Nearly a thousand Americans men and women, Black and White, lost their lives in officer-involved shootings in 2018, according to the Washington Post police shooting database. From Dallas resident Botham Jean to security guard Jemel Roberson in Illinois trying to stop an active shooter, the reality of unarmed Black men being shot by police continues to be a pervasive issue.
Take a look below of some of the unarmed men who lost their lives to police this year.
Botham Jean, 26, Dallas
Botham Jean was shot and killed in September when off-duty police officer Amber Guyger entered his home. She said she thought it was her apartment and he was an intruder. In November, Guyger was indicted by a Texas grand jury and was charged with murder, according to EBONY.
DeAndre Ballard, 23, Durham, N.C.
DeAndre Ballard, a North Carolina Central University student, was fatally shot on campus by a security guard employed by the NC Detectives Agency in September. The guard claimed he shot the unarmed student in self-defense, but Ballard’s family has challenged those claims citing that he was afraid of guns, wasn’t violent, respected authority and had never been in significant trouble. No charges have been filed against the security guard.
Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 21, Hoover, Ala.
Emantic “EJ” Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. was shot by police on Thanksgiving night while trying to save people from a shooter at an Alabama mall. Officers believed Bradford was the shooter when they shot him in the back, killing him. Bradford’s autopsy, commissioned by his family, shows that he was shot in the head, neck and lower back; the shot to the head killed him, according to EBONY. The two officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Jemel Roberson, 26, Oak Lawn, Ill.
Jemel Roberson was working as a security guard in Illinois at a bar when he was subduing an active shooter. When cops came into the bar, they shot and killed Roberson within five-seconds, according to reports. Friends, family and community activists called on the Cook County prosecutor’s office for an investigation in November and subsequent murder charges.
Andre Horton, 42, Memphis, Tenn.
Andre Horton was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Memphis, Tenn. in December when officers say they responded to a man standing in the street with a gun. When officers arrived, the situation escalated, leading to shots being fired by officers at the victim. Horton died from his injuries. Horton was determined to have had a toy gun, according to local Memphis news outlets. The Memphis Police Department said the officer who fired the shots had been relieved from duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
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Sarafina Wright is a political correspondent for EBONY.com. Previously she served as the editor of the WI Bridge and staff writer at the Washington Informer in Washington, DC, covering business, education, health and politics. She attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. Sarafina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.