In 2012 and 2013, there was a shocking number of people, many innocently, who lost their lives at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve.
One of the most publicized cases was that of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell of Charlotte, N.C. Ferrell was injured in a car crash and sought help at a house nearby. The homeowner feared he was a burglar and dialed 911. An unarmed Ferrell ran towards the police when they arrived on the scene. When he failed to stop at officer Randall Kerrick’s request, he was tased and shot 10 times. He died on the scene. Kerrick is facing a voluntary manslaughter charge for Ferrell’s murder.
In Chicago, off-duty officer Dante Servin shot and killed Rekia Boyd, 22. Servin was investigating a disturbance when he exchanged angry words with Antonio Cross, 39, who was with Boyd at the time. When Cross pulled out his cell phone, fearing it was a gun, Servin opened fire. Cross was shot in the thumb and Boyd was killed during her attempt to flee the gunfire. Servin has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct. Boyd’s family relieved a $4.5 million wrongful death settlement.
An unarmed Roy Middleton of Pensacola, Fla., was shot 15 times in his own driveway when cops mistook him for a car thief. Middleton, 60, was getting a cigarette from his mother’s Lincoln Town car parked in his driveway when his neighbor called police. The police allege that when they arrived on the scene, they asked Middleton to put his hands on his head, and he did not comply. They also claim Middleton reached for a metal object. Fearing it was a weapon, they shot at him 15 times, hitting him twice in the leg. Countering police reports, Middleton claims he was in the process of putting his hands on his head when the officers started firing. The metal object was actually a keychain with a flashlight on it. It was a gift from his daughter who is serving in the military in Afghanistan. The officers involved face no legal action.
Bronx, N.Y., resident Ramarley Graham, 18, was killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste at his own home. The unarmed teenager fled the police and was trying to flush marijuana down the toilet. After the shooting was investigated, it was determined that Haste was acting on the incorrect information that Graham had a gun. Haste was not prosecuted for his murder. Graham’s estate is seeking a civil trial and alleges in a lawsuit that the teen’s civil rights were violated, as well as negligence, assault and battery — and wrongful death