2018 Police Shooting Database

Fatal Force


people have been shot and killed by police in 2018

Updated Jan. 25 at 2:55 p.m.

Search the database





Mental illness


Body camera

Fleeing the scene

998 people shot and killed by police

An unidentified person, an 18-year-old man armed with a knife, was shot on Dec. 31, 2018, in Van Nuys, Calif.



Unknown race

18 to 29

No/unknown mental illness


Body cam recording

Not fleeing

Jesus Ramos, a 34-year-old Hispanic man, was shot on Dec. 31, 2018, in Longmont, Colo.




30 to 44

Mental illness

Weapon unknown

No body cam recording

Fleeing by foot

1 of 998

987 people were fatally shot by police in 2017

As of a week ago, there this year than at the same time last year.

Fatal police shootings by year



Where the 2018 shootings took place

Each marks the location of a deadly shooting.

Shootings per million people




There are 74 shootings with unverified locations that are not shown on the map.

The Washington database contains records of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since Jan. 1, 2015.

In 2015, The Post began tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, whether the person was armed and whether the person was experiencing a mental-health crisis — by culling local news reports, law enforcement websites and social media, and by monitoring independent databases such as Killed by Police and Fatal Encounters. The Post conducted additional reporting in many cases.

The Post is documenting only those shootings in which a police officer, in the line of duty, shoots and kills a civilian — the circumstances that most closely parallel the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which began the protest movement culminating in Black Lives Matter and an increased focus on police accountability nationwide. The Post is not tracking deaths of people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers or non-shooting deaths.

The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention log fatal shootings by police, but officials acknowledge that their data is incomplete. Since 2015, The Post has documented more than twice as many fatal shootings by police as recorded on average annually.

The Post’s database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases. The Post seeks to make the database as comprehensive as possible. To provide information about fatal police shootings since Jan. 1, 2015, send us an email at policeshootingsfeedback@washpost.co

January 25, 2018, Washington Post, “2018 Police Shooting Database”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/police-shootings-2018/?utm_term=.e6dc19903119



Black Cops Are Just as Likely as White Cops to Kill Black Suspects

New research suggests a culture of bias is a bigger problem than individual racist officers.
Tom Jacobs,
Police officers.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When a white police officer fatally shoots a black man, angry acquaintances often assume the tragedy was triggered by a racist cop.

New research reports that, while some officers may by driven by personal prejudice, the bias that can serve as a catalyst for killings is more institutional than individual.

“White officers do not kill black suspects at a higher rate compared with nonwhite officers,” concludes a research team led by Charles Menifield, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark. “The killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem.”

Menifield and his colleagues constructed a database of all confirmed incidents in which deadly force was used by police in the United States during 2014 and 2015. It includes detailed information on both the officer and victim.

Not surprisingly, they found a huge racial disparity when it comes to who gets killed by officers. “While only about 13 percent of the American population is black,” they write, “28 percent of people killed by police are black.”

The victims were overwhelmingly male (95.5 percent), and less than 1 percent were unarmed at the time of the incident. “The gun could been in the car, or on them, but it was there at the time they were killed,” Menifield noted.

The majority of officers in these situations were white. But this reflects the fact that America’s police forces are disproportionately made up of whites, who account for approximately three-quarters of all officers.

Crunching the numbers, the researchers report “white police officers actually kill black and other minority suspects at lower rates than we would expect if killings were randomly distributed among officers of all races.”

In contrast, “we find that nonwhite officers kill both black and Latino suspects at significantly higher rates than white officers,” they write. “This is likely due to the fact that minority police officers tend to be assigned to minority neighborhoods, and therefore have more contact with minority suspects.”

But if individual-level racism isn’t the issue, what is? Menifield and his colleagues make a strong argument that the fundamental problem is one of institutional culture.

“We believe that the disproportionate killing of black suspects is a downstream effect of institutionalized racism … within many police departments,” they write. At least in part, “disproportionate killing is a function of disproportionate police contact among members of the African-American community.”

In other words, if a certain percentage of such encounters between the police and public end in tragedy, and cops are more likely to come into contact with black citizens (for instance, ordering African-American drivers to pull over at higher rates than whites), it stands to reason that black civilians are at greater risk of ending up dead.

Blaming racist cops for this problem is emotionally satisfying (it presents a clear villain) and suggests an easy fix (weed them out). But this research suggests the real problem is the entrenched set of biases and assumptions that pervade police forces, influencing the attitudes and actions of cops of all colors.

Tom Jacobs, , Pacific Standard, “Black Cops Are Just as Likely as White Cops to Kill Black Suspects”, https://psmag.com/social-justice/black-cops-are-just-as-likely-as-whites-to-kill-black-suspects


Protests in Chicago continue after officials release video of police shooting

People march, shout, pray and protest against the alleged shooting of Harith Augustus by a Chicago Police officer during a confrontation in Chicago on 15 July 2018. (Tannen Maury/Tannen Maury/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock)

Tensions escalated in a Chicago neighborhood Monday, a day after the police department released a video showing officers skirmishing with a black man and then shooting him in the street on Saturday.

A rally late Monday on the spot where the shooting took place attracted about 200 people who chanted in unison. Some onlookers argued in the middle of the street about whether the police had a good reason to shoot. Two police helicopters hovered overhead. Suddenly, a middle-aged man darted up to police officers watching the scene.

“Human beings don’t behave like that!” he screamed at them. An elderly woman from the corner joined in. “You’re hurting people!” she yelled.

“It’s gotten worse since Saturday,” said Kay Thomas, 16, who was carrying groceries home from the corner Walgreen’s. “I never saw my neighborhood this upset.”

To many black and Latino residents on the city’s South and West sides, the Saturday afternoon shooting of Harith Augustus, a barber in the South Shore neighborhood, is unquestionably linked to the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald, an unarmed 17-year-old. The aftermath of that shooting resulted in an incriminating report by the U.S. Department of Justice into practices by the police department, the electoral ouster of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, the firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and fresh vulnerability for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is in the midst of a reelection bid for a third term in February 2019.

Turning up the heat this summer is the pending trial of Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder for shooting McDonald 16 times as he backed slowly away. A police dashboard-camera video in that case was released more than a year after Emanuel narrowly won a second term. Van Dyke’s attorney is trying to move the trial from Chicago because he argues that the officer cannot get a fair trial here.

Many here think the outcome of that trial will be a watershed moment.

“Nobody is taking [violence] seriously. The police aren’t. The alderman isn’t. The mayor don’t give a damn. The community is the only ones taking it seriously,” said Janet, 58, a neighborhood resident who did not want her last name used.

Unlike in the McDonald case, Chicago police released the Augustus tape to the public the next day. It shows two officers approaching Augustus as he stands on a sidewalk calmly talking with another officer. One of the officers grabs his wrist from behind, which causes him to spin around and run. A gun is seen as his shirt flies up, and he is shot as he runs off. There is no audio, and the circumstances related to the shooting are unknown. Police say the officer was placed on desk duty for 30 days; the shooting is under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).

Activists in groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression say that is not enough. At the march late Monday, as protesters marched to the barbershop where Augustus worked, activists called for the officer’s name to be released and for the officer’s firing. They also want an all-elected civilian council to replace COPA and have oversight on all matters related to police misconduct. Most of the appointees on COPA, which was created after the McDonald shooting, were named by Emanuel.

Some on Monday said they recognize that the police have a difficult job. But they questioned the decision to shoot to kill and said they want more video with audio released to give a full picture. Bill, 50, who did not want his last name used, said he watched the video and was troubled that the confrontation escalated. “It should have been handled differently,” he said. “I just hope that what comes out of this is something good.”

Since the release of the McDonald video in November 2015, rallies and marches have almost become a way of life in Chicago. Protesters have performed die-ins at City Hall, shut down Christmas shopping along Michigan Avenue, and regularly march in the Loop. The weekend before the Augustus shooting, 3,000 people marched down the Dan Ryan Expressway to protest gun violence.

All of those protests have been nonviolent. But on Saturday night, a five-hour march ended in baton-wielding police officers chasing and striking protesters, some of whom threw rocks and glass bottles in their direction.

Emanuel has not made a public statement about Saturday’s shooting and the street violence that followed.

Emanuel has become a focus of critics who say that his priorities are wrong when it comes to investment in the city, favoring downtown and North Side development over neighborhoods that need jobs and infrastructure. His opponents have been particularly critical of a $95 million police and fire academy Emanuel pushed through for City Council approval in May.

Most of Emanuel’s leading challengers released statements Monday suggesting that they understand the public dismay with police accountability and the need for change. Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot, once an Emanuel appointee to lead the police board, said the police violence toward protesters Saturday night demands an investigation.

“The images I saw from a variety of sources raise serious questions about supervision, use of force and equipment, as well as tactics deployed,” she said.

Another challenger, Troy LaRaviere, a former Chicago Public Schools principal, questioned whether the shooting was justified and why the video lacked audio.

“Our system of policing has been found to unjustly target African American communities for everything from issuing parking tickets, to setting up DUI checkpoints, to the unconstitutional use of force,” he wrote on Facebook. “It is of great concern to know this same disparate system is being used to stop African American men who — like many white Chicagoans — arm themselves for protection.”

However, McCarthy, the former Chicago police superintendent fired by Emanuel after the release of the McDonald video, wrote on Twitter that the shooting “appears to be justified.” He also suggested that Augustus fled from officers because there remains a lingering lack of trust between the community and the police.

“Incidents like this underscore the need for a new mayor who can bring us together, promote understanding, and open dialogue,” he said.

Yet almost as a reminder that the violence problem is urgent, two women were shot by random bullets fired from a car one block north of the rally 45 minutes before it started. Both victims were taken to nearby hospitals.

Mark Guarino. July 16, 2018, Washington Post, “Protests in Chicago continue after officials release video of police shooting”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/hundreds-protest-in-chicago-over-police-shooting/2018/07/16/08276a88-8960-11e8-85ae-511bc1146b0b_story.html?utm_term=.aaf22d1aaabe

Defense: Badge not relevant in case of ex-DeKalb cop who shot nude vet


The vocation of the former DeKalb County officer charged with murdering an unarmed veteran is as irrelevant to the case as the victim’s many admirable qualities, defense co-counsel Don Samuel said Tuesday.

“This is not a police misconduct case,” Samuel said during the second and final day of a pretrial immunity hearing for Robert Olsen. Instead, this case turns on “the right of an individual to act in self-defense, whether he’s in uniform or not,” said Samuel on behalf of Olsen, who fatally shot Anthony Hill in March 2015. The 27-year-old Hill, who fought in Afghanistan, had stripped naked, a reaction to medication he was prescribed to deal with bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders.

The state countered that Olsen couldn’t have acted in self-defense because he was the aggressor.

“The hypothetical (that Samuel) just gave — if someone in this courtroom, someone runs in and runs at them, they’re allowed to shoot and kill them?” prosecutor Lance Cross argued. “That is not the law and that can’t be where we are right now.”

The defense’s interpretation of Georgia’s self-defense laws is far too permissive, he said.

“What if they’re deaf? What if it’s a 17-year-old autistic kid?” Cross asked. “What if it’s a veteran who’s suffering from mental illness and identifies uniforms as help? What if he’s told people, ‘I need help,’ 911 is called, and when a uniform arrives he runs to it for help.”

“You can shoot and kill him, according to Mr. Samuel, according to these so-called experts,” he said. “That is wrong. That is not the law.”

It will be at least two weeks before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge J.P. Boulee rules on whether to grant Olsen immunity. That decision would result in murder charges being dropped against the 56-year-old ex-cop.

“I believed I was about to get pummeled and pounded” by Hill, Olsen testified Monday. He said he had little time (roughly 5 seconds) to act and, with the suspect closing in, he had no option but to use his firearm.

Robert Olsen and Anthony Hill (2018 COX MEDIA GROUP)

Olsen said because Hill was nude he believed Hill was suffering from excited delirium, a condition often cited when defending police accused of excessive use of force. Sufferers are said to be impervious to pain and capable of superhuman strength.

“That defense is ridiculous,” Cross said. “Think about the assumptions Officer Olsen would’ve had to make at the time. He killed someone based on a guess. That was wrong. He had no evidence for it. That’s not reasonable.”

A defense use of force expert who testified Tuesday disagreed. Citing Olsen’s “limited reaction time,” Darrell Ross, a sociology and criminal justice professor at Valdosta State, said an “intermediate weapon” such as a baton or Taser would not have provided adequate protection.

Revisiting a question the state posed throughout the two-day hearing, Ross was asked what distance does an unarmed man have to be before it’s appropriate to shoot him — 5, 6, 7 feet?

“Possibly,” Ross stated, citing self-defense.

Prosecutors criticized Ross for relying solely on Olsen’s account of the shooting. Olsen said that when Hill was approaching him, the younger man’s hands were not up in a surrender position. On Monday, witness Pedro Castillo testified that Hill’s hands were stretched out, waist-high as he approached the officer.

But in his deposition, Castillo told investigators he empathized with Olsen.

“If I was in (Olsen’s) place, I would’ve thought (Hill) would, you know, do something to me,” Castillo said. “I thought he was going to do something to the policeman.”

Former DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen (center) talks with his defense team — including co-counsel Don Samuel (right) — during a morning break in Olsen’s pretrial immunity hearing at the DeKalb County Superior Court in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.  (STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Samuel said his client is being victimized by Monday-morning quarterbacks who’ve placed an unfair burden on an officer “confronted with serious bodily harm.”

“It is unfair to Robert Olsen to say shooting a war hero was not justified,” Samuel said. “That shooting someone with a mental illness is not justified.

“He didn’t have the time. He wasn’t given the opportunity. He didn’t have the information ahead of time,” the defense attorney continued. “There’s no law that says you have to do that. It may be good policy.”

And then, in a dig at the DeKalb County Police Department, Samuel suggested that one hour of use-of-force training was insufficient. “Maybe they should train their officers better,” he said.

It was the testimony of a fellow officer that could prove most problematic to Olsen. Lyn Anderson, arriving as backup at the Chamblee Heights apartment complex moments after the shooting, said Monday that Olsen justified lethal force by claiming Hill had been “pounding on him.” Olsen said he did not remember that conversation.

“That makes Robert Olsen not credible,” Cross said.

Christian Boone, May 22, 2018, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Defense: Badge not relevant in case of ex-DeKalb cop who shot nude vet”, https://www.ajc.com/news/crime–law/defense-badge-not-relevant-case-dekalb-cop-who-shot-nude-vet/5GMRDvc0HJefNUhDyudnfK/

After six months of silence in Park Police killing, Bijan Ghaisar’s family protests at Justice Department

Negeen Ghaisar, left, the sister of Bijan Ghaisar, and her husband Kouros Emami lead a group of friends and family around the Justice Department to demand answers in Bijan Ghaisar’s shooting death by U.S. Park Police officers. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Six months after Bijan Ghaisar was fatally shot by two U.S. Park Police officers on a Northern Virginia side street, hundreds of family members, friends and supporters marched around the Justice Department building Saturday chanting, “We want names — we want justice — we are Bijan.”

Other than the video of the incident recorded by Fairfax County police, virtually no information has been released about the shooting, including the names of the officers or the reasons they fired nine times into Ghaisar’s Jeep Grand Cherokee as he sat behind the wheel, apparently unarmed. Both the FBI, who is investigating the case, and the Justice Department said Saturday they had no comment on the case.

Bijan Ghaisar, far right, with his family: mother Kelly, sister Negeen and father James. (Ghaisar family)

“Where the hell are all the good cops?” asked Negeen Ghaisar, the victim’s sister, to an often tearful audience. The lengthy silence in the case has horrified her family. “My grandfather is a retired police colonel and police chief. He said the good cops outweigh the bad cops. Where the hell are you?”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has been pressing the Park Police and the FBI for answers for months, with little success. “It’s beyond my imagination why it has taken so very, very long. … Little by little, the FBI is sacrificing its credibility. I have one request. Please Director [Christopher] Wray, finish the investigation and release the report.”

State Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) and Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) also lent their voices to the demand for answers, as did speakers from Amnesty International, Mothers Against Police Brutality, the Iranian-American Community Center and the Avalan Institute.

Ghaisar, a 25-year-old accountant from McLean, Va., was shot on Nov. 17 by two U.S. Park Police officers as he sat behind the wheel of his Jeep in the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County, Va. His family said he was unarmed and shot four times in the head. The Park Police and the FBI, which took over the investigation of the case, have declined to discuss the case since the incident occurred. The Park Police have refused to identify the officers involved, which most police agencies do shortly after a shooting. The officers remain on administrative leave with pay, Sgt. James Dingeldein, a Park Police spokesman, has said.

Ghaisar had been involved in a minor fender bender after he stopped in a southbound lane of the George Washington Memorial Parkway just north of Alexandria, Va. A Park Police report states Ghaisar drove away from that incident without speaking to the driver who had hit him, and a Park Police cruiser with two officers inside spotted the Jeep minutes later on the parkway south of Alexandria and tried to pull him over.

A Fairfax County police officer joined the pursuit and turned on his in-car video camera. The footage from that camera, released by Fairfax police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. in January, shows Ghaisar stopped in the right lane of the parkway, then drove off as the Park Police officers approached him with guns drawn. Several minutes later, after driving at a reported 58 mph, Ghaisar pulled onto an exit off the parkway and stopped again. Again the officers ran to his Jeep with guns drawn, and again Ghaisar drove off.

Video captures chase and fatal shooting by U.S. Park Police of Virginia man

Fairfax County Police released video on Jan. 24 of U.S. Park Police chasing Bijan Ghaisar’s vehicle on Nov. 17 and firing shots. Ghaisar, 25, later died.

At the intersection of Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue, Ghaisar stopped a third time. The officers again hurried to the Jeep with pistols drawn. Ghaisar’s Jeep appears to start rolling around the Park Police car blocking his way, with the officers to the side. The video shows the officers firing nine times into the Jeep.

Ghaisar lived for 10 days after the shooting, and was pronounced dead on Nov. 27. Though there is a full, clear video of the incident and a Fairfax County police officer as a witness to the entire episode, the Justice Department has given no indication of when a decision might be made on whether the Park Police officers will be charged with a crime.

Kadia Koroma, an FBI spokeswoman, said the investigation was ongoing and she had no information to release Saturday. Devin O’Malley, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department “does not acknowledge or otherwise comment on investigations.”

Last month, Beyer asked FBI Director Wray to meet with him to discuss the case. Wray declined. Federal prosecutors have also intervened with Arlington County, which received the initial 911 calls on the traffic accident, to prevent them from releasing the tapes of those calls, which might indicate why Park Police pursued Ghaisar so intensely.

“Knowing my son,” said his mother, Kelly Ghaisar, “he would never run from the police. But he would run to save his life. What was Bijan’s crime for deserving a death sentence? I’ll tell you. He insulted an officer’s ego.” She and Beyer both noted that the officers appeared to violate Park Police policy on both pursuing Ghaisar and using force against him.

Kelly Ghaisar, mother of Bijan Ghaisar, addresses friends and family gathered in front of the Justice Department to demand answers in her son’s death in November after being shot by U.S. Park Police officers. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

“Those officers killed my son and are getting paid,” Kelly Ghaisar said, “sitting at home with full protection, while we watched our son with bullets in his head. We have no rights. If you think you have rights, you don’t.”

“Today marks 184 days,” said family friend Shirin Golesorkhi Kavyani, “since Bijan, a bright, positive, passionate soul who believed in honesty and peace, was shot by the U.S. Park Police. 184 days of grieving. 184 days is too long for Bijan’s family with no answers.”

The Park Police do not have either body-worn cameras or in-car cameras. Last week, the Ghaisar family sent a letter to Park Police Chief Robert MacLean imploring him to move forward on cameras. “What is required for you to take this seriously?” the letter by James, Kelly and Negeen Ghaisar asked. “Another unnecessary and devastating killing by one of your officers?… It is far past time for you to take action to ensure that all of your officers have body cameras.”

Tom Jackman, May 19, 2018, Washington Post, “After six months of silence in Park Police killing, Bijan Ghaisar’s family protests at Justice Department”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2018/05/19/after-six-months-of-silence-in-park-police-killing-bijan-ghaisars-family-protests-at-justice-department/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1d1f273c886b

Officer who killed Aurora mother once falsified report about alleged police brutality


The Aurora police officer who fatally shot a 21-year-old mother during a traffic stop Saturday has a checkered past, court records show.

The News-Leader looked into David Chatman after learning he was the officer who fatally shot Savannah Hill, the driver of a car that allegedly struck another officer during the incident.

What the News-Leader found is that Chatman once falsified a report to cover up alleged police brutality, worked at five different law enforcement agencies over four years and left at least two recent jobs on bad terms.

The Lawrence County prosecutor said Friday that he has cleared Chatman of any wrongdoing in connection with Saturday’s shooting.

Neither the Aurora Police Department nor the Missouri State Highway Patrol (which investigated the shooting) has released the names of the officers involved in Saturday’s shooting.

Chatman was first publicly identified in documents filed by prosecutors to charge 19-year-old Mason Farris with murder.

Farris was wanted for a parole violation, troopers say, and Hill was cooperating with Aurora police to arrest him during a traffic stop.

When police pulled over Hill as planned, Farris allegedly pushed down on Hill’s leg, causing the car to lurch backward and strike an officer.

Lawrence County Prosecutor Don Trotter said Hill was “completely innocent.”

“It’s unfortunate that the wrong person was shot,” Trotter said.

Troopers say the officer who fired at the driver feared for his life.

When asked if he was aware that Chatman had once falsified a police report in Arkansas, Aurora Police Chief Richard Witthuhn told the News-Leader he was not aware.

Prior to the filing of charges, Witthuhn refused to say whether or not Chatman was involved in Saturday’s shooting.

Chatman has been employed by the Aurora Police Department for less than a year, state licensing records show.

The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Chatman was working in one of its prisons as recently as September.

Before that, Chatman worked six different stints at five different law enforcement agencies over a four-year span, according to an Arkansas official.

City and county officials told the News-Leader that Chatman left two of those jobs — including his job at Bull Shoals, Arkansas — on bad terms.

Bull Shoals is a town of about 2,000 people in north-central Arkansas.

In July 2013, the police chief, Chatman and another officer responded to a domestic disturbance at a Bull Shoals home that would later be dissected in federal court.

Chatman recounted in a 2015 deposition that the chief kicked down the door without probable cause.

Once inside, Chatman said the chief used a shotgun to strike a man inside the home, then used a stun gun.

Chatman then described getting on top of the suspect and handcuffing him.

The chief then struck the handcuffed man in the head with the butt of his shotgun, Chatman said. Chatman said he intentionally left that part out of his police report — and later lied to the FBI about it.

It wasn’t until about 40 minutes into his interview with the FBI that Chatman said he told the truth.

Chatman, who was never prosecuted in connection with the alleged beating, said he was given partial immunity for agreeing to testify in federal court.

The other Bull Shoals officer who responded to the domestic disturbance said much more happened than a single blow to the head, federal court records show.

That officer told the FBI he cried after witnessing the chief kick the handcuffed man in the head twice, then stomp on his head. The third officer said Chatman knelt nearby and watched in silence.

The police chief, Daniel Sutterfield, was prosecuted, but charges were dropped after Sutterfield agreed to resign as chief, give up his Arkansas law enforcement certification and never serve again as a law enforcement officer.

Chatman eventually left the Bull Shoals Police Department in 2014, said the city’s current mayor, David Nixon. Nixon stressed he became mayor after Chatman’s departure.

“I was told by people whose information should be reliable that (Chatman) did not leave under good circumstances,” Nixon said.

According to Brad King, the deputy director of Arkansas’s Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Chatman worked at several law enforcement agencies in northern Arkansas.

King said starting in November 2011, Chatman was a part-time officer in the cities of Flippin, then Bull Shoals, then Cotter.

Chatman came back to Bull Shoals to work full-time, King said, then worked at the Jasper Police Department in Jasper, Arkansas and finished up at the Newton County Sheriff’s Office in 2015.

While working as a part-time officer, Chatman also worked as a jailer for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Clinton Evans.

Evans, who was not the sheriff at the time of Chatman’s employment, said records show Chatman was a jailer from August 2006 to October 2007 and again from November 2010 to October 2012.

According to Evans, department records show Chatman was terminated after failing to come back to work after a trip to New Jersey to help with disaster relief in October 2012.

That’s about the time Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast.

The father of the woman shot by Chatman said his daughter, Savannah Hill, was a mother of two young children and worked with veterans as a certified nursing assistant.

“My daughter was the type of person, if you were having a bad day and she was having a bad day, she’d find a way to make your day better,” Chris Nethery said. “As a father, I couldn’t be more ecstatic about how she handled her life. It’s a tragedy it ended this way. It’s a tragedy it ended so soon.”

Nethery told the News-Leader Monday that he wanted people to pray for his family and think of the memories they had with his daughter.

Giacomo Bologna, May 11, 2018, Springfield News Leader, “Officer who killed Aurora mother once falsified report about alleged police brutality”, https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2018/05/11/officer-who-killed-aurora-woman-has-troubled-past/597732002/

How to Survive a Police Shooting When You’re Black


Leon Ford, center, in a wheelchair, is surrounded by friends and colleagues in Pittsburgh. Emmai Alaquiva

Pittsburgh activist Leon Ford explains in his new book, Untold, how to get lifted up, and how to lift a city up, even after being shot by its police.

Leon Ford @LeonFordSpeaks

When you get shot by a police officer 5 times–and docs say that you will ever walk but your son says keep pushing 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾 Untold 11•11•17

CityLab spoke with Ford about his new book on improving policing, and being a change agent for his city:

How do you talk to your son about the police, particularly given what you’ve been through?I’m basically preparing a platform right now for him to decide what he wants to do with it later, because one thing that I don’t want to do is put too much emphasis on “the talk”—like, preparing my son to get pulled over by a police officer. My mom and my dad did that for me, and I did everything they told me to do. But I still ended up shot. It doesn’t work. “The talk” is not strength-based, it’s really just a fear talk. I’m not trying to put fear in my son’s heart. This is why I do the work that I do and this is why I’m not opposed to building relationships with police officers and people who are in positions of power. I’m working towards preparing the world for my son.

“The talk” should be more about: What does a prosperous community look like to you? When we continue to have these conversations around fear, then people will continue to run away from each other and step on each other. I don’t want to build a community where people are stepping on each other. That’s not a healthy community.

You did the photo shoot for your book cover at the site where police shot you. How difficult is it for you revisit that space?

It used to be a painful reminder, but now I just view my life differently. I’ve had that paradigm shift where, before, even thinking about the day that I was shot, that used to be super emotional. But now it’s like a celebration because I could’ve lost my life on that block. However, I survived and so I view my life like a vessel to make people aware, to educate, and to inspire. And that’s really empowering.

What’s your relationship with Pittsburgh police like today?I’m still going through my healing process, and there’s certain things that were done even after I was shot that I’m still dealing with psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Just the way that the city handled my case—I was fighting for six years and it’s like being in the belly of the beast of a system that was designed to destroy me. It made me feel like I wasn’t an American. The laws, the Constitution, and these documents that Americans praise—it felt like they didn’t work for me.

What kind of documents do you mean?

Like the Declaration of Independence, you know, those type of documents. These are good ideas, but [this ordeal] made me question who they were written for. What I went through, it made me feel like America was this house, and, I felt like the dog in the backyard that’s chained up all the time. You know? And kids come and pick on me and tease me and I get rained on—that’s how I felt, you know what I mean? Being a young man feeling like that, it’s like finally you get let out, they let you off the leash and you almost want to bite somebody. But gratefully, regardless of my circumstances, I realized that I was stronger than that, and just because someone else’s moral compass was pointing in the wrong direction, that didn’t mean that mine had to also.

Leon Ford (Emmai Alaquiva)

Is it hard pushing a message of compassion and forgiveness in such a suffocating climate for discussions around police and racism?

My message is to channel that anger into educating yourself. Educate yourself about the history of this country, and different policies at the local, state and federal levels. We’re behind the ball because these people are changing policies and stripping our rights away every single day. If we let our emotions get the best of us, before we know it we ain’t going to have any rights and they’ll continue to do whatever that they want to us. But the more we educate ourselves, the more we can use the system that has been working against us, to make it work for us.I encourage young people to run for office. I meet a lot of young people who are fed up with police officers and go to college and don’t know what they want to do in life. Well, if you don’t want to go to work delivering furniture or working at Panera Bread, or you just don’t like your job, then become a police officer. I think that’s where activism meets mentorship, especially in our communities. I had a few football coaches growing up who were police officers, but I never viewed them as police officers because they were mentors in the community.

What are your plans now for creating the kind of change you want to see in the city of Pittsburgh?

I’m getting involved with real estate development and leveraging my platform and resources to provide affordable housing for people here in Pittsburgh. One of the problems that I see, especially here in Pittsburgh is access. A lot of young African-American men and women don’t have access to resources to capital. There’s a lot of great things happening in Pittsburgh, but if you go to [the neighborhoods of] Larimer, or Homewood, or East liberty and Garfield, they don’t even know or understand what’s happening. There’s a disconnect there. So, I’m in a unique position right now to leverage my platform to give other people access so that they can understand things like: What does it really mean for Amazon to come to Pittsburgh?

I’m wondering as an entrepreneur, if Amazon is going to bring a lot of money to Pittsburgh, or, as an activist, what does that look like for the average household given what we’ve seen in Oakland, California and San Francisco? The average apartment rent has gone up to $2,500-$3,000 [in those cities] and that has the potential to happen in Pittsburgh. So, how are people going to afford to live within the city?Navigating the city from your vantage point now, what do you think Pittsburgh should prioritize for change?

Affordable housing policy. Also, accessibility. I love Pittsburgh, however Pittsburgh isn’t as accessible as I want it to be. There are still buildings within the city that aren’t really that handicap accessible.

Also police training. There’s really an accountability issue. I think police officers should have to live within the city. That’s a policy they recently changed that I think is just asinine. If you can drive an hour to go to work then you don’t have to be a part of any of the repercussions from people living in a neighborhood where you’re policing at. You don’t really have a heart for the people.

I believe that [the police] should have mental health evaluations. A lot of them come from the Army, and being a police officer, you’re sitting in a car for the majority of the day, not getting a lot of sleep because of the shifts that they put them. So police officers have very poor health, and there needs to be some changes within that structure. If police officers could be happier and healthier and more culturally competent that may help with some of these issues that we’re having as well.

Brentin Mock , Citylab.com, “How to Survive a Police Shooting When You’re Black”, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/05/pittsburgh-police-shooting-survivor-wants-to-change-the-game/559493/

Anatomy of a Los Angeles Police Shooting: A Black Teenager, a Missing Gun, Protests, Grief

Left, Anthony Weber’s memorial at the apartment complex where he was killed by the police. Right, a flower memorial for Anthony’s funeral.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

By Tim Arango

LOS ANGELES — John Weber was rummaging through old boxes the other day, looking for memories, when he found a bunch of old baseball and flag football trophies. He has kept other things, too, like a neatly pressed R.O.T.C. uniform, a reminder that he once hoped to steer his son, Anthony, to the Army and away from the streets.

“It’s all I’ve got left,” he said.

On Super Bowl Sunday, after rooting for the Patriots against the Eagles, Anthony Weber left a friend’s apartment to go for dinner with his girlfriend at The Kickin’ Crab, her favorite restaurant.

Around the same time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call. A black man with a gun was threatening a motorist.

Soon, Anthony — a mixed race 16-year-old, was dead in a darkened courtyard of a run-down apartment complex, with no gun anywhere around.

Nearly two months later, with questions still unanswered, the spot is a makeshift memorial of candles, balloons, flowers, photographs, and placards from rallies. “Jail killer cops!” reads one. “No gun = no alibi = murder,” reads another.

Left, flowers in the family home. Right, Demetra Johnson, Anthony Weber’s mother.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

Long before police shootings and protests in Ferguson, Mo., or Sacramento focused America’s attention on how the police treat black men, Los Angeles was a byword for police brutality and racism. Years of effort after the 1991 beating of Rodney King, the riots that followed and, later, the Rampart police corruption scandal, have succeeded in changing the culture of policing in the city to a great extent. There is less overt racism, many people in Los Angeles say, and police forces have been reshaped to better reflect the city’s diversity.

Yet to Anthony Weber’s family, to the Black Lives Matter activists drawn to the case, and to many residents of South Los Angeles, an area still rife with crime and poverty, his death and its aftermath are signs of how much more needs to change on their streets, and how the police can be too quick to use deadly force against black men.

“We are light-years from where we were, and light-years from where we need to be,” said Connie Rice, a civil rights lawyer who began suing the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1990s, and lately has worked with the department on new approaches to policing.

The neighborhood is not the South Los Angeles of the 1980s and 1990s, when gang wars and the crack epidemic were devastating many lives. Crime has fallen drastically, as it has in many big cities across America. There were more than 1,000 murders in a single year in the city of Los Angeles in the 1990s, but the rate today is fewer than 300 a year.

Even so, gangs are still ubiquitous, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has said that Anthony was involved with them, an allegation that has outraged activists.

“First they kill our bodies, then they kill our characters,” said Melina Abdullah, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and a Black Lives Matter organizer.


Left, a few of Anthony’s baseball and basketball trophies. Right, a baseball in the trunk of a car Anthony had been working on with his father.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

Anthony’s father said, “In South Central, everyone is associated with gangs — it’s just a part of being able to walk to school.” He said Anthony “associated” with neighborhood gang members but was “not a criminal gang member.”

By Mr. Weber’s own account, Anthony struggled. But his past, Mr. Weber said, was irrelevant to his killing.

Anthony’s mother, Demetra Johnson, said that her son “smoked and had a baby at 16,” but she maintained that “he was not a thug or killer, like they are trying to portray.”

She said she had always counseled her son, whom everyone called A.J., that on the streets, he would be regarded with suspicion by the police, especially if he was hanging out with a group of friends.

The sheriff’s department said that the deputies involved in the case believed Anthony had a gun, and that he had refused to obey an order to halt and had run away. When the deputies chased him, according to the department’s statement, Anthony “turned toward the deputies, and that was when a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”

No gun was found at the scene. The department said it must have been lost in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, possibly taken by a bystander.


Left, John Weber, Anthony Weber’s father, in front of his market in South Los Angeles. Right, an SS El Camino that Anthony and his father had worked on together.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

“As you can imagine, until you are at one of these scenes, you don’t have an appreciation for just how chaotic they get, how dangerous potentially,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell told KPCC, a public radio station, about the deputies’ failure to find a gun. “You don’t know which additional threats are in the environment, either,” the sheriff said.

But witnesses and the family’s lawyer, Gregory A. Yates, say the deputies secured the scene immediately, and that no one else had any chance to get close and grab a dropped gun.

Activists and members of Anthony Weber’s family say they have no doubt where things will end up: exoneration for the deputies, the details fading from public memory, and eventually, perhaps after years, a quiet payout to the family from the county.

In Los Angeles, law enforcement officers are rarely held criminally accountable for shootings. The last time a police officer in the city faced criminal charges for a shooting while on duty was in 2000; the shooting was not fatal and the officer pleaded no contest.

The 2014 shooting of Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man, by the Los Angeles Police Department, galvanized the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, but the officers were not charged. Mr. Ford’s family sued the city and received a $1.5 million settlement last year.

An officer involved in another controversial police shooting was cleared this month. The district attorney’s office declined to bring charges against the officer for killing an unarmed homeless man in the Venice neighborhood, even though the police department’s own investigation determined that the shooting was not justified and recommended criminal charges. The city reached a $4 million settlement with the victim’s family. Both the officer and victim were black.


Left, the basketball hoop in the alley where Anthony would practice. Right, Stephanie, Anthony’s girlfriend, holding their daughter, Violet.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

The Venice case is emblematic of the broader frustrations of the Black Lives Matter movement over a lack of progress, despite national attention to the problem. “We’re absolutely frustrated,” Ms. Abdullah said. “I’m in a state of rage.”

Fatal shootings by police officers in the United States have held steady at roughly 1,000 a year over the last three years, according to a tally kept by The Washington Post. But there is no standardized federal database to track police shootings, despite repeated calls after the shooting in Ferguson to create such a system.

The latest incident to stir racial tensions and protests happened in Sacramento, where police officers shot and killed a young black man in his backyard who they thought was waving a gun. It turned out to be a cellphone.

Activists in Los Angeles say police shootings are still distressingly numerous. Last year, officers were involved in 78 shootings in Los Angeles County, down slightly from previous years, according to the Los Angeles district attorney. In New York, by comparison, there were 23 police shootings last year, the lowest total on record.

According to an investigation by KPCC, the public radio station, which pieced together data from a variety of sources, the number of shootings by law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County has remained roughly stable for the last 18 years. In the period from 2010 to 2014, the station found, 24 percent of the fatalities in those shootings were black, though black residents make up just 8 percent of the population.

Changes in police policy have built up “just enough fabric of trust to weather the shooting of a resident without a riot,” Ms. Rice said.


Left, a resident of the apartment complex where Anthony was killed placed his hand over the bible at his memorial site. Right, a photograph in the living room of the family home, of Anthony with his grandmother.CreditKayla Reefer for The New York Times

Anthony Weber’s death may not fit neatly into the familiar narrative of racially tinged police violence — of a white cop shooting a black man — but his case does fit the narrative of modern Los Angeles. Areas like South Los Angeles that were once predominantly African-American — and were the epicenter of uprisings against police abuses in 1965 and 1992 — have become increasingly Latino, and increasingly diverse. Anthony had a white father, a black mother and a Latino girlfriend.

Law enforcement in Los Angeles has also become more diverse: White males are now in the minority in both the police and the sheriff’s department, and Latino and black officers are represented on the force in proportions roughly mirroring the population at large.

But greater diversity has not ended longstanding police biases against black men, according to the shooting data as well as the perceptions of activists. “They shot him because he’s black!” was chanted by protesters at the first rally after Anthony Weber was killed.

“The last cop who put a boot in Rodney King’s face was black,” said Steven A. Lerman, a lawyer who represented Mr. King. “It doesn’t seem to be white versus black, but blue versus take-your-pick.”

The sheriff’s department has not disclosed the race or identity of the deputy who shot Anthony.

Sitting in the Weber family’s living room on a recent afternoon, surrounded by photographs of Anthony, were four generations of women. Mattie Johnson, Anthony’s grandmother, moved to Los Angeles in 1964 — a year before the Watts riots — hoping to escape the cruelties of segregation and racism in Birmingham, Ala. She recalled Ku Klux Klan marches and a church bombing there that killed four young black girls.

The women all considered Anthony’s death to be of a piece with the long arc of America’s history of racism.

If things had been different, Anthony Weber might have been the one behind the pulpit at the funeral the other day in South Los Angeles. He loved the music of the church, and he sure loved the spotlight.

“He was just a natural charmer,” said his mother, Demetra. “He wanted attention. Which could make him difficult, too. Trust me, I gave him attention. But he always wanted more.”

At his funeral, a former teacher called him her “wonder boy,” who worked hard to reach age 16. His sister spoke about the unfairness that “he never got the chance to be a man.”

Mixed with the grief and the music of R. Kelly and the O’Jays at the service, there were hints of anger, too.

“We’re having trouble finding out what happened to him,” his father said. “They’re not being transparent.”

Rodney Hilson, speaking from long experience as a pastor in South Los Angeles, said simply, “I’m tired of this.”


Tim Arango, “Anatomy of a Los Angeles Police Shooting: A Black Teenager, a Missing Gun, Protests, Grief”, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/us/los-angeles-police-shooting-anthony-weber.html

Sacramento Police Pump 20 rounds into Unarmed Stephon Clark while in his own Backyard

Sequita Thompson, grandmother of Stephon Clark, surrounded by family members as they prayed on Monday afternoon. Mr. Clark was fatally shot by the Sacramento police on Sunday.CreditJosé Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee

By Christine Hauser

The police in Sacramento, searching for someone reported to have been breaking windows, fatally shot a young black man in his backyard over the weekend after he walked toward them carrying what they believed was a gun.

When they examined his body, however, the only object they found was a cellphone.

That was the account that the Sacramento Police Department offered on Tuesday in an update to their investigation into the shooting by officers of the unarmed man, 22-year-old Stephon Clark, on Sunday.

Mr. Clark’s relatives, whom he lived with in the South Sacramento neighborhood, could not immediately be reached on Wednesday. But one of them told The Sacramento Bee that family members often entered the home through the garage, after knocking on the back window because the doorbell was broken.

“The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground,” said Sequita Thompson, Mr. Clark’s grandmother, adding, “I opened that curtain and he was dead.”

Mr. Clark’s brother, Stevante, told The Bee that Mr. Clark, who has two children, ages 1 and 3, had been living at the house for about a month, after being released from county jail.

“They’re asking, ‘Where’s Daddy, where’s Daddy?’” said Salena Manni, the mother of Mr. Clark’s children, according to the newspaper. “He was a part of our family. He was our rock.”

Stephon ClarkCreditRenee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee

The police said that footage from the law enforcement officers’ body cameras and video from a sheriff’s helicopter would be released to the public within 30 days.

On Sunday, at 9:18 p.m., officers from the Sacramento Police Department arrived at a house on 29th Street, investigating reports that someone was breaking the windows of vehicles, a separate, earlier police statement said on Monday. The person who called the police said the suspect was wearing a black hoodie and dark pants and was “hiding in a backyard.”

Officers in a Sheriff’s Department helicopter overhead informed the police that they saw someone matching that description and helped to direct the police to him, saying he had just “picked up a toolbar and broke a window to a residence.” He was then seen running to the front of a house, the statement said.

When officers arrived at the house, they say, the man ran toward the back and they pursued. Then, “the suspect turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him,” the police statement said. “The officers believed the suspect was pointing a firearm at them.”

“Fearing for their safety, the officers fired their duty weapons striking the suspect multiple times,” the statement said. Two officers fired 10 rounds each, the police told reporters, according to a report by KCRA.

It did not say whether they had previously been disciplined.

Mr. Clark, who the local news media said had two children, was pronounced dead at the scene, the police said. Investigators found a cellphone near his body but no firearms, they said.

The officers who fired their weapons have been with the department for two and four years and also had several years of experience in other departments. They were placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by district and city attorneys and the Office of Public Safety Accountability, the police said.


Christine Hauser, “Sacramento Man Fatally Shot by the Police in His Backyard”, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/us/stephon-clark-police-shooting.html

Mother of teen killed by Salinas police files wrongful death suit


The mother of a 16-year-old fatally shot by Salinas police officers a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department.

In her federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Ana Lorena Rodas says police misconduct led up to two officers recklessly shooting and killing Marlon Joel Rodas-Sanchez after one of them slipped on a wet floor at his home, 646 Terrace St., said Michael Haddad, her civil rights lawyer, on Wednesday.

Salinas City Attorney Christopher A. Callihan declined to comment via e-mail Wednesday because the city had not received the complaint to review.

But on July 14, 2017, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office decided not to file charges against the officers who fired on Rodas-Sanchez in the early morning hours of Jan. 18.

Salinas officers went to the home, where Rodas-Sanchez lived with friends, after receiving reports of Rodas-Sanchez listening to music and sharpening a knife outside at about 1:30 a.m. He was ignoring questions from concerned roommates, Haddad said.

A Look Back: DA: No charges for Salinas police who shot teen

Teen shot by Salinas police ID’d

Sixteen officers showed up and evacuated the main house.

At one point, Rodas stood in front of a door to a house in the back of the property where a family was inside. By phone, emergency dispatch instructed the family to stay in the home and to lock it since Rodas was blocking the exit, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

A roommate told police Rodas-Sanchez appeared to have smoked a substance earlier, Haddad said. Autopsy results showed he had methamphetamine in his system.

But the teen didn’t just ignore officers’ commands in English and Spanish — he didn’t seem to realize they were there, Haddad said.

“He never threatened anybody with the knife, brandished it or waved it around,” Haddad said. “Pretty much, he was ignoring the officers the whole time. He was in his own world.”

Police should have realized they were not dealing with a criminal but a 5-foot-2-inch, 102-pound teenager experimenting with drugs, Haddad said.

Officers began using non-lethal force to try to disarm him.

“They blasted him with a firehose in 40-degree weather, shot him with rubber bullets,” Haddad said. “Predictably because of that, he fled into the home.”

The DA’s Office, in a press release in July, reported that those efforts, which included a stun gun, failed to disarm Rodas-Sanchez.

Four officers pursued him inside, including the two who shot him: Jared Dominici and Manuel Lopez, Jr., Haddad said. Instead, they should have backed off and waited for the drug’s effects to wear off, he argues.

As officer Lopez approached the teen, he slipped on a slick tile floor and fell on his back. A second stun gun bolt was used on Rodas-Sanchez, though it did not incapacitate him.

From there, the story is muddied, though Haddad and the DA concluded it unfolded in the blink of an eye.

“Lopez, basically, slipped and fell on his butt, and immediately started shooting. That causes one to wonder if he started shooting simply because he fell,” Haddad said. “That’s how quick it was, it was like one motion.”

In the span of three seconds, the first and last rounds had been fired, according to the DA’s office.

The DA ruled, based on body camera footage, witness statements and other evidence, that the officers, including Lopez on his back with Rodas-Sanchez next to him getting up, feared for their safety when they shot Rodas-Sanchez.

In the press release, the DA said Rodas-Sanchez was already getting up after a second stun was used on him when Lopez entered the same room and slipped on the slick floor right next to Rodas-Sanchez.

Rodas-Sanchez stood over Lopez with a knife when Lopez opened fire, with Dominici responding to gunshots and firing his handgun, the DA said.

Read: New details emerge from Salinas officer-involved shooting

Salinas cops ID’d in Jan. 18 shooting

But Haddad said Rodas-Sanchez didn’t get up from being Tasered until after Lopez was already on the ground and had fired a shot.

“Once the gunshots started, (Rodas-Sanchez) started to sit up, turn away from the officers and move away, but he couldn’t even make it all the way up,” Haddad said.  He argues Rodas-Sanchez got up to run away but was still shot.

Officers should have approached Rodas-Sanchez as having a mental health crisis from experimenting with methamphetamine, not a dangerous criminal, Haddad said.

The DA’s office said that the high level of methamphetamine in Rodas-Sanchez’s bloodstream can cause overstimulation, overreacting, hallucinations, delusions and paranoia. Officials had said he had hallucinations of lights earlier.

A judge has not been assigned in the fresh case as of Thursday morning, according to electronic federal court records.

“Mother of teen killed by Salinas police files wrongful death suit”, https://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2018/01/11/teen-killed-salinas-police-mother-files-federal-lawsuit/1023112001/