Seventeen-year-old Hakeem Kuta died last week, days after falling from the roof of a Bronx high-rise. According to the Associated Press, Kuta was among a group of teens that were allegedly pursued by NYPD officers after being suspected of smoking marijuana, when he misjudged the location of a ledge and fell during an attempt to back away from officers.
-There are serious questions surrounding the death of a 32-year-old New Jersey man in the custody of New Jersey police officers last week. Last Tuesday, Vineland police were dispatched for a report of a man screaming and yelling outside along the 100 block of Grape Street where they found Phillip White. White was arrested by police and taken to the hospital, according to officials. Officials say an officer was with him at the time. At some point, White became unresponsive and medical personnel administered CPR. He was later pronounced dead at Inspira Medical Center Vineland. The incident on Grape Street is under investigation by Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office. According to a witness who spoke to NBC10 “They punched him, stomped him, kicked him and then they let the dog out of the car. The dog bit him on his face and around his body,” said Ricardo Garcia. A dog is heard barking on a police dispatch recording of the incident. A 76-second grainy video, displayed the interaction between White and Vineland Police, circulated on social media last Thursday. More cell phone video demonstrated a clearer image of the last moments of White’s which involved officers and a dog surfaced last Friday. The Cumberland County Prosecutor Office confirmed that video, is under review. White’s family is conducting their own investigation.
-An unarmed, mentally ill Albany, New York resident died on Thursday after being shocked by a Taser. Donte “Dontay” Ivy, 39, was walking on Arbor Hill Street when three police officers stopped him. Police said that three Albany police officers, Michael Mahany, Joshua Sears and Charles Skinkle confronted Ivy on the streets of Lark and Second, and began to Taser him. Following the shocks, Ivy ran away from the officers. The police officers chased him and eventually handcuffed him. Acting Police Chief Brendan Cox said that Ivy allegedly kept fighting with the officers after he was handcuffed. Police leaders have not said why the officers confronted Ivy or how many times he was struck with a Taser. Police removed the handcuffs from Ivy, began CPR and called an ambulance, Cox said. When the Albany Fire Department arrived they continued to give CPR. Then Ivy was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Ivy’s family described him as a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffered from heart complications. Celestal Hightower, his first cousin, said to the Albany Times Union her cousin’s mental condition which set in when he was a young adult, was “very obvious to anyone that speaks to him.”
-Justus Howell, 17, was shot and killed by police in the Illinois suburb of Zion on the afternoon of April 4. Witnesses say Howell was running from police after they responded to a call about a fight. Zion police spotted the suspect running with an alleged gun. The officer fired two shots in Howell’s back. He was pronounced dead at Victory Hospital. Zion Police say a handgun was recovered at the scene of the shooting. The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force is leading the investigation. They have not identified the officer who fired the shots or any other details from the investigation and whether the teenager fired any shots.
-The South Carolina State Law Enforcement is investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting in North Charleston. According to North Charleston Police spokesman Spencer Pryor, the incident began at about 9:30 a.m. when an North Charleston officer stopped Walter Scott at Craig Street and Remount Road for a traffic violation. During the stop, the 50-year-old fled on foot down Craig Street and the officer deployed his Taser weapon to stop him. The attempt was unsuccessful and an altercation ensued between the officer and the Scott resulting over the officer’s Taser. Scott managed to gain control of the Taser to use it against the officer. The officer restored his department issued weapon and then fired his service weapon at the suspect, Pryor said. Scott was pronounced dead on the scene.