No Convictions in Most Prominent Killings of Black Men

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Anecdotal examination of some of the more well-publicized cases of unarmed black men being killed by police or civilians since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead almost five years ago by George Zimmerman show that most of the time, the shooter is acquitted or not charged in the first place, reports USA Today. A quick review of the episodes: In the Martin case, a jury in 2013 found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or of manslaughter. Eric Garner of Staten Island, N.Y. died in what has been described as a police chokehold after police approached him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. In 2014, a grand jury declined to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo. Federal authorities are investigating whether Garner’s civil rights were violated. In the Ferguson case of Michael Brown, a grand jury would not indict police officer Darren Wilson.

In Cleveland, the unarmed, black 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by poolice officer Timothy Loehmann in 2014. Last year, a grand jury declined to indict Loehmann, although the city paid $6 million to the Rice family. In Baltimore, Freddie Gray died after being bounced around in the back of a police van, where he was shackled and handcuffed but not secured in a seatbelt. Six police officers were indicted, but one trial ended in a hung jury, three officers were later acquitted and prosecutors dropped all charges against the rest. Alton Sterling was fatally shot last summer in Baton Rouge, La. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the death. Philando Castile was shot lst summer by officer Jeronimo Yanez in a Minnesota suburb. Yanez has been charged. in Charlotte, police officer Brentley Vinson was not charged for fatally shooting Keith Lamont Scott; a prosecutor said Scott stepped out of his vehicle carrying a gun and ignored at least 10 commands from five officers to drop the weapon.

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