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After 9 High-Profile Police-Involved Deaths Of African-Americans, What Happened To The Officers?

Police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting the shooting of Michael Brown after they refused to honor the midnight curfew on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.  (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting the shooting of Michael Brown after they refused to honor the midnight curfew on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson looks at nine police-involved deaths.

Eric Garner

July 17, 2014

Staten Island, New York

Eric Garner was approached by police on the sidewalk for illegally selling loose cigarettes. NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold on Garner. A bystander video shows Garner saying “I can’t breathe” 11 times before he died.

A grand jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo.

Michael Brown

August 9, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri

Michael Brown, 18, was unarmed when he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson on the street in Ferguson, Missouri after a confrontation.

A grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson.

Laquan McDonald

October 20, 2014

Chicago, Illinois

Responding to an area where a man had reportedly been breaking into trucks and was carrying a knife, police came across Laquan McDonald, 17. He was walking away from police officers when Officer Jason Van Dyke shot him 16 times.

Dash cam video of the shooting was only released to the public 13 months later; the same day, Officer Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. He is awaiting trial.

Tamir Rice

November 23, 2014

Cleveland, Ohio

Tamir Rice was 12 years old, playing with a toy gun in a park, when police responded to a 911 call that a man had a gun. Seconds after pulling up, officers opened fire, killing Rice.

No one was charged.

The Rice family settled a wrongful death suit against the city of Cleveland for $6 million; the city did not acknowledge fault in the boy’s death.

Walter Scott

April 4, 2015

North Charleston, South Carolina

Walter Scott was pulled over for a broken brake light. He got out of the car and started to run away, when Officer Michael Slager shot him eight times.

Officer Slager was charged with murder after a bystander video came out showing him shooting Scott in the back.

Freddie Gray

April 12, 2015

Baltimore, Maryland

Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested for having an illegal switchblade. He was handcuffed and put into the back of a police van. A week later, he was dead from a spinal cord injury sustained in police custody.

Six police officers were indicted in Gray’s death. Two have been acquitted, the trial of a third ended in a hung jury, and a fourth is on trial now.

Sandra Bland

July 10, 2015

Prairie View, Texas

Sandra Bland, 28, was pulled over for failing to use her signal when changing lanes. A dash cam video shows the situation quickly escalating between her and Officer Brian Encinia, when he tells her to put out her cigarette, she refuses, and he orders her out of the car. Bland is arrested for assaulting an officer, and put in jail. She’s found dead in her cell three days later, in what the coroner ruled a suicide.

Officer Encinia was fired and indicted for perjury for a statement he made regarding the circumstances of her arrest. No one was charged with Bland’s death.

Alton Sterling

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store when police responded to a 911 call, alerting them to a man with a gun. Two officers approached Sterling, pinned him to the ground, and then at least one of them shot him.

Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were placed on administrative leave following the shooting.

Philando Castile

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Falcon Heights, Minnesota

Philando Castile was pulled over for what his girlfriend said was a broken tail light. He reportedly told the officer he was licensed to carry a gun, and that he had one in the car. An officer shot him as he was apparently reaching for his license. His girlfriend streamed the immediate aftermath on Facebook Live.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who fired the shots, and the other officer on scene, Joseph Kauser, were both put on administrative leave.

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