Sandra Bland, 28, was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, July 13, 2015, after being arrested during a traffic stop. Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation by State Trooper Brian Encinia. After the exchange escalated, Bland was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer.
Philando Castile, 32, died by gunshot during a traffic stop July 6, 2016, by police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. Castile was driving with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter when he was pulled over by Yanez and another officer. After an exchange wherein Castile said he had a firearm but said he wasn’t pulling it out, Yanez fired seven shots at Castile.
LaVena Johnson, 20, of St. Louis County, Missouri, was found dead in a tent July 19, 2005. An E3 Private First Class in the United States Army, her death was officially ruled as a suicide by Department of Defense officials, but evidence indicating she had been raped and beaten led advocates and petitioners to demand an investigation into Johnson’s death and the U.S. Army’s handling of her case.
Elijah McClain, 23, of Aurora, Colorado, died Aug. 20, 2019, after an encounter with three police officers responding to a call about an armed person who “looked sketchy.” The officers, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt and Randy Roedema, said their body cameras came off during a struggle with McClain, who was forcibly held to the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. Later, paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Peter Cichuniec administered ketamine to McClain. McClain went into cardiac arrest and died three days later.
Tamir Rice, 12, died by gunshot in Cleveland, Ohio, by police officer Timothy Loehmann. Loehmann shot Rice after a police dispatch call about a male with a gun. Rice carried a replica toy gun.
Matthew Shepard, 21, was beaten, tortured and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming Oct. 6, 1998, by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. Shepard was a gay student attending the University of Wyoming.
April 11, 2021, Daunte Wright, 20, died by a gunshot from Kim Potter, a former suburban Minneapolis police officer. Officers pulled over Wright for having expired license tags and an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror. They discovered Wright had a warrant for a weapons possession charge. They tried to arrest him, but he pulled away. Potter, who fired a handgun once into Wright’s chest, said she confused her handgun for her taser.
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