Ten outrageous excuses cops have used to kill unarmed people over the past year
Informed readers are well aware that U.S. police have the dubious reputation of killing lots of civilians, compared to other countries. The War on Drugs provides much of the basis for this abomination.
In four days U.S. police killed as many people as Chinese police did in 2014, and more than five European countries’ police did in 2014. In the first 24 days of 2015, U.S. police killed more people than England and Wales did in the last 24 years.
The worst part about this is how many of these victims were unarmed. As of June 1, 2015, 102 people killed by police were unarmed. We can add more to this number, including the killing of Zachary Hammond who was shot through a car window over a bag of marijuana.
The Free Thought Project constantly reports on senseless, unjustified murders carried out by police, in the attempt to bring accountability to law enforcement run amok. Here are ten of the most outrageous excuses police have used for killing unarmed people during the last year.
“He was walking with a purpose.” Officer Vanessa Miller killed Ryan Bollinger, 28, after witnessing him “dancing in the street” during a traffic stop. After a low-speed chase, Bollinger exited the vehicle and was “walking with a purpose” toward Miller, who then shot him from inside the car through the rolled-up window.
Armed with a broom. Officer Eddo Trimino killed Lavall Hall, 25, after Hall emerged from the house with a broomstick. Hall was mentally ill, and his mother called 9-1-1 for assistance to get Hall back to the hospital during an episode. Video shows Trimino approaching Hall after he fell, firing a fifth bullet to finish him off.
“Believing he was utilizing a Taser.” Reserve Deputy Bob Bates killed Eric Harris after cops chased him down and tackled him to the ground. Bates, 73, said he believed he was using his Taser when he actually drew his service pistol. Harris was running away after undercover cops set him up to sell a gun and ammunition.
Naked and Refused to Stop. A DeKalb County police officer killed Anthony Hill, an Afghanistan war veteran, as he was naked and behaving erratically in public. The officer claimed that Hill charged him and refused to stop, but witnesses say Hill never charged him. Hill was obviously mentally ill and the cop decided to resort immediately to lethal force.
He was throwing rocks. Kennewick officers killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, shooting him 17 times when he turned around after running away. The Mexican immigrant was throwing rocks at cars when police gave chase. Cops tried to say that video taken of the murder could not be used as evidence.
Didn’t show hands after being Tased. Officer Lisa J. Mearkle killed David Kassick, 59, as he was lying face down on the ground after being Tased. Kassick ran away after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop. Mearkle was charged with criminal homicide after video emerged.
Car going 11 miles-per-hour was a threat. Two Denver officers killed Jessica Hernandez, 17, when they open fired on the car full of teenagers. Police claim Hernandez struck an officer with the car, but this is disputed by a passenger who said the car struck the officer after Hernandez was shot. The car traveled no more than 11 miles-per-hour over a distance of 16 feet.
Armed with a spoon. Officer Brent Lawing killed Dennis Grigsby, 35, after responding to a burglary call. Grigsby was mentally ill and lived across the street from the home of the alleged burglary. He was holding a spoon in the garage when Lawing shot him once in the chest.
Armed with a prescription bottle. Officer Mark Rine killed Rumain Brisbon, 34, as he was bringing dinner home to his family. He ran away when cops approached him investigating an alleged drug deal. As they wrestled him, one cop thought a prescription bottle in his pocket was a gun, then shot him twice in the chest.
Armed with a toy gun. Beavercreek officers killed John Crawford, 22, in a Wal-Mart store after someone called 9-1-1 and lied about Crawford pointing the BB gun at people. Cops claimed that he ignored commands to drop the weapon, but video footage and the autopsy do not support this claim. The incident sparked protests and outrage.
—The Free Thought Project, August 9, 2015