They Are Killing Us: Police Brutality Against African-Americans

Police killings of black males is one of the most historic forms of structural racism in America. Black males face the highest lifetime risk of being killed by police, with a report by the National Academy of Sciences finding that they are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over the course of their lifetime.

Police Involved Killings of Black Males

Police officers have been unlawfully killing black people since the start of this country, but it wasn’t until widespread implementation of video surveillance that we were able to regularly catch them doing it. If it weren’t for cameras, it is likely that the following police involved killings would never have even been mentioned on the news.

Tamir Rice, 12

On November 22, 2014, Officer Timothy Loehmann responded to a dispatch call that reported a male pointing a pistol at random people in a Cleveland park. The caller mentioned twice during that call the gun was probably fake, and the person in question was likely a child. The police dispatcher failed to mention this important points to Loehmann, and upon arriving at the scene he promptly fatally shot Tamir Rice. The gun was a toy.

George Floyd, 46

George is probably one of the most talked-about victims of police brutality after George Stinney. For allegedly attempting to use a $20 bill, he was arrested, cuffed, and pinned to the ground. The arresting officer then knelt on his neck for close to ten minutes until George died.

Phillando Castille, 32

Phillando was shot dead at a traffic stop, seconds after he informed the officer that he had a licensed firearm. This gruesome incident took place with his girlfriend and four year-old daughter in the car. The officer was found guilty of second degree manslaughter, and the bereaved family got a $3m settlement.

Botham Jean, 26

Jean died after an off-duty officer shot him in his house, seated on his sofa, eating ice cream. The officer, Amber Guyger, said that she confused the apartment for hers and saw Jean as a dangerous intruder. She received a ten year sentence.

Alton Sterling, 37

Alton was selling CDs and DVDs when Officer Blane Salamoni confronted him, tasered him, and pinned him to the ground before shooting him six times. The officer was fired and his partner suspended for three days. Shockingly, no charges were filed.

Your Vote Can Change Things

Right now, 99% of all police involved killings result in no consequences being enforced against the involved officers. In order to litigate against cops who murder the people they were meant to protect, we need to establish laws that create more oversight in the criminal justice system.

To stimulate change, we need to elect leadership that admits to the existence of a problem, and actively takes steps towards the formulation of lasting solutions. The dead can’t step in line and vote against the system that saw them meet untimely deaths — but we can.

You can be the voice of the brothers who needlessly lost their lives to a racially biased criminal justice system.

Register, show up, and vote for change.

Visit to learn more about the power of your vote.