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Developments in three incidents involving Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, and Laquan McDonald –all African-Americans who died in police custody – emerged in the past week.

As the election season ramps up with the topic of policing in minority communities front and center, we thought it imperative to bring you new details regarding the investigations surrounding the tragic deaths that still haunt the nation.


Sandra Bland

Last week, The Dallas Morning News uncovered that a Texas officer confessed to forging jail records during Bland’s stint at Waller County Jail. Now, The Huffington Post reveals a second responding officer at the scene of Bland’s arrest claims he was threatened into silence and prevented from revealing specific details. Prairie View cop Michael Kelley told The Post that two sections of his incident report were omitted, including information that would reflect poorly on arresting officer Brian Encinia. Kelley noted that he overheard Encinia admit uncertainty regarding what charge to pin on Bland. Kelley also documented that Bland had a large mark on her head, leading him to believe she had been struck. After he filed his report, those two details were removed. His two page report was shaved down to one page and submitted without his approval. When he pressed to testify in front of the grand jury, Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam told him it wouldn’t reflect well on his career, Kelley told The Post. A grand jury eventually charged Encinia in Bland’s death, but the officer was only found guilty of perjury.

Read more of the story here.


Philando Castile

According to NBC News, dozens of protesters demonstrating against Philando Castile‘s death at the hands of law enforcement were arrested in front of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton‘s mansion on Wednesday. Over 70 people were detained late Tuesday, early Wednesday by St. Paul Police for blocking traffic and refusing to clear the area. Police say they warned protesters to disband after their three-week encampment in front of the mansion. Authorities continue their investigation into the 32-year-old’s death.

Read more of the story here.


Laquan McDonald

Roberta Roberson, an attorney for Laquan McDonald‘s family, is fighting to keep his juvenile record confidential, as lawyers for officer Jason Van Dyke, the cop who fatally shot the 17-year-old teen, call for their release, The Chicago Tribune reports. Van Dyke faces first-degree murder charges in the McDonald case. Roberson claims releasing the files would cause unnecessary hardship for McDonald’s mother, Tina Hunter, who resides in Chicago with her daughter.

Read more of the story here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter

SEE ALSO:

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