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Controversial Police Encounters Fast Facts – Erie News Now

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Here’s a look at controversial police encounters that have prompted protests over the past three decades. This select list includes cases in which police officers were charged or a grand jury was convened.

1991 – Los Angeles – Rodney King

March 3, 1991 – LAPD officers beat motorist Rodney King after he leads police on a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. George Holliday videotapes the beating from his apartment balcony. The video shows police hitting King more than 50 times with their batons. Over 20 officers are present at the scene, mostly from the LAPD. King suffers 11 fractures and other injuries.

March 15, 1991 – A Los Angeles grand jury indicts Sergeant Stacey Koon and Officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno in connection with the beating.

May 10, 1991 – A grand jury refuses to indict 17 officers who stood by at the King beating and did nothing.

May 1, 1992 – King makes an emotional plea for calm, “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”

August 4, 1992 – A federal grand jury returns indictments against Koon, Powell, Wind, and Briseno on the charge of violating King’s civil rights.

April 17, 1993 – Koon and Powell are convicted for violating King’s civil rights. Wind and Briseno are found not guilty. No disturbances follow the verdict. On August 4, both Koon and Powell are sentenced to 30 months in prison. Powell is found guilty of violating King’s constitutional right to be free from an arrest made with “unreasonable force.” Koon, the ranking officer, is convicted of permitting the civil rights violation to occur.

April 19, 1994 – King is awarded $3.8 million in compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. King had demanded $56 million, or $1 million for every blow struck by the officers.

June 1, 1994 – In a civil trial against the police officers, a jury awards King $0 in punitive damages. He had asked for $15 million.

1992 – Detroit – Malice Wayne Green

November 5, 1992 – Two white police officers approach Malice Wayne Green, a 35-year-old black motorist, after he parks outside a suspected drug den. Witnesses say the police strike the unarmed man in the head repeatedly with heavy flashlights. The officers claim they feared Green was trying to reach for one of their weapons. Green dies of his injuries later that night.

November 16, 1992 – Two officers, Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn, are charged with second-degree murder. Sgt. Freddie Douglas, a supervisor who arrived on the scene after a call for backup, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and willful neglect of duty. These charges are later dismissed. Another officer, Robert Lessnau, is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

November 18, 1992 – The Detroit Free Press reports that toxicology tests revealed alcohol and a small amount of cocaine in Green’s system. A medical examiner later states that Green’s head injuries, combined with the cocaine and alcohol in his system, led to his death.

December 1992 – The Detroit police chief fires the four officers.

August 23, 1993 – Nevers and Budzyn are convicted of murder after a 45-day trial. Lessnau is acquitted. Nevers sentence is 12-25 years, while Budzyn’s sentence is 8-18 years.

1997-1998 – The Michigan Supreme Court orders a retrial for Budzyn due to possible jury bias. During the second trial, a jury convicts Budzyn of a less serious charge, involuntary manslaughter, and he is released with time served.

2000-2001 – A jury finds Nevers guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a second trial. He is released from prison in 2001.

1997 – New York – Abner Louima

August 9, 1997 – Abner Louima, a 33-year-old Haitian immigrant, is arrested for interfering with officers trying to break up a fight in front of the Club Rendez-vous nightclub in Brooklyn. Louima alleges, while handcuffed, police officers lead him to the precinct bathroom and sodomized him with a plunger or broomstick.

August 15, 1997 – Police officers Justin Volpe and Charles Schwarz are charged with aggravated sexual abuse and first-degree assault.

August 16, 1997 – Thousands of angry protesters gather outside Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct to demonstrate against what they say is a long-standing problem of police brutality against minorities.

August 18, 1997 – Two more officers, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder, are charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

February 26, 1998 – Volpe, Bruder, Schwarz and Wiese are indicted on federal civil rights charges. A fifth officer, Michael Bellomo, is accused of helping the others cover up the alleged beating, as well as an alleged assault on another Haitian immigrant, Patrick Antoine, the same night.

May 1999 – Volpe pleads guilty to beating and sodomizing Louima. He is later sentenced to 30 years in prison.

June 8, 1999 – Schwarz is convicted of beating Louima, then holding him down while he was being tortured. Wiese, Bruder, and Bellomo are acquitted. Schwarz is later sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison for perjury.

March 6, 2000 – In a second trial, Schwarz, Wiese, and Bruder are convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice by covering up the attack. On February 28, 2002, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturns their convictions.

September 2002 – Schwarz pleads guilty to perjury and is sentenced to five years in prison. He had been scheduled to face a new trial for civil rights violations but agreed to a deal.

1999 – New York – Amadou Diallo

February 4, 1999 – Amadou Diallo, 22, a street vendor from West Africa, is confronted outside his home in the Bronx by four NYPD officers who are searching the neighborhood for a rapist. When Diallo reaches for his wallet, the officers open fire, reportedly fearing he was pulling out a gun. They fire 41 times and hit him 19 times, killing him.

March 25, 1999 – A Bronx grand jury votes to indict the four officers – Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy – for second-degree murder. On February 25, 2000, they are acquitted.

January 2001 – The US Justice Department announces it will not pursue federal civil rights charges against the officers.

January 2004 – Diallo’s family receives $3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

2005 – New Orleans – The Danziger Bridge shootings

September 4, 2005 – Six days after Hurricane Katrina devastates the area, New Orleans police officers receive a radio call that two officers are down under the Danziger vertical-lift bridge. According to the officers, people are shooting at them and they have returned fire.

— Brothers Ronald and Lance Madison, along with four members of the Bartholomew family, are shot by police officers. Ronald Madison, 40, who is intellectually disabled, and James Brisette, 17 (some sources say 19), are fatally wounded.

December 28, 2006 – Police Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and officers Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso are charged with first-degree murder. Officers Robert Barrios, Michael Hunter and Ignatius Hills are charged with attempted murder.

August 2008 – State charges against the officers are thrown out.

July 12, 2010 – Four officers are indicted on federal charges of murdering Brissette: Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso. Faulcon is also charged with Madison’s murder. Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso, along with Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue are charged with covering up the shooting.

April 8, 2010 – Hunter pleads guilty in federal court of covering up the police shooting. In December, he is sentenced to eight years in prison.

August 5, 2011 – The jury finds five officers guilty of civil rights and obstruction charges: Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso and Kaufman.

October 5, 2011 – Hills receives a six and a half year sentence for his role in the shooting.

April 4, 2012 – A federal judge sentences five officers to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for the shootings of unarmed civilians. Faulcon receives 65 years. Bowen and Gisevius both receive 40 years. Villavaso receives 38 years. Kaufman, who was involved in the cover up, receives six years.

March 2013 – After a January 2012 mistrial, Dugue’s trial is delayed indefinitely.

September 17, 2013 – Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso and Kaufman are awarded a new trial.

April 20, 2016 – Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso and Kaufman plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences.

2006 – New York – Sean Bell

March 2007 – Three of the five officers involved in the shooting are indicted: Detectives Gescard F. Isnora and Michael Oliver are charged with manslaughter, and Michael Oliver is charged with reckless endangerment. On April 25, 2008, the three officers are acquitted of all charges.

July 27, 2010 – New York City settles a lawsuit for more than $7 million filed by Bell’s family and two of his friends.

2009 – Oakland, California – Oscar Grant

January 1, 2009 – San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle shoots Oscar Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old, in the back while he is lying face down on a platform at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland.

January 7, 2009 – Footage from station KTVU shows demonstrators vandalizing businesses and assaulting police in Oakland during a protest. About 105 people are arrested. Some protesters lie on their stomachs, saying they are showing solidarity with Grant, who was shot in the back.

January 27, 2010 – The mother of Grant’s young daughter receives a $1.5 million settlement from her lawsuit against BART.

July 8, 2010 – A jury finds Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. At the trial, Mehserle says that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun. On November 5, 2010, Mehserle is sentenced to two years in prison. Outrage over the light sentence leads to a night of violent protests.

June 2011 – Mehserle is released from prison.

July 12, 2013 – The movie, “Fruitvale Station” opens in limited release. It dramatizes the final hours of Grant’s life.

2011 – Fullerton, California – Kelly Thomas

July 5, 2011 – Fullerton police officers respond to a call about a homeless man looking into car windows and pulling on car handles. Surveillance camera footage shows Kelly Thomas being beaten and stunned with a Taser by police. Thomas, who was mentally ill, dies five days later in the hospital. When the surveillance video of Thomas’s beating is released in May 2012, it sparks a nationwide outcry.

May 9, 2012 – Officer Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force. On January 13, 2014, a jury acquits Ramos and Cicinelli.

May 16, 2012 – The City of Fullerton awards $1 million to Thomas’ mother, Cathy Thomas.

2014 – New York – Eric Garner

July 17, 2014 – Eric Garner, 43, dies after Officer Daniel Pantaleo uses a department-banned chokehold on him during an arrest for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. Garner dies later that day.

August 1, 2014 – The New York City Medical Examiner rules Garner’s death a homicide.

2014 – Ferguson, Missouri – Michael Brown

August 9, 2014 – During a struggle, a police officer fatally shoots Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.

August 9-10, 2014 – Approximately 1,000 demonstrators protest Brown’s death. The Ferguson-area protest turns violent and police begin using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Black Lives Matter, a protest movement that grew out of the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012, grows in visibility during the Ferguson demonstrations.

August 15, 2014 – Police identify the officer as 28-year-old Darren Wilson. Wilson is put on paid administrative leave after the incident.

August 18, 2014 – Governor Jay Nixon calls in the Missouri National Guard to protect the police command center.

November 24, 2014 – A grand jury does not indict Wilson for Brown’s shooting. Documents show that Wilson fired his gun 12 times. Protests erupt nationwide after the hearing.

November 29, 2014 – Wilson resigns from the Ferguson police force.

June 20, 2017 – A settlement is reached in the Brown family wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson. While the details of the settlement are not disclosed to the public, US Federal Judge Richard Webber calls the settlement, “fair and reasonable compensation.”

2014 – Chicago – Laquan McDonald

October 20, 2014 – Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shoots and kills Laquan McDonald, 17. Van Dyke says he fired in self-defense after McDonald lunged at him with a knife, but dashcam video shows McDonald walking away from police. Later, an autopsy shows McDonald was shot 16 times.

April 15, 2015 – The city agrees to pay $5 million to McDonald’s family.

November 19, 2015 – A judge in Chicago orders the city to release the police dashcam video that shows the shooting. For months, the city had fought attempts to have the video released to the public, saying it could jeopardize any ongoing investigation. The decision is the result of a Freedom of Information Act request by freelance journalist, Brandon Smith.

June 27, 2017 – Three officers are indicted on felony conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying to investigators.

October 9, 2019 – Inspector General Joseph Ferguson releases a report detailing a cover-up involving 16 officers and supervisors.

2015 – North Charleston, South Carolina – Walter Scott

April 4, 2015 – North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shoots Walter Scott, 50, an unarmed motorist stopped for a broken brake light. Slager says he feared for his life after Scott grabbed his Taser.

April 7, 2015 – Cellphone video of the incident is released. It shows Scott running away and Slager shooting him in the back. Slager is charged with first-degree murder.

October 8, 2015 – The North Charleston City Council approves a $6.5 million settlement with the family of Walter Scott.

2015 – Baltimore – Freddie Gray

April 12, 2015 – Police arrest 25-year-old Freddie Gray on a weapons charge after he is found with a knife in his pocket. Witness video contains audio of Gray screaming as officers carry him to the prisoner transport van. After arriving at the police station, Gray is transferred to a trauma clinic with a severe spinal injury. He falls into a coma and dies one week later.

April 21, 2015 – The names of six officers involved in the arrest are released. Lt. Brian Rice, 41, Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, Sgt. Alicia White, 30, Officer William Porter, 25, Officer Garrett Miller, 26, and Officer Edward Nero, 29, are all suspended.

April 24, 2015 – Baltimore police acknowledge Gray did not get timely medical care after his arrest and was not buckled into a seat belt while being transported in the police van.

April 27, 2015 – Protests turn into riots on the day of Gray’s funeral. At least 20 officers are injured as police and protesters clash on the streets. Gov. Larry Hogan’s office declares a state of emergency and activates the National Guard to address the unrest.

May 21, 2015 – A Baltimore grand jury indicts the six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray. The officers face a range of charges from involuntary manslaughter to reckless endangerment. Goodson, the driver of the transport van, will face the most severe charge: second-degree depraved-heart murder.

December 16, 2015 – The judge declares a mistrial in Porter’s case after jurors say they are deadlocked.

June 23, 2016 – Goodson is acquitted of all charges.

July 27, 2016 – Prosecutors drop charges against the three remaining officers awaiting trial in connection with Gray’s death.

August 10, 2016 – A Justice Department investigation finds that the Baltimore Police Department engages in unconstitutional practices that lead to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests of African-Americans. The report also finds excessive use of force against juveniles and people with mental health disabilities.

2016 – Falcon Heights, Minnesota – Philando Castile

June 26, 2017 – It is announced that the family of Castile has reached a $3 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony, Minnesota.

2016 – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Terence Crutcher

September 16, 2016 – Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby fatally shoots Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man, after his car is found abandoned in the middle of the road.

October 25, 2017 – A Tulsa County District Court judge grants Shelby’s petition to have her record expunged.

2018 – Pittsburgh – Antwon Rose II

October 28, 2019 – A $2 million settlement is finalized in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Rosfeld and East Pittsburgh.

2018 – Arlington, Texas – O’Shae Terry

September 1, 2018 – During a traffic stop, O’Shae Terry is gunned down by an Arlington police officer. Terry, 24, was pulled over for having an expired temporary tag on his car. During the stop, officers reportedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Police video from the scene shows officer Bau Tran firing into the car as Terry tries to drive away. Investigators later locate a concealed firearm, marijuana and ecstasy pills in the vehicle.

October 19, 2018 – The Arlington Police Department releases information about a criminal investigation into the incident. According to the release, Tran declined to provide detectives with a statement and the matter is pending with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Tran is still employed by the police department but is working on restricted duty status, according to the news release.

May 1, 2019 – A grand jury issues an indictment charging Tran with criminally negligent homicide. Arlington police announce that Tran has been placed on leave.

May 17, 2019 – The Arlington Police Department announces Tran has been fired.

2020 – Louisville, Kentucky – Breonna Taylor

March 13, 2020 – Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shoot Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, after they forcibly enter her apartment while executing a late-night, no-knock warrant in a narcotics investigation. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, is also in the apartment and fires one shot at who he believes are intruders. Taylor is shot at least eight times and Walker is charged with attempted murder of a police officer and first-degree assault. The charges are later dismissed.

April 27, 2020 – Taylor’s family files a wrongful death lawsuit. In the lawsuit, Taylor’s mother says the officers should have called off their search because the suspect they sought had already been arrested.

September 1, 2020 – Walker files a $10.5 million lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department. Walker claims he was maliciously prosecuted for firing a single bullet with his licensed firearm at “assailants” who “violently broke down the door.”

2020 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – George Floyd

May 27, 2020 – Gov. Tim Walz signs an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard after protests and demonstrations erupt throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.

February 24, 2022 – Lane, Kueng and Thao are found guilty of depriving Floyd of his civil rights by showing deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The jurors also find Thao and Kueng guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin. Lane, who did not face the extra charge, had testified that he asked Chauvin twice to reposition Floyd while restraining him but was denied both times.

2020 – Atlanta, Georgia – Rayshard Brooks

June 12, 2020 – Rayshard Brooks, 27, is shot and killed by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe outside a Wendy’s restaurant after failing a sobriety test, fighting with two officers, taking a Taser from one and running away.

2021 – Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — Daunte Wright

April 12, 2021 – During a press conference, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon announces Potter accidentally drew a handgun instead of a Taser. According to Gannon, “this was an accidental discharge, that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.” Potter is placed on administrative leave. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wright’s death has been ruled a homicide.

April 14, 2021 – Potter is arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput issues a news release which includes a summary of the criminal complaint filed against Potter. According to the release, Potter shot Wright with a Glock handgun holstered on her right side, after saying she would tase Wright. Later, the state amends the complaint against Potter, adding an additional charge of manslaughter in the first degree.

June 21, 2022 – The city of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, agrees to pay $3.25 million to the family of Wright. The sum is part of a settlement deal the family struck with the city, which also agreed to make changes in its policing policies and training, the Wright family legal team said in a news release.

2022 – Grand Rapids, Michigan — Patrick Lyoya

April 13, 2022 – Grand Rapids police release video from police body camera, the police unit’s dashcam, a cell phone and a home surveillance system, which show the police officer’s encounter with Lyoya, including two clips showing the fatal shot. Lyoya was pulled over for an allegedly unregistered license plate when he got out of the car and ran. He resisted the officer’s attempt to arrest him and was shot while struggling with the officer on the ground.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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