Black men are killed everywhere in the planet by police. But the killings in the United States draws so much attention because of the associated cause of the shootings: Racism.
This is more evident in the recent killing of George Floyd in the U.S. State of Minnesota in mid May, 2020. The killing inspired mass protest across many cities in the United States and even other parts of the world as far away as London, England. But was this the first time black men were murdered at the hands of racist white officers in the United States? The answer is a big NO!
There has been other incidences of black men being murdered by officers motivated by hate and racism not only in the United States, but in other parts of the world. Below, I will highlight other high profile murders of black men by police officers in the United States of America in recent times.
1. Michael Brown
Michael Brown was one of the black men killed in August 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. He was an 18 years old young man. Mr. Brown was accused of stealing a box of cigars, although such accusations were never proven as this innocent black man was never given a chance to face justice. The officer involved in this shooting resigned from the police force but was never prosecuted.
Following the murder of Michael Brown, there was widespread protest across several states in the United States led by the Black Lives Matter movement. Several leaders including the then President Barack Obama condemned the killing and called for a much needed police reforms across the nation. It is worth noting that as much as most protesters had altruistic motivations for picketing, there were some individuals who used this opportunity to loot shops in several neighborhoods around Missouri.
2. Tamir Rice
He was a 12 year old juvenile killed by police in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. The murder occurred in November of 2014. Mr. Rice was shot dead while holding a gun toy in the children’s play place after a passerby called police about a man going around totting a gun. The police only confirmed that the “gun” was a toy after the victim was already dead. Although the police who shot this child was not prosecuted, the officer was fired later for allegations of lying in his job application during his prior recruitment process.
3. Eric Garner
Mr. Garner was killed in July 16, 2014 by police in New York City, United States. He was accused of illegally selling cigarettes, although such allegations were never proven in court due to his murder. Eric Garner’s case is very similar to George Flyod’s as the two black men died of asphyxiation due to being manhandled by police officers. Both men asked to be allowed to breath, but the police did not badge.