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Criminal charges in police killings of Black Americans

By Reuters | September 24th 2020 at 10:00:00 GMT +0300

People march past City Hall during a protest against the deaths of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police and George Floyd by Minneapolis police, in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/Files

Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, is one of multiple Black Americans killed by police here in recent years whose deaths have sparked a renewed push for civil rights and curbs on police brutality.

Here is a summary of some police shooting cases and their outcomes:

MICHAEL BROWN, a Black teen killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.
Settlement: $1.5 million.
Criminal charges: None.

ERIC GARNER, a Black man who died after repeatedly crying, “I can’t breathe,” while placed in a chokehold by a New York City cop during an attempted 2014 arrest.
Settlement: $5.9 million.
Criminal charges: None.

TAMIR RICE, a 12-year-old Black boy who was holding a toy gun when shot dead by a Cleveland, Ohio, police officer in 2014.
Settlement: $6 million.
Criminal charges: None.

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LAQUAN McDONALD, a 17-year-old African-American, was shot dead by Chicago police as he was walking away from them during an attempted arrest in 2014.
Settlement: $5 million
Criminal charges: A jury found white police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty here of second-degree murder.

FREDDIE GRAY, a Black man who died from injuries he sustained while in handcuffs and leg irons after being thrown into the back of a Baltimore police van in 2015.
Settlement: $6.4 million.
Criminal charges: The six officers criminally charged in Gray’s death were acquitted or the charges were dropped.

WALTER SCOTT, an unarmed Black man shot in the back while fleeing on foot from a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
Settlement: $6.5 million.
Criminal charges: The officer pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

PHILANDO CASTILE, a Black man shot and killed during a 2016 traffic stop in a St. Paul, Minnesota, suburb after telling police he had a gun in the vehicle.
Settlement: Close to $3 million.
Criminal charges: A jury acquitted the officer on charges of felony manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.

STEPHON CLARK, an unarmed Black man killed by Sacramento, California, police in 2018 after they chased him into his grandmother’s back yard.
Settlement: Clark’s two children received $1.2 million each. Claims by other family members are pending.
Criminal charges: None.

ATATIANA JEFFERSON, a Black woman shot dead by a Fort Worth, Texas, officer in 2019 while standing in her home with a handgun after hearing noises outside.
Settlement: No lawsuit filed yet.
Criminal charges: The officer, who resigned, is awaiting trial for murder.

BOTHAM JEAN, a 26-year-old Black PwC accountant, was shot dead by a police officer who accidentally walked into his apartment thinking it was her own in 2018.
Settlement: None
Criminal charges: In 2019, Amber Guyger, the officer, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years.

BREONNA TAYLOR, a Black, 26-year-old emergency room technician, was killed on March 13, 2020, by Louisville, Kentucky, police who burst into her home with a battering ram. Taylor’s boyfriend fired his gun at the intruders who returned fire, killing Taylor.
Settlement: Louisville paid $12 million here to Taylor's family and agreed to police department reforms to settle a wrongful death suit.
Criminal charges: Detective Brett Hankison was terminated here in June and indicted on Wednesday for wanton endangerment of Taylor's neighbors, a charge with a maximum sentence of up to five years. Two other officers faced no charges because their use of force was justified, the state's attorney general said.

GEORGE FLOYD, a 46-year-old Black man who was reported for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill, died on May 25, 2020, while handcuffed after Minneapolis police knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Settlement: A wrongful death suit filed against Minneapolis and four police officers is pending.
Criminal charges: One officer is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three others have been charged with aiding and abetting.

RAYSHARD BROOKS, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot twice in the back on June 12, 2020, as he ran from Atlanta police and fired a Taser at one officer, a non-deadly weapon he had seized from a second officer to escape a drunk-driving arrest.
Settlement: None.
Criminal charges: One Atlanta police officer was fired and charged with murder. A second was placed on administrative duty and charged with aggravated assault. The city’s police chief resigned.


Police Brutality Criminal Charges Black Lives Matter
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