weapon. Other accounts claim Ford was cooperating, and was shot in the back while lying on the ground. The autopsy of Ford’s body has not yet been released.

September 10. Saratoga Springs, UT. 22-year-old black man Darrien Hunt was shot six times in the back by two white police officers, Matthew Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson, while cosplaying and carrying a decoartive sword. Video appears to show Hunt running for his life moments before being killed. Neither officer will face criminal charges.

November 12. Cleveland, OH. Mentally ill 37-year-old black woman Tanesha Anderson was killed after police officers slammed her head into the pavement during a “take-down.” Anderson’s brother claims officers made no attempt to resuscitate her.

November 20. Brooklyn, NY. 28-year-old black man Akai Gurley was killed when police officer Peter Liang fired a single shot while patrolling a housing complex. EMTs arrived a short time later to find Gurley’s girlfriend — not the police — performing CPR. According to the NY Daily News, the officer who killed Gurley was texting his union representative instead of calling for medical help.

November 22. Cleveland, OH. A 12-year-old black boy named Tamir Rice was shot by white police officer Timothy Loehmann. Rice had been playing with a toy gun, which a 911 operator was told “was probably fake.” Video shows Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving on the scene. Officers did not administer first aid.

December 2. Phoenix, AZ. An unarmed 34-year-old black man named Rumain Brisbon was shot and killed by police. A police spokesman says Brisbon was verbally challenging and reached for something in his pocket/waistband (which turned out to be oxycodone pills). Witness statements contradict this.