Awareness of Police Brutality
“When you hear these stories about different cases of police brutality, don’t even just make that person just another hashtag, another statistic. That is somebody’s father, brother, sister, mother – be more aware of what that means.” - KiKi Layne
In today’s world where people have all grown to be more observant, people have also grown to speak up for the injustices as well. Corruption among the government, evidence of police brutality, and racial discrimination is exactly what has been brought to the spotlight and this generation is not afraid to take a stand. Bringing awareness to police brutality, here is a small list of many cases in the recent year:
Breonna Taylor (March 13, 2020):
Breonna Taylor was an African-American woman who was born on June 5, 1993 and tragically died on March 13, 2020 at the age of 26. She was in her Louisville, Kentucky apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, laying in bed when Louisville police forcefully made their way in. Walker, thinking that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend was breaking in, shot once, with his licensed firearm, at those coming through the door unannounced and therefore horribly led the officers/detectives to shoot blindly into the apartment. Taylor was fatally shot several times and died almost immediately, twenty minutes before she received any medical attention. The police intended to investigate a belief of two men selling drugs out of Taylor’s home but evidently there were no drugs in the home. The law enforcement involved were former Louisville Detective Brett Hankison, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Detective Joshua Jaynes. Hankinson was fired and charged with three counts of “wanton endangerment” and the other two officers had no consequences due to their actions being “justified.”
George Floyd (May 25, 2020):
George Floyd was a 46-year-old African-American man who died at the hands of four Minneapolis Police officers on May 25, 2020. Floyd was caught using a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store which unfortunately led to an employee calling the police. The group of officers that arrived at the scene were incredibly aggressive in dominating the 46-year-old and former officer Derek Chauvin had Floyd’s neck under his knee for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Chauvin not once lightened his weight nor removed his knee during the excruciating nine minutes of Floyd stating that he couldn’t breathe. George Floyd, sadly, died under such circumstances. Chavin had recently been convicted of both second-degree and third-degree murder but instead of being sentenced to 12 ½ years each, he was sentenced down to about 10-15 years each because of his clean record. The other law enforcement involved were former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao. The three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter but their trials have yet to take action.
Lt. Caron Nazario (Dec. 5, 2020):
Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino man, from the U.S. Army Medical Corps was driving through Windsor, Virginia on the night of December 5, 2020 when he was signaled to pull over by two Windsor police officers. Nazario quickly decided to drive another mile to the nearest gas station rather than to stay on the dark road out of nervousness of what might happen. After finally making a stop, the officers immediately pulled out their guns and yelled orders for him to get out of the car. After Nazario’s multiple attempts at trying to figure out why the officers pulled him over and getting no answer, he admits that he’s afraid and as a result was verbally threatened, pepper sprayed, and arrested. The police had the intent to pull over Nazario’s vehicle because the S.U.V didn’t have any license plates; however, the vehicle was new and temporary plates were visibly taped inside the rear window. The law enforcement officers involved were Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker. Gutierrez was fired due to his behavior, however there seems to be no disciplinary actions towards Crocker.
Patrick Lynn Warren Sr. (Jan. 10, 2021):
Patrick Lynn Warren Sr. was a 52-year-old African-American man who was fatally shot on January 10, 2021 in Killeen, Texas. His family states that “they called for help requesting that a mental health professional arrive at the scene, not a police officer.” However, a police officer arrives at the scene and is greeted by Warren waving his arms, empty handed, and quickly approaching. Officer Reynaldo Contreras apparently tried using his taser at first but after it failed to work, Contreras used his gun to shoot Warren. This led to his death on January 10, 2021. Contreras is currently on administrative leave.
Marvin David Scott III (March 14, 2021):
Marvin David Scott III was a 26-year-old African-American man who died in custody of the Collin County Sheriff's Office not long after he was arrested for marijuana (one single rolled joint). Scott was a diagnosed schizophrenic who would sometimes self-medicate using marijuana but “he never wanted to hurt others.” After resisting the officers “Scott was forcefully restrained by seven detention officers, pepper sprayed and apparently suffocated to death under a spit hood.” This was an incredibly gruesome death over a simple and small marijuana charge, which deeply upset Scott’s family. The involved law enforcement names are unknown but six of the officers have been terminated and only one has been reinstated.
Daunte Demetrius Wright (April 11, 2021):
Daunte Demetrius Wright was a 20-year-old African-American man who was fatally shot on April 11, 2021. While at a traffic stop, Wright, with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, was pulled over at 63rd Avenue North and Orchard by Brooklyn Center Police. Wright decided to call his mother to help his situation out but it was no use due to Officer Anthony Luckey asking him to step out of the vehicle. After running a record check, Officer Luckey discovered that Wright had an outstanding warrant and attempted to handcuff the resisting 20-year-old. This led to Luckey’s training officer, Officer Kim Potter, to come close to the situation and threaten to “tase” Wright with her handgun. Officer Potter, in a matter of a minute, triggered the gun and shot; confusing her handgun for a bright yellow taser. Wright tried to escape the scene but he didn’t get far before passing away in the driver’s seat. Originally, the police only intended to pull over the victim for simply an expired registration tag. Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter but there seems to be no apparent charge against Officer Luckey.
Police brutality is not something that can be fixed right away. Like most issues it will unfortunately take a while before there are real results. As long as there is a continuation of protests and confrontations, slowly the world will begin to shift. We honor all those that have lost their lives to police brutality and their families as well. We also honor those that have been victims of police brutality, may you never have to go though such terrifying situations again.
List of police brutality victims: https://www.reneeater.com/on-monuments-blog/tag/list+of+unarmed+black+people+killed+by+police
Breonna Taylor: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54210448
Lieutenant Caron Nazario: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/10/us/caron-nazario-windsor-police-virginia.html
Daunte Demetrius Wright: https://abcnews.go.com/US/fatal-police-shooting-daunte-wright/story?id=77092274