MAY 12, 2016, 2200: Updated William Chapman case to show that video was available in the case. The video was available except for the 15 seconds at the exact moment of the TASER deployment. It has not been made public.
APR 14, 2016, 1950: Updated John Unsworth case after a Jefferson County grand jury decided to no-bill the two involved officers. No new evidence was released in the case.
APR 12, 2016 10:50: Updated Jamar Clark case to reflect finding of justification by county attorney. Removed Roberto Leon, because Leon had been included by the thinnest of technicalities – he was unarmed when found but had indisputably shot at officer prior to flight. Added Bruce Dean Stafford, 55, omitted through an editing error.
JAN 21, 2016 20:58 Updated Anthony Hill case to reflect the indictment by a DeKalb County (GA) grand jury of DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen on six counts including felony murder, making a false statement and violating oath of office. An arrest warrant has been issued according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV (hat tip @secprofgreen for the alert on Twitter.
DEC 31, 2015 18:44 Updated Naeschylus Carter Vinzant incident to show officer not indicted, confirm several points on record including race of officer, that the officer had had no prior complaints of excessive force, and show that the grand jury declined to indict the officer. A Fugitive Apprehension and Surveillance Team (FAST) sought Mr. Vinzant, who was on parole for a prior assault conviction and was wanted by the Department of Corrections for cutting off his GPS ankle monitor. Separately, at the time of the confrontation with FAST, Vinzant was wanted by Aurora Police Detectives for assault, robbery, kidnapping, and domestic violence charges. Four days earlier, Vinzant had beaten his wife, stolen her wallet and taken their 2-month-old child. A task force had believed Vinzant to be armed, however he was not armed at the time of the confrontation with FAST.
DEC 26 2015 12:10 Added Bettie Jones, 55, a black female killed by Chicago police after police responded to a domestic violence call during which Quintonio LeGrier, the 19-year old suspect named in a 911 call for attacking his father with a baseball bat and identified as suffering from a mental condition that had been previously diagnosed, was shot dead by a CPD officer during the same incident. Witnesses state that LeGrier had attacked the father with a bat, but the father states that the officer expressed, immediately after the shooting, “F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat,” LeGrier said the officer said. Quintonio LeGrier was armed at the time of his death with the bat and has not been added to PKIC; however it is unclear how Jones became involved in the incident, and whether she was hit by a stray police bullet or otherwise targeted by police. No reports of her involvement in this incident were found. Jones’ daughter states that she awoke to the sound of gunshots and found her mother bleeding in the doorway to her apartment.
DEC 26 2015 1100 Updated Ruben Herrera incident to reflect witness corroboration of decedent swinging metal chair at officer, TASER deployment, decedent grabbing for officer gun, and officers firing after being assaulted. Also updated erroneous 911 indication in two cases including Cornelius Brown.
DEC 24 2015 02:23 Added Fatal Encounter DB CODs to multiple records; corrected typo
DEC 23 2015 20:00 Adjusted Other Community Contact column after fact checking and cleaning
DEC 23 2015 18:57 Added Leroy Browning, 30, and Kevin Matthews, 36
DEC 23 2015 10:23 The StreetCred Police Killings in Context (PKIC) dataset is now almost three months old, and we have made some changes to its structure and added columns to the data in order to better enable researchers, activists, citizens and journalists to examine the killings by police of unarmed people. We also continue to update, and clean the data to ensure that the dataset is as good, accurate and objective as it can be. We have stated many times that no data-set is perfect, and PKIC is absolutely included in that assessment. It is our commitment though, to work at it, admit mistakes and update on changes, no matter how small, wherever we can, in the interest of transparency.
What Has Been Added
We have added four new columns to the database to assist in determining the reason for the selection by police of the ultimate decedent. The order of the columns has now been changed to accommodate these new columns for better logical grouping. Obviously this has no bearing on analysis, but it makes it easier for human readability, since we do not provide visualization tools.
The new order is:
911_call_reported_armed (already a column included in the database, simply moved)
Why Did We Add It?
The question has been repeatedly asked, “Why are there so many decedents of [a given race]?” The answer has been presumed by news outlets to be a result of racial profiling on the part of the officers.
The data in the four new PKIC columns is to add context that empowers researchers and readers to perform a root cause analysis to determine, for any incident and for any group of incidents, what we consider to be the most important questions in determining the role of race in deadly police encounters: how did the police initially come in contact with the person who ultimately died? Did the cops select that person? Or was the person selected by someone else, and the cop responded?
Fortunately, the records of calls to the police on 911 are often recorded, and are always entered into a dispatch record. Most computer-aided dispatch records are immutable (the information within them can not be changed) and are accompanied by a wealth of other data, such as time of the call; the phone number of the person calling and E911 information that may include location and other cell-phone metadata; the description given by the caller (if any) and information as to whether the suspect is believed to be armed or violent.
Another important national characteristic is that dispatchers across the country are specifically trained to elicit descriptions of the suspect, including race. These descriptions are recorded and dispatched to officers in a highly consistent manner. We therefore are able to mine the data for clues as to how the police first became aware of a suspect they targeted.
There are five primary ways people come in contact with police.
911 Call The most common, according to the PKIC data, is a police response to a 911 call from a member of the community that generally describes a crime or complaint. One example from PKIC data of this type of incident is that involving Andre Larone Murphy, Sr. Police received a “series of 911 calls” requesting assistance for a “disturbance” at a Super 8 motel in Lincoln, NE, and fought with Murphy after their arrival and investigation.
911 Call With Suspect Description The next most-common is a 911 call from the community that specifically describes a suspect. This is when a police dispatcher receives a 911- or other emergency call from a member of the community in which the caller specifically describes the suspect either by name, or by a description complete enough to be recognizably the person with whom the police ultimately contact and engage with. An example of this is the incident involving Chase Alan Sherman, whose mother called 911 to report that Sherman was out of control and intoxicated and harming people and himself after experiencing a drug-induced “psychotic break.”
Traffic Stop The third most-common way people come in contact with police is an officer-initiated traffic stop. This is a situation in which the officer observes a vehicle (and, possibly, the occupants of that vehicle) and based on the officer’s determination as to whether the vehicle has broken a traffic law or otherwise provided the officer with probable cause for a traffic stop, effects a traffic stop. In police terminology, this is a “self-dispatched” event. The most infamous of these incidents this year was perhaps that of Walter Scott, who was stopped for a traffic infraction and subsequently killed by the officer.
Other Community Contact The fourth most-common scenario is a community contact other than a 911- or emergency call. This includes waving down a traveling police officer, or approaching an officer engaged in an unrelated activity and reporting directly to that officer information about a crime or incident in progress. It also includes officers spotting someone who is the target of an arrest warrant signed by a judge, or a known fugitive. An example from the PKIC database of this kind of encounter is the incident involving Dajuan Graham, who was decribed by witnesses to a police officer on an unrelated traffic stop; the witnesses reported that Mr. Graham was running wildly down the street, half-naked and shouting.
Alarm Activation The fifth most-common way police come in contact with people is when police respond to an alarm, either through a security company dispatcher or an automated alarm, or a 911 or other call prompted by an alarm. One example of this is the incident involving Christian Taylor, who found destroying vehicles and property at an Arlington, TX car dealership after police were summoned by the alarm system.
Other Means After these, there are other ways that people come in contact with the police. These contacts are more dramatic and attention-garnering, but statistically they are the most rare. These include “sweeps” by task forces (DWI, fugitive, prostitution, etc); checkpoints (Driver license, weapons (such as in New York City, when officers perform bag checks), etc), and most rare, accidental contact as a result of unrelated police action or activity. One horrible tragedy in the StreetCred PKIC database is of the latter nature: Felix Kumi was an innocent bystander killed as a result of officers shooting at suspects in an illegal gun-purchasing sting operation.
There are, of course, other ways, in which police come in contact with people. An officer can observe a crime, traffic accident, ill-person or other anomaly, and self-dispatch. There is one case in the PKIC database in which
Moved Column Moved the Autopsy_Showed_Extant_Physical_Condition column to appear to the right of the Official_COD3 column, for human-readability and logical grouping. There are no analytical impacts of this move.
Continued cleaning and enhancement of data Added or enhanced middle names or initials to:
Added or updated official cause of death (autopsy) information to:
Also updated the column Autopsy_Showed_Extant_Physical_Condition, where appropriate.
Removed David Munday. Munday was a jail inmate not in police custody at the time of his death. This was an incident mistakenly added after erroneous import from The Guardian’s The Counted CSV file.
Race & Gender of Police Officers Updated these columns wherever possible with the latest information.
Note that our methodology requires us to see in a legitimate media story (not a media database) the race of the decedent or officer specified before we list the decedent or officer’s race. It is for this reason that our “Race” column is often filled with “Unknown” when those of The Counted or The Washington Post list a specific race. A good example of this is Miguel Espinal, listed by both those databases as “Black” but which we could not independently ascertain.
DEC 21 2015 11:50 Updated and added Ruben Jose Herrera.
DEC 21 2015 11:00 Updated files and cleaned. This is one of three major updates to the data following cleaning and the introduction of some new contextually crucial data columns, more about which later. This first cleaning was prompted after a collaborative discussion with Washington Post journalists comparing notes on unarmed killings. These kinds of collaborative conversations are so welcomed, as the ultimate goal is better data for all – even when we often disagree, collaboration and more accurate data and methods are better than arguments, because collaboration allows all sides to converse based on facts, not narratives and political viewpoints.
The incidents were removed because, after reconsideration of our own methodology and input from members of our review committee, the incidents were best described as either (a) out of scope because they were not an act by a police officer during the course of his duty; or (b) because the decedent was in fact armed at the time of their confrontation. In the four cases consistent with (b) that were removed, the decedent had assaulted officers with a vehicle (see table).
|INCIDENTS REMOVED FROM PKIC DATABASE|
|Last Name, First Name||Reason Removed From PKIC|
|Jovicic, Adam||Personal confrontation/domestic dispute, not an on-duty or official police incident|
|Holmes, Sam||Used vehicle as a weapon/dragged officer|
|Williams, Andrew||Targeted officers with vehicle|
|Turner, Demaris||Targeted police car with vehicle; smashed his vehicle into a K9 vehicle with an officer inside|
|Simmons, Delvin||Attempted to flee, then targeted officer with vehicle|
DEC 16 2015 21:21 Updated Jonathan Pierce to show autopsy showed COD GSW and suicide. While no charges were brought against Sergeant William (David) Garner, Garner was fired from the agency for allowing Pierce (who had a razor blade in his teeth, despite having been searched by Garner) to grab Garner’s handgun and use that to commit suicide. In September, Garner filed suit to get back his job and back pay.
DEC 15 2015 08:06 Updated Darrius Steward case to include autopsy and negative toxicology results and new URLs related to case. Stewart was shot by Memphis police officer Connor Schilling and was no-billed by a Grand Jury. The US Department of Justice has announced that it will investigate the case. The autopsy showed no traces of narcotics or alcohol in Stewart’s system at time of death, which the autopsy unsurprisingly attributed to gunshot wounds to the right and left chest.
9 DEC 2015 06:03: Updated India Kager to add URL to news article with additional information about 35-year-old Angelo Perry, the boyfriend who was with Kager at the time of her September 5, 2015 death. Perry had fired shots from his TEC9 at police that led to the return fire that killed Kager. Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera states that Perry was, at the time of the incident, a suspect in two shooting murders, a robbery, an aggravated assault and a home invasion. Police recovered two semi-automatic guns – the TEC9 and a Kel-Tec – from Perry’s vehicle. Ballistics revealed that these guns were used in four violent crimes within several months, including two homicides. “Within a series of 26 days these weapons were used to shoot five individuals, killing two of them, and 14 days later, the same weapon was used by Mr. Perry to shoot at our police officers,” said Cervera. Cervera continued that, over a period of 40 days, six people were shot, two of them killed – and all of the cases can be linked to the guns found in Angelo Perry’s possession on Sept. 5. Perry, sitting in the front passenger seat of Kager’s car, with Kager driving and their four-month old son in the back seat, fired several rounds at officers, hitting one. Police returned fire and killed Perry and Kager. The child was unharmed.
3 DEC 2015 21:39: Removed Joshua Jozefowicz, after department issued a press release stating that Jozefowics was armed with a firearm at the time of his death.
2 DEC 2015 18:05: Added Joshua Jozefowicz, 23, killed by police in Bangor, ME on 1 December.
2 DEC 2015 16:00 Updated case of Troy Goode to add official autopsy results:
- Cause Of Death: Complications of LSD Toxicity;
- Manner of Death: Accident;
- Final Anatomic Diagnoses:
- Multiple abrasions & contusions;
- Abrasion & laceration/puncture wounds of left lower arm; Pulmonary edema;
- Rib fractures without associated hemorrhage consistent with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
This contradicts earlier statements by the District Attorney that the cause of death was “heart related”, and is notable as it is the only death in the database attributed to LSD, and LSD deaths are, we are told, highly rare. If you are able to provide a copy of the toxicology report, please use our Update and Correction form.
2 DEC 2015 11:58 Updated case of Troy Goode to show controversy over autopsy and toxicology reports and the assertion in a statement by Erin A Burkhart the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, that Goode’s death was “Accidental” and blamed it on “acute LSD intoxication” along with other factors. This does not answer all questions, as PKIC has not reviewed the full autopsy report and this contradicts earlier statements by the District Attorney that the cause of death was “heart related”. If you are able to provide a copy of the autopsy report, please use our Update and Correction form.
2 DEC 2015 09:05 Updated to add Anthony Dewayne Ware, an incident from July 10, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, AL that had been miscategorized as an armed event. Another event in Tuscaloosa from August, 2010, involving Jeffory Ray Tevis, 50, did involve a weapon (Tevis was using a spoon as a weapon as he lunged at officers).
1 DEC 2015 13:57 Updated to add unknown decedent, Aurora CO. Press coverage showed a news conference at which Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz described an attack from behind on one of his officers, who had stopped to render aid, and Chief Metz displayed a photograph of the injured officer’s head. In that photograph, which was not commented upon, in PKIC’s training and experience this appears to possibly have been caused by a knife, hatchet, axe or other bladed, heavy object. According to multiple media accounts, the decedent then stole the officer’s police car and attempted to flee arrest. While the attacked officer, according to media reports, fired upon the decedent and the injured officer’s vehicle, the decedent was apparently not killed until some minutes later, by other officers who trapped the stolen police vehicle. It is unclear if the decedent was armed at the time of the confrontation that led to the decedent’s death. If subsequent reports show that the decedent was armed at the time of his death, this incident will be removed from the PKIC Database.
24 NOV 2015 2015 Added Middle_Or_Nickname column to contain decedent middle names or decedent nicknames. Nicknames, such as ‘Dontay’ or ‘Africa’ are listed encapsulated in ‘single quotation marks’ and middle names, such as David or Harris are included in the column without single quotation marks.
23 NOV 2015 0946 Updated Cecil Lacy to show significant autopsy results that change manner of death to Accident and cause of death to heart attack with Methamphetamine Intoxication. Contributing factors of pre-existing natural disease and physical struggle with law enforcement.
20 NOV 2015 11:06 Updated Donald ‘Dontay’ Ivy incident to reflect more accurate street address; decedent weight of 274lbs, and the no-bill of officers and clearing of officers involved; as well as significant autopsy results that showed Mr. Ivy died of “Cardiac arrhythmia with cardiorespiratory arrest occuring during struggle and altercation;” “Significant underlying cardiomegaly [enlarged heart]” and “Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease” which in the words of P. David Soares, the Albany County District Attorney, “Mr. Ivy suffered from an underlying condition that made him particularly susceptible to a heart attack brought on by the stress of the incident with the police.” Soares continued that, “In [Forensic Pathologist Doctor Michael] Sikirica’s opinion, the tasing of Mr. Ivy by Officer Sears was not the cause of his death, although it was one contributing factor to the overall stress of the event.”
19 NOV 2015 10:39 Added to Jamar Clark the gender of officers (2 male officers, Dustin Schwarze and Mark Riggenberg) but no race available; also new data that clark is alleged to have reached for officers’ weapon; also that one officer (Riggenberg) had prior accusation of excessive force.
17 NOV 2015 14:43: Added Jamar Clark death information and specified N for video (official dashcam or body worn) and N for Audio (dashcam and body worn); note other video is said to be in circulation. Also updated time of incident from 00:45 to 00:44
17 NOV 2015 12:49: Added John David Livingston incident data
16 NOV 15 15:57: Added Jamar Clark and initial media coverage; removed Jamar Clark from list of deceased.
16 November 15 11:41: Added cases on Lacy, Ali, Lemmon, Prosper, Christen, Byrd, Rangel, Paterson, Perdigones, Rodriguez, Schick, Lopez, Ashford, Mardis, Smith. Rejected cases on Fuller, McLeod, Dyksma, and Johnson (a reasonable person would have considered Fuller, and McCleod, and Johnson, to have been armed; see related editorial here, and here); Rejected Dyksma, because of BB-gun and behavior of using vehicle as weapon let alone pending toxicology); rejected inclusion of cases on Bedford, Miller, Peña, Lindsey, Chinchilla, Bowling, Camacho (vehicle crashes); Cole, Davis (non-duty domestic dispute). Updated coverage on Jeremy Mardis killing.
11 Nov 2015 23:06: Eric Harris incident updated to correctly reflect that Robert Bates has been indicted on felony a second-degree manslaughter charge involving culpable negligence. Bates is not listed in PKIC as “Fired” because it has been reported that he left the agency of his own free will. It is noteworthy that Tulsa Sheriff Staley Glanz, who led the agency that held Bates’ commission, was himself indicted on two misdemeanor charges, one of which stemmed from the agency’s handling of the employment and training and investigations into behavior of Deputy Bates unrelated to Bates’ shooting of Harris. Sheriff Glanz has since resigned.
11 Nov 2015 21:08: David Kassick incident updated to reflect that a Dauphin County jury on November 5, 2015 acquitted Hummelstown Officer Lisa Mearkle, 37, of third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter in February shooting of David Kassick, an unarmed civilian, after a traffic stop.
7 Nov 2015 11:47-13:56: Jeremy Mardis incident updated to include history of accusations of excessive force of officers involved; added Reserve_Officer_Involved column; Updated bibliography; added context as to race of officers involved, coroner statements as to shot location; corrected street address of incident from earlier media reports;
6 Nov 2015 14:15: Removed flags for vehicular assault and civilian car hitting PD car that had been based on WaPo coverage of morning
6 Nov 2015 12:33: Added indication of police video available per State Police Lt statement at press conference
6 Nov 2015: Added death of Jeremy Mardis
5 Nov 2015: Spell checks, autopsy updates, added Nicholas Johnson
1400 5 Oct 15: Small spell-check corrections, e.g., Mansfield, Bernalillo
1315 25 Sept 15: Added prior use of force by officer in William Chapman case.
0814 25 Sept 15: Corrected Estevan Andrade Gomez to show officer not indicted.
2035 22 Sept 15: Removed Jose Herrera, a death in prison that was out of scope. See earlier version PKIC_v.0.98.00 for information and comparison.