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[OFFICER INVOLVED]Meagan Hockaday: Dead in 20 Seconds

Meagan Hockaday

-Last week, it was reported that four San Francisco police officers are under investigation for sending racist and homophobic text messages. Yet again, another police department has come under fire for using racist language. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department fired three officers and another resigned on March 21 after an internal investigation discovered that they had sent numerous racist text messages and shared a racist video trailer parodying President Obama. Alex Alvarez, Jason Holding, James Wells and Christopher Sousa, frequently used the N-word in their text messages and “jokingly” talked about “killing n–gers,” including this text delivered to Alvarez and Wells about a fleeting suspect, “I had a wet dream that you two found those n*ggers in the VW and gave them the death penalty right there on the spot.”  Among the group, they also shared a video, created by Alvarez of a mock movie trailer that described President Barack Obama with racial slurs as villain who had to be stopped by “savage hunters.” The video showed images of Blacks attacked by dogs and gun-toting white people. During the credits, Alvarez included names of his other officers and mashed up with images of KKK hoods and Hitler. One of the officer’s fiancées prompted the investigation suggesting that, “her would-be husband constantly expressed his racist views toward Black people.”

-On March 27, Jamalis Hall was shot and killed by a U.S. Marshals task force. Investigators claimed he tried to attack them with a filet knife. Hall was considered was considered armed, dangerous and mentally unstable after he attempted to kill his wife in Vero Beach Thursday morning, officials said. He was accused of abusing his wife during an argument about drug use and money. The following day, U.S. Marshals found Hall inside a van in the driveway of his mother’s house, in Fort Pierce on Mayflower Road. According to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, Hall tried to get out of the van and became combative. Hall’s niece, Kiyah Jones maintained that her uncle was unarmed when he was shot. “They shot my uncle four times in the back,” Jones said to local news station WPBF “My momma sitting watching everything. He ain’t have no weapon that she seen.” Jones does not excuse her uncle’s actions he committed on his wife, but she feels like the shooting was unwarranted. “Regardless of what he did, which I’m not justifying it, because he dead wrong,” Jones said. “You should at least give him a chance in jail or let a judge decide his fate. Not take his life.”

-The Justice Department announced last Friday that an Alabama police officer has been indicted on one charge of using unreasonable force against an Indian man in February. Sureshbhai Patel, 57, was a visitor from the Indian state of Gujarat. The two-page indictment alleged that Officer Parker deprived him of his constitutional right “to be free from unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by one acting under color of law.” On February 6, Patel was walking on a residential street shortly before 9 a.m. on February 6 in the northern Alabama city of Madison when a resident called 911 and reported, “a skinny black guy” was “just kind of wandering around.” Video showed Officer Eric Parker arresting and slammed Patel to the ground. Patel suffered severe injuries. The outrage led for Alabama governor Robert Bentley to state an apology to the Indian consul general in Atlanta, expressing “deep regret” for the “unfortunate use of excessive force by the Madison Police Department.

-Meagan Hockaday was killed in an officer-involved shooting after confronting an Oxnard police officer with a knife on March 27. A man called the police at 1am about a domestic dispute between him and girlfriend, Hockaday. When the officer arrived, he started talking to the man who reported to authorities, a woman approached them with a knife.  Twenty seconds after his initial contact with Hockaday, the officer fired a shot at her. Hockaday was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 26-years-old. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard police procedure. The investigation is ongoing. Three young children were inside the apartment during the incident and were taken to Oxnard Police Department for evaluation.

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