I’ve been working on this list of names for a little while, because I felt the need to add my voice to the outcry against police violence and systemic racism. The thing is? I have a hard time just looking up who was targeted by police for being black, adding their name, and finding another.
These stories are heartbreaking. They represent injustice. They represent inequality. They are the stories of the entire black community around us. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
David McAtee was killed after police and the National Gaurd fired blindly into a crowd of protestors.
George Floyd was killed by having a knee placed on his neck for almost 9 minutes during an arrest over an accusation of a counterfeit $20 bill. Murder charges have been filed against the arresting officers.
Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home when police served a no-knock warrant, looking for a suspect who did not reside there and who was already in custody.
Ahmaud Arbery was killed by a former police officer and his son, while making racist slurs. The Glynn County Police Department did not make an arrest for 74 days, and then only due to national outrage and FBI involvement.
Jordan Edwards, a 15 year old boy, was shot in the back of the head by officer Roy Oliver. He was unarmed. Oliver was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years.
Eric Garner was approached on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes, and officer Daniel Pantaleo used a choke hold to wrestle him to the ground. The coroner ruled it a homicide, but a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.
Philando Castile was killed during a traffic stop, in the passenger seat of his girlfriend’s car while she was in the driver’s seat and her 4 year old daughter was in the back seat.
Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in through the window of her own home by police responding to a non-emergency call.
Amadou Diallo was shot 19 times outside his apartment for being black and getting his wallet out. The 4 police officers that killed him fired 41 times.
Sgt. Manuel Loggins, Jr was killed in his vehicle with his daughters in the vehicle with him. He was exhibiting behavior that indicated he needed medical help.
Ronald Madison and James Brissette were murdered following Hurricane Katrina, and the officers involved tried to cover it up.
Tamir Rice was a 12-year old boy shot by officers almost immediately after arriving on scene. He died the next day.
Abner Louima was arrested, beaten, and sexually abused by New York City police officers, one of which is still serving a 30-year sentence for the crime. I was 18 when this happened, and while I was vaguely aware that the black community experienced disproportionate responses by the police, his case was shocking and horrifying for me. I have a hard time reading the details of what happened to him.
What’s most mind blowing is how many white people are either unaware of systemic racism, or refuse to believe in it’s existence entirely. While there isn’t a very definitive history available of police brutality, it isn’t like there’s no proof. We need to wake up.