According to recent statistics by the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, 21 people were killed by New York’s finest throughout 2012, averaging almost two killings per month. It increased the previous year’s sum by seven fatalities.
Overall, 224 lives have been taken by the NYPD since an unarmed Amadou Diallo was killed in a fusillade in his Bronx building’s vestibule during the first hour of Feb. 4, 1999.
The same stats show that nearly 90 percent of those killed were Black or Hispanic. Activists are demanding accountability for the rampant casualties.
Many police killings receive little mention in the media; therefore, the topic usually goes unnoticed by the general public until an incident hits home or a major tragedy occurs–like the one on the night of Nov. 26, 2006, when a car in a bar’s parking lot in Jamaica, Queens, was blasted by 50 bullets, instantly killing groom-to-be Sean Bell and seriously wounding Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman.
The three undercover cops involved were also acquitted, but eventually fired from the force in 2012.
“They kill so many young people,” said Juanita Young, whose son, Malcolm Ferguson, was slain by Bronx cop Louis Rivera in 2000. “They’re killing the next generation.”
Last year’s victims of police shootings varied in age: Antwoine White, 17, was killed in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Jan. 29; and Ramarley Graham, 18, was slain in his own Bronx bathroom just four days later. On Aug. 24, Jeffrey Johnson, 58, was shot dead by the NYPD outside the Empire State Building after killing a former co-worker he had a grudge against.
“They don’t discriminate,” adds Young, “because they kill males and females.”
Shereese Francis’ supporters say the NYPD used excessive force, causing her to suffocate in the basement of her Queens’ home by pressing her face into a mattress while handcuffing her. Then on June 14, Shantel Davis was shot in a vehicle in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“There was no weapon involved, and the information that I have does not seem to suggest that this woman was in any way a threat to the police to warrant the use of deadly force,” determined state Assemblyman Nick Perry shortly after the shooting. “How can they go home and hug their kids and say they love them when they took somebody else’s child?”
Weekly vigils for Shantel Davis continue each Monday at 7 p.m. at Cupcake It Up, 3910 Church Ave., between East 39th and 40th streets.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m., supporters will meet at 749 E. 229th St. in the Bronx to mark the one-year anniversary of Ramarley Graham’s slaying by NYPD cop Richard Haste.
The NYPD did not respond to the AmNews’ inquiries.
Below is a list of the victims.
- January 12th Duane Brown, 26, Brooklyn (killed in own home)
- January 26 Christopher Kissane, 22, Brooklyn
- January 29th Antwoin White, 17, Brooklyn
- February 2nd Ramarley Graham, 18, Bronx
- February 14th Michael McBride, 52, Manhattan
- March 15th Shereese Francis, 30, Queens
- April 12th Tamon Robinson, 27, Brooklyn
- April 12th Rudolph Wyatt, 23, Manhattan
- May 10th Samuel Rivers, 40, Queens
- June 14th Shantel Davis, 23, Brooklyn
- July 4th Edgar Owens, 46, Queens
- Aug 11 Eddie Fernandez, 28, Bronx
- August 12th Darius H. Kennedy, 51 Manhattan
- Aug 24 Jeffrey Johnson, 58, Manhattan
- Sept 7th Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, Bronx (shot escaping robbery)
- Sept 7 Walwyn Jackson, 27, Queens
- Sept 20 Tyjuan Hill, 22, Queens
- Sept 25 Muhammad Bah, 28, Manhattan
- Oct 5 Noel Polanco, 22, Queens
- Oct 25 Prince James 18, Bronx
- November 4 Ronald Herrera, 20, Bronx
More info: october22.org/