More than a name


Maggie Curran, Opinion Editor

A student’s poster displayed at the Black Lives Matter event on Feb. 15 inspired us to look into the names of some of the victims of police brutality over the years. While there are 20 names listed below, they only represent a handful of the lives allegedly harmed or lost due to racism in the police force. Bolded names indicate that the officer responsible was charged for the incident.

Sarah Reed- November 26, 2012

30-year-old Reed was accused of stealing from a London store and was brutally beaten by London Metropolitan Police officer James Kiddie. Luckily, Reed survived and Kiddie was convicted of assault and served an 150-hour community order.

Nimali Henry- April 1, 2014

After being arrested for an altercation when trying to visit her daughter at her daughter’s father’s house in Louisiana, 19-year-old Henry’s family could not afford her $25,000 bail. She was in prison for 10 days before four correctional officers denied her the necessary medication for her blood disorder, killing her. The officers were charged after lying to the FBI agents who investigated the case.

Dontre Hamilton- April 30, 2014

Hamilton, a 31-year-old diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, was approached by an officer in Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee and given a pat down. He resisted, urging the officer to shoot what eye-witnesses thought to be around five to 10 bullets, killing Hamilton. The officer was fired from his job, but not charged.

Eric Garner- July 17, 2014

After being accused and denying illegally selling cigarettes on the streets of Staten Island, New York, 43-year-old Garner was put in a chokehold for nearly 20 seconds by arresting officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner lost consciousness, but neither the officers nor the EMTs at the scene performed CPR on his body. His autopsy was ruled a homicide, but Pantaleo was not charged.

John Crawford III- August 5, 2014

A resident of Ohio, 22-year-old Crawford was holding a toy BB gun in a Walmart store when Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams shot and killed him. Williams was not charged for his death.

Akai Gurley- November 20, 2014

Gurley, a 28-year-old, was shot in a stairwell of a Brooklyn apartment building. NYPD officer Peter Liang entered the dark stairwell with his gun drawn, accidentally discharged his weapon and killed Gurley. He was charged with manslaughter and official misconduct.

Tamir Rice- November 22, 2014

After receiving a call that a young man was pointing a gun at people in a Cleveland, Ohio park, 12-year-old Rice was shot by officer Timothy Loehmann and died the next day. The gun Rice had allegedly been pointing was an Airsoft replica that was missing the orange safety feature. Loehmann was not charged.

Matthew Ajibade- January 1, 2015

21-year-old Ajibade was strapped in a restraint chair in his Savannah, Georgia jail cell and tasered repeatedly by former deputies Jason Kenny and Maxine Evans, killing him. While the two were found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, they were charged for more minor offenses.

Frank Smart- January 5, 2015

Smart, a 39-year-old inmate at Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania, was denied his epilepsy medication after only 3 days in prison and died as a result. No one was charged in his death.

Meagan Hockaday- March 28, 2015

After her fiancé reported a domestic dispute, police arrived to find 26-year-old Hockaday allegedly outside her Oxnard, California apartment building holding a knife, prompting officer Roger Garcia to shoot and kill her. The case remains under investigation and Garcia is currently on administrative leave.

Walter Scott- April 4, 2015

After being pulled over for a broken brake light, unarmed 50-year-old Scott attempted to flee the scene and was shot from behind by South Carolina police officer Michael Slanger. Slanger was charged for his murder.

Freddie Gray- April 12, 2015

25-year-old Gray was arrested for possession of a switchblade, but when placed in the back of a Baltimore police car, suffered injuries to his spinal cord and fell into a coma. He died 3 days later. The officers involved in the incident were charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Samuel Harrell- April 21, 2015

An inmate at Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York, 30-year-old Harrell erratically declared he was leaving and got into an argument with correctional officers. As many as 20 officers, who were known around the prison as the “Beat Up Squad,” kicked, jumped on, punched and threw Harrell down a flight of stairs, killing him. None of the officers have been charged as of yet.

Alexia Christian- April 30, 2015

After being taken into police custody for allegedly stealing a car, 26-year-old Christian was found mysteriously dead in the Atlanta Police Department. The officers who arrested Christian were placed on administrative leave, but the investigation into her death is still pending.

Sandra Bland- July 13, 2015

28-year-old Bland was pulled over in Waller County, Texas for failing to use her turn signal while changing lanes when driving, but the conflict escalated and she was arrested. After 3 days in prison, Bland was found hanging in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide but the possibility of homicide was investigated. No officers were charged in her death.

Sam Dubose- July 19, 2015

In Cincinnati, Ohio, officer Ray Tensing pulled over 43-year-old Dubose for a missing front license plate, then claimed that Dubose attempted to drive away with Tensing’s arm caught in the car. This prompted Tensing to shoot and kill Dubose, but bodycam footage revealed that Tensing was not caught in the vehicle. He was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter.

India Kager- September 5, 2015

Four Virginia Beach police officers approached 28-year-old Kager who was in a car with Angelo Perry, a homicide suspect. The officers shot over 30 rounds into the vehicle and killed both of them. Their 4-month-old son was in the back seat of the car. The officers have not been charged, but were placed on administrative leave.

Tanisha Anderson- November 13, 2015

Anderson, a 37-year-old mentally ill mother, was outside her Cleveland, Ohio home when she was slammed to the pavement and handcuffed by the police. Because she was restrained in a prone position, in conjunction with her heart disease and bipolar disorder, she died in police custody. Her death was ruled a homicide. The officers involved were placed on restricted duty, but have not been charged.

Bettie Jones- December 26, 2015

A 55-year-old Chicago resident, Jones was mistakenly shot by a police officer after an emergency call was made about her neighbor. Her family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago, but the officers, who admitted her death was an accident, have not been charged.

Gynnya McMillen- January 11, 2016

While in a Kentucky juvenile detention center, 16-year-old McMillen died mysteriously after only one night in her cell. As a minor, she was supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes, but officials declared that this procedure was not followed. No official cause of death has been released and no one has been charged in her death.