UPDATED: 2:39 p.m. ET, Jan. 7, 2020 —
Police shooting and killing Black males is all but a centuries-old American tradition among law enforcement in the U.S. But the fact that this apparent rite of police passage is still thriving in 2019 and only seems to be gaining momentum and not slowing should give any American citizen pause as an increasing number of Black people — especially males both young and old — continue to be added to a growing list of victims with what seems like a new shooting every week.
Most recently, police in Cobb County, Georgia shot and killed a teenager who they said was identified as a “murder suspect.” When cops went to serve a warrant to Samuel David Mallard at his home, the 19-year-old reportedly fled before officers stopped he vehicle and “Issued verbal command,” according to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). What came next, though, was unclear — except for the part where four police officers all fired shots at Mallard, who local news outlets said vaguely “did not cooperate” with law enforcement. Conveniently, the GBI also announced that “a gun was found in Mallard’s vehicle,” although there were no reports that alleged gun ever posed a threat to the lives of the officers involved.
Some of the other victims’ names include, but certainly aren’t limited to, Tamir Rice; Botham Shem Jean; E.J. Bradford; and Michael Brown. But two of the most recent names that can tragically be included in this deadly equation are Michael Dean, a 28-year-old father who police shot in the head on Dec. 3, 2019, and Jamee Johnson, a 22-year-old HBCU student who police shot to death after a questionable traffic stop on Dec. 14, 2019.
One of the most distressing parts of this seemingly nonstop string of police killings of Black people is the fact that more times than not, the officer involved in the shooting can hide behind the claim that they feared for their lives — even if the victim was shot in the back, as has become the case for so many deadly episodes involving law enforcement. In a handful of those cases — such as Antwon Rose, a 13-year-old boy killed in Pittsburgh, and Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old killed in Sacramento, both of whom were unarmed — the officers either avoided being criminally charged altogether or were acquitted despite damning evidence that the cops’ lives were not threatened and there was no cause for them to resort to lethal force or any violence for that matter.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who has been retained in so many of these cases, described the above scenarios in his new book, “Open Season,” as the “genocide” of Black people.
As NewsOne continues covering these shootings that so often go ignored by mainstream media, the below running list (in no certain order) of Black men and boys who have been shot and killed by police under suspicious circumstances can serve as a tragic reminder of the dangers Black and brown citizens face upon being born into a world of hate that has branded them as suspects since birth.
1. Samuel David Mallard, 19
When cops went to serve a warrant to Samuel David Mallard at his home, the 19-year-old reportedly fled before officers stopped he vehicle and “Issued verbal command,” according to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
What came next, though, was unclear — except for the part where four police officers all fired shots at Mallard, who local news outlets said vaguely “did not cooperate” with law enforcement. Conveniently, the GBI also announced that “a gun was found in Mallard’s vehicle,” although there were no reports that alleged gun ever posed a threat to the lives of the officers involved.
2. Kwame “KK” Jones, 17Source:facebook
Kwame “KK” Jones was killed by police after he and a friend were stopped while driving in a car in Jacksonville, Florida, on Jan. 5, 2020. Police said that an officer approached the car and “an exchange” ensued. The cop then fired his weapon several times, striking both Jones and the other unidentified male, who survived the shooting. Jones did not.
Police claim there was a rifle in the car, which Jones’ family said was suspicious since the photo evidence is “of a gun that has already been booked into evidence and not a photo from the scene.”
3. De’von Bailey, 19
The 19-year-old was shot in the back by police on Aug. 3. In November of 2019, a grand jury unanimously decided to not indict the two police officers who shot him.
4. Christopher Whitfield, 31
The unarmed Louisiana man was shot and killed by police after he was accused of stealing raw chicken. Whitfield struggled with mental health issues.
5. Anthony Hill, 26
Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran, was unarmed and naked when he was killed at 26 years old in March of 2015. Former officer Robert OIsen was found guilty of aggravated assault, one count of making false statements and two counts of violation of oath by a public officer — but not murder or manslaughter.
6. De’Von Bailey, 19
De’Von Bailey was only 19 years old when he was shot and killed by Colorado Springs police on Aug. 3. Police claimed he was reaching for a gun, which has not been proven.
7. Eric Logan, 54
Eric Logan was killed June 16, 2019, in South Bend, Indiana, where presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is mayor. Sgt. Ryan O’Neill said he was responding to a call that someone was breaking into cars before he claimed Logan threatened him with a knife. O’Neill did not activate his body camera during the encounter, which is against city policy. Logan’s family announced they sued the city and O’Neill.
The lawsuit claimed O’Neill violated Logan’s civil rights in several ways, including using excessive force with willfulness and reckless indifference and subjecting him to “unlawful treatment on the basis of race.” The lawsuit also blamed the city for not properly training, supervising, controlling and disciplining officers. The family alleged the city also violated the constitutional rights of residents on a “regular basis” by rarely investigating wrongdoing by officers.
8. Jamarion Robinson, 26
Jamarion Robinson was killed by police in East Point, Georgia, in August of 2016. He was shot 76 times after refusing to open the door of his girlfriend’s home when officers knocked. Police then kicked in the door and began firing.
9. Gregory Hill Jr., 30
Gregory Hill Jr. was killed in a matter of seconds after police shot him in his own garage in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Jan. 14, 2014. Reports said local residents called police with a noise complaint because of the loud music being played in the garage. When Hill opened the garage and saw it was police, he tried to close it before police shot him in the head and elsewhere. Hill’s family has maintained he was unarmed when he was shot.
10. JaQuavion Slaton, 20
JaQuavion Slaton was killed in a hail of as many as 10 shots in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11, 2019. Officers claimed Slaton had a gun but had not provided any proof.
11. Ryan Twyman, 24
On June 6, 2019, Ryan Twyman was reportedly unarmed and shot 37 times by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department.
12. Brandon Webber, 20
On June 12, Brandon Webber was reportedly shot 20 times U. S. Marshalls in his family’s yard in Memphis, Tennessee. He was only 20 years old.
13. Jimmy Atchison, 21
On Jan. 22, 21-year-old Jimmy Atchison was shot and killed by police officer Sung Kim. Police allegedly entered an apartment complex with military assault-style rifles to execute a run-of-the-mill warrant for robbery.
14. Willie McCoy, 20
On February 9, 2019, Willie McCoy fell asleep at a drive through in Vallejo, California. When police approached him, he was shot 25 times. Police claimed there was a gun in his lap. His lawyer told The New York Times shortly after the shooting, “He was just riddled with bullets. It was really a shock how many times he was actually struck.”
15. Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21
Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was shot by police while trying to save people from a shooter at an Alabama mall. The military veteran was killed on Thanksgiving night.
16. D’ettrick Griffin, 18
On Jan. 15, the 18-year-old was reportedly attempting to steal a car from a police officer who wasn’t in uniform. He reportedly slid into the driver’s seat the cop was pumping gas. Griffin tried to drive away and the officer filed multiple shots. There was no weapon on Griffin.
17. Jemel Roberson, 26Source:false
The 26-year-old was reportedly gunned down by cops when he was trying to save people from a mass shooter on November 11, 2018 in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
18. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false
On Sept 18, 2018, the N.C. Central University student was fatally shot on campus by a security guard with the N.C. Detective Agency. The guard claimed he shot the unarmed 23-year-old in self defense.
19. Botham Shem Jean, 26Source:false
Botham Shem Jean was killed on Sept. 6, 2018, when off-duty police officer Amber Guyger entered his home and shot him to death in Dallas. Her excuse: She said she thought it was her apartment. She was later charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting.
20. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false
On June 11, Robert Lawrence White was fatally shot in Silver Spring, Maryland. A minutes-long confrontation ensued between Montgomery County Police Department officer Anand Badgujar over a “suspicious” person reported in the area. White, who was unarmed, began walking away from the scene the officer fired several rounds and Lawrence was killed.
21. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty
Anthony Lamar Smith was shot and killed in December 2011 by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley after a car chase. Stockley’s acquittal in September 2017 sparked protests.
22. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty
Ramarley Graham was unarmed when New York City police officer Richard Haste — who chased Graham into his Bronx home during an alleged drug bust gone awry — shot and killed him in front of his grandmother and little brother in his bathroom on Feb. 2, 2012.
23. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty
Manuel Loggins Jr, an unarmed U.S. Marine sergeant and married father of three, was fatally shot by a deputy after he reportedly crashed through a gate while driving an SUV with his daughters inside the vehicle at a high school parking lot in San Clemente, California during the early morning hours of Feb. 7, 2012.
24. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida, sparking a movement against excessive force and police violence.
25. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty
Officer Joshua Colclough fired a single bullet into the chest of a shirtless and unarmed Wendell Allen during a drug raid at Allen’s home— with several children between the ages of 1 and 14 inside the house — in the Gentilly section of New Orleans on March 7, 2012.
26. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty
Kendrec McDade, a local football star, was gunned down by Pasadena, California police, who responded to a report of a robbery when they pursued McDade on foot and claimed he reached toward his waistband for a weapon, on March 24, 2012.
27. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty
On July 26, 2013, Larry Eugene Jackson Jr., a father of three, was killed by police officer Charles Kleinert who commandeered a woman’s car and chased an unarmed Jackson after an interrogation about a robbery at a bank in Austin, Texas.
28. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty
Unarmed former Florida A&M University football player Jonathan Ferrell was fatally struck by 10 of 12 shots fired by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick after the cop responded to a home — where Ferrell had supposedly gone for help after a car wreck just outside of Charlotte — on Sept. 14, 2013.
29. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty
Jordan Baker was fatally shot on Jan. 16, 2014 by Houston, Texas police officer Juventino Castro, a Hispanic cop who was off duty but in uniform, during what his family said was a racial profiling stop at a strip mall that highlighted failures among police in training cops in the proper use of deadly force.
30. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty
Victor White lll died while handcuffed in the back of a police car from what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound — though White’s father maintained that his son was fatally shot by police in what his attorney believed was a cover-up — outside of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana during an alleged drug arrest in the early morning hours on March 3, 2014.
31. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty
Police officer Christopher Manney fired 14 shots and killed Dontre Hamilton, who was reportedly mentally ill, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 30, 2014 after responding to a call for a welfare check on a man sleeping in the park.
32. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty
Eric Garner, a father of six, died after New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in an apparent chokehold — a tactic prohibited by NYPD policy — as he wailed “I can’t breathe” during a videotaped arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island, New York on July 17, 2014.
33. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty
John Crawford lll was fatally shot on Aug. 5, 2014 after police responded to an emergency call about someone waving a rifle — a bb gun that Crawford carried — at a Walmart store in Beavercreek, a suburb in Dayton, Ohio.
34. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty
Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was fatally shot on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, prompting nationwide protests and an agreement with the Department of Justice for police reforms after a blistering DOJ probe uncovered routine racist practices among police.
35. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty
Ezell Ford, whose family described him as mentally ill, died after he was shot multiple times by Los Angeles Police Department officers in Florence, California, on August 11, 2014.
36. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty
Dante Parker, a father of five, died on August 12, 2014 after he was Tasered by a San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Deputy, who tried to restrain him on a suspicion of trying to break into a home.
37. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty
Two police officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan police fatally fired 12 shots at Kajieme Powell, a mentally ill man who was suspected of shoplifting at a convenience store, on Aug. 19, 2014, less than four miles from where police killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014.
38. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty
Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in the city’s South Side area on October 20, 2014, with police dashboard camera video of the shooting death having amplified outrage toward a beleaguered police department grappling with a reported record of collusion, cover-ups and excessive force against Blacks.
39. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty
Akai Gurley was fatally shot on November 20, 2014 in New York City by NYPD officer Peter Liang in a dark public housing stairwell.
40. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty
On Nov. 22, 2014, Tamir E. Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police at a park outside of a recreation center after he reportedly reached for a fake pistol — an airsoft-type gun replica of a semi-automatic handgun that shot pellets — which cops mistook for a weapon.
41. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty
Police officer Mark Rine opened fire and killed Rumain Brisbon when he found Brisbon with what he claimed looked like a gun in his pocket — though the item turned out to be a bottle of painkillers according to reports — after he responded to a tip about a suspected drug deal at a north Phoenix, Arizona apartment complex on Dec. 2, 2014.
42. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty
Two Bridgeton, New Jersey police officers fired fatal shots at Jerame Reid, who they alleged defied orders to remain in a vehicle and stepped out of the passenger’s side, with his hands raised, during a traffic stop on Dec. 30, 2014 in a shooting death that prompted protests in the predominantly Black city.
43. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty
Charly Leundeu Keunang, a homeless Cameroonian national, was shot and killed by three Los Angeles police officers after supposedly reaching for a cop’s holstered gun during a struggle in the city’s skid row area on March 1, 2015 in a shooting death that garnered international attention when a Facebook video was posted.
44. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty
A Madison, Wisconsin cop fatally shot unarmed teen Tony Robinson seven times after the officer responded to reports of a battery at a residence and a struggle ensued between the two on March 6, 2015 — a shooting that led to protests and a sit-in at Madison City Hall.
45. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty
Walter Scott was killed by North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager, who fired eight shots at the father of four after having chased him on foot following a traffic stop on April 4, 2015.
46. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty
Freddie Gray died in Baltimore on April 19, 2015 — a week after he was arrested, dragged into a police van, restrained and suffered a spine injury during a brutal incident involving six officers that amplified police and community tensions.
47. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty
Video footage captured the fatal shooting of Brendon Glenn, an unarmed homeless man, by Los Angeles police officer Clifford Proctor, a black cop who claimed Glenn attempted grabbing his gun during a struggle along the Venice beach boardwalk, on May 5, 2015 in a tragedy that fueled criticisms of police’s treatment of African-Americans.
48. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty
On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing fired a fatal shot through a car window that struck Samuel DuBose in the head during a traffic stop near the university’s campus in Ohio.
49. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty
Texas teenager and star football player Christian Taylor, who allegedly had marijuana and synthetic drugs in his system and acted erratically, was killed by an Arlington police officer during a suspected burglary at a car dealership on Aug. 7, 2015.
50. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty
After responding to a domestic dispute, Minneapolis, Minnesota police fatally shot an unarmed Jamar Clark during an altercation on Nov. 15, 2015 that spurred Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and other activists to fight using #Justice4Jamar.
51. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty
San Francisco police reportedly fired more than 20 gunshots at Mario Woods, who cops suspected of a stabbing, during a stand-off on Dec. 2, 2015 that underscored the SFPD’s documented history of systematic racism.
52. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty
Quintonio LeGrier, who called 911 a reported three times for help in a domestic disturbance with his father, was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer, who claimed LeGrier came out him with a baseball bat, on Dec. 26, 2015 in an alleged racially motivated shooting that also left LeGrier’s 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones fatally wounded.
53. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty
Gregory Gunn was fatally struck by five shots fired by a white Montgomery, Alabama police officer, who claimed he looked “suspicious” while walking home from a friend’s home in the early hours of Feb. 5, 2016 — the incident shed light on several past episodes of police violence dating back decades in Montgomery.
54. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty
Akiel Denkins was gunned down by a white Raleigh, North Carolina police officer during a foot chase when he attempted fleeing a drug-related arrest and allegedly pulled a handgun out on Feb. 29, 2016.
55. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty
Alton Sterling was shot to death on July 5, 2016 when two white officers pinned him to the pavement during an arrest outside a convenience store where he had sold CDs in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The cops weren’t charged with any crime.
56. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty
Philando Castile, a cafeteria supervisor in St. Paul, Minnesota, was shot and killed by police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop for a “busted tail light” in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016, with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds having livestreamed the horrific moments after his shooting on Facebook Live.
57. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty
Terrence Sterling, a motorcyclist from Fort Washington, Maryland, was fatally shot twice in his neck and back by a Washington, D.C. police officer during the early morning on Sept. 11, 2016 after cops received a call about a motorcyclist driving recklessly in the area.
58. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty
Footage from a police dashboard camera captured the moment when an unarmed Terence Crutcher was fatally shot by police officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sept. 16, 2016 after police reportedly received 911 calls about his stalled SUV blocking a road.
59. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty
Keith Lamont Scott was killed by a black officer Brentley Vinson, who believed he had a gun, after exiting his SUV during a confrontation at his apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sept. 20, 2016 in an incident that led to a governor-declared state of emergency after violent protests.
60. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty
Alfred Olango, an Ugandan refugee, was fatally shot during a reported “mental breakdown” by El Cajon, California police on Sept. 27, 2016 after he pulled out a vaping device in front of cops in a shopping center.
61. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty
Jordan Edwards was shot in the head and killed by Balch Springs, Texas cop Roy Oliver, who fired rounds into a vehicle hitting the teen sitting in the front passenger seat after leaving a party, on April 29, 2017.
62. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false
On Sunday, March 18, 2018, Sacramento police responded to a call “that a thin, 6-foot-1 Black man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants was hiding in a residential backyard after breaking car windows,” according to The Sacramento Bee. Just eight minutes later, officers fired over 20 times at 22-year-old Stephon Clark — in his own backyard. Reportedly, they “feared” for their lives because they saw a gun in his hand. It turned out he was only carrying a cellphone.
63. Danny Ray Thomas, 34Source:false
In March 2018, Danny Ray Thomas, 34, was arguing with another person and acting erratic when the deputy arrived at the scene. The Houston officer fired a single shot at Thomas, who died later at a hospital. Authorities claimed that Thomas had an object in his hand, but investigators did not recover a weapon.
64. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false
A police officer shot DeJuan Guillory On July 6, a Louisana officer Holden LaFleur shot DeJuan Guillory while he was riding an ATV with his girlfriend on a gravel road. The officer claimed he pulled them over to ask for their identification after responding to a call for an ATV theft. The officer claimed Guillory had attacked him and that the girlfriend went for his gun as he tried to make an arrest. Guillory, 27, who was unarmed, was shot dead and his girlfriend, DeQuince Brown, was later charged with the attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. Guillory was shot in the back.
65. Patrick Harmon, 50
On August 13, 2017, Patrick Harmon was shot and killed by police in Salt Lake City, Utah. The district attorney said the shooting was “legally justified.”
66. Jonathan Hart, 21
Jonathan Hart was a 21-year-old Black gay man who was homeless in the Los Angeles area. On December 4, he was reportedly shot and killed in the back by a security guard in a Walgreens. He was allegedly shoplifting, but eyewitnesses said he was not stealing.
67. Maurice Granton, 24
On June 6, Maurice Granton, 24, was reportedly unarmed when he was shot in the back and killed by police in Chicago. The police report accused Granton of producing a weapon but body cam footage appeared to show there was no weapon. The family filed a lawsuit against the Chicago police in July of 2018.
68. Julius Johnson, 23
In 2009, the unarmed 23-year-old was killed by Officer Charles Anderson who claimed he was attacked and “feared for his life.” Johnson’s sister told detectives that she heard her brother plead for his life before being killed but she was charged with lying to police and was sentenced to three months in jail. Ten years later, a KKK application was found framed in Anderson’s home.
69. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt
Jamee Johnson, a student at the historically Black Florida A&M University, was killed by police in Jacksonville on Dec. 14, 2019, after a questionable traffic stop. Police say that Johnson was armed and tried to flee in his car, but his parents say he was legally licensed to possess a firearm in an open-carry state and that he never would have broken the law. There were no immediate charges against the officers involved and civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and S. Lee Merritt have been retained by Johnson’s family to investigate.
70. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt
Michael Dean, a 28-year-old father, was shot in the head by trigger-happy Temple Police Department Officer Carmen DeCruz, in Texas on Dec. 3, 2019. A preliminary autopsy report declared Dean’s death a homicide. But as of Dec. 20, police had not released any other information in a suspected coverup. Dean’s mother said a police detective initially told her that her son didn’t pull over right away and when he exited the car, he walked toward the officer, who then shot him.