A look at recent police deaths involving black men

AP News
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Posted: Jul 27, 2016 2:09 PM

Freddie Gray, a young black man, entered a police van in April 2015 — shackled, but alive. He died a week later, his neck snapped during what turned out to be a deadly 44-minute ride that sparked riots and a nationwide debate over race and policing.

However, prosecutors said Wednesday that they were dropping charges against the remaining Baltimore police officers awaiting trial, ending their case without a conviction against any of the six who were initially charged. Gray's family agreed to a $6.4 million settlement with the city over his death in September 2015.

Here is a look at other cases involving officers charged in the deaths of black men.

MICHAEL BROWN

The 18-year-old black man was shot and killed in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. A grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot him. The Department of Justice also opted against bringing civil rights charges against Wilson.

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ERIC GARNER

The 43-year-old black man died in July 2014 in New York City after a white officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. A grand jury declined to indict the officer who put Garner in the hold or any of the other officers involved in the arrest. The city agreed to pay a $6 million civil settlement.

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WALTER SCOTT

Michael Slager faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott, who was shot and killed running from a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, in April 2015. Scott was unarmed. The shooting was captured on cellphone video by a man passing by and reignited the debate over how blacks are treated by law enforcement officers. Slager, 34, who is white, was fired by the North Charleston Police Department and stands trial in October.

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LAQUAN MCDONALD

Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was charged in November on the same day that the city, on the orders of a judge, released the explosive dash cam video showing the 17-year-old McDonald being shot 16 times. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond. The video has prompted local and federal investigations of both the shooting and the police department.

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ALTON STERLING

Sterling was shot to death July 5 as two white officers pinned him to the pavement outside a convenience store. The killing was captured on cellphone video and circulated widely on the internet, sparking widespread demonstrations across Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Neither officer has been charged in the case, which was turned over to federal investigators.

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PHILANDO CASTILE

Castile was shot and killed July 6 by Latino officer Jeronimo Yanez after being pulled over as he drove through a St. Paul, Minnesota, suburb with his girlfriend and her young daughter in the car. His girlfriend began livestreaming on Facebook shortly after the shooting and said Castile was shot while reaching for his ID after telling the officer he had a gun permit and was armed. The next day, Reynolds told reporters Castile informed the officer about the gun as he reached for his wallet, she told him Castile was licensed and then the officer fired shots. Yanez and his partner, Joseph Kauser, who was present for the shooting, were placed on administrative leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating, while the federal Justice Department is staying on the sideline despite pleas from the governor and other officials.

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SAMUEL DUBOSE

Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is awaiting an October trial on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose, who was unarmed when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. Tensing pulled over DuBose last July near campus for a missing license plate. Tensing's attorney has said the former officer feared being dragged under the car as DuBose, 43, tried to drive away. Tensing, who is white, is free on $1 million bond. DuBose was black.

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AKAI GURLEY

Peter Liang, a rookie New York City police officer, was convicted Feb. 11 of manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Liang was patrolling a public housing high-rise with his gun drawn in 2014 when he fired and a bullet ricocheted off a wall, hitting Gurley, who was black. Liang, an American of Chinese descent, said he had been holding his weapon safely when a sound jarred him and he accidentally fired. In April, a judge reduced the conviction to negligent homicide and sentenced Liang to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

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COREY JONES

Former officer Nouman Raja, who has since been fired, was arrested June 1 on charges of manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting of musician Corey Jones. Jones, who was black, carried a gun and had a concealed weapons permit because he feared being robbed of his musical equipment. Raja was investigating car burglaries, working undercover in civilian clothes and driving an unmarked van when he spotted Jones' SUV, which had broken down on an Interstate 95 off ramp before dawn. His attorneys and his union have called the shooting justified. Prosecutors have said recordings and physical evidence show Raja yelled for Jones to put his gun down more than 30 seconds after he last fired at Jones, and long after he should have seen Jones throw down his handgun and run away.

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WILLIAM CHAPMAN II

Former Portsmouth, Virginia, Police Officer Stephen Rankin is being tried on a charge of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old William Chapman II. Rankin shot the unarmed Chapman on April 22, 2015 after responding to a shoplifting call outside a Wal-Mart. Prosecutors allege Rankin killed Chapman "willfully, deliberately and with premeditation." Chapman's body was delivered to the medical examiner with handcuffs still bound behind his back, according to news reports at the time. Some witnesses said Chapman was combative, and one said he knocked away Rankin's stun gun, according to the reports. Rankin was fired by Portsmouth's city manager after his indictment. Jury selection in his trial began Wednesday.