A look at some of the past week’s allegations of police brutality, misconduct and civilian shootings:
Four San Francisco police officers are under investigation for racist and homophobic text messages exchanges between a former San Francisco Police Department sergeant. The texts which are now public included jokes about Kwanzaa and calling for the lynching of all African Americans including one that said, “All n—— must fucking hang.” Multiple sources identified the police officers as Michael Robison, Noel Schwab, Rain Daugherty, and Michael Celis. Three were transferred to non-contract positions in the department since February, and one took a personal leave. The texts surfaced in a filing federal court on March 13 by the Attorney General’s office seeking to keep former Sergeant Ian Furminger—who was recently convicted in federal court on corruption charges—in custody as he appeals his conviction and 40-month sentence on federal corruption charges. All four officers were on the force for over a decade, and at least two have faced disciplinary action in the past.
Askari Roberts, 38, died early on March 18 after a struggle occurred with Floyd County Sergeants Greg Beck and Brandon Robinson. Police say Roberts, who claimed people wanted to kill him, fought off officers at his father’s home. A stun gun was used on him as officers tried to handcuff him. Soon after, he became unresponsive. Officers performed CPR on Roberts before an ambulance took him to the hospital, where he died. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has open to case for review. Both officers were placed on administrative leave with pay pending the GBI investigation, police said.
Early last Thursday morning, at least one police officer shot 18-year-old Brandon Jones. Cleveland police responded to a report of a robbery at a small convenience store. Two police officers arrived at the store and saw Jones carrying a bag, which investigators later found that it contained cigarettes and money. A struggle ensued as the officers tried to arrest him. According to police, one office shot Jones at least one time. He was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition and later died. Jones was unarmed. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave for three days. The department’s Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team and a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor responded to the scene.
Later on that same day in Jacksonville, Florida, the police were called around noon for suspicious activity. Kendre Omari Alston, 16, died after a police shooting, and an unidentified accomplice remained on the loose last Friday. Police responded to a resident reporting that two armed suspects drove a stolen car. Alston, the passenger, and the police officers engaged in a brief car chase until the Alston drove the car, slammed into a tree. Both suspects hopped out of the car. At that point, the passenger ditched his gun while Alston allegedly pointed his at Sergeant JC Nobles before he and the other suspect ran away. Nobles fired twice while chasing the suspects. Alston was taken to University of Florida Health where he was pronounced dead. Nobles has been placed on administrative leave while the investigation into the shooting continues.
Denzel Brown, an unarmed 21 year-old of Amityville has died after being shot by an officer after shoplifting from a Best Buy in the Bay Shore on March 22. Police said Brown stole two pairs of Beats headphones from Best Buy. When an officer approached him, he took off running. The female officer tried to Taser him, but he kept running. When he reached a nearby residential neighborhood, he forced his way into a car with a woman and two young boys, ages 4 and 6, inside, police said. Suffolk County Detective Lt. Kevin Beyrer stated that Brown opened the rear door where the two children were seated and climbed across them into the driver’s side. The woman left the vehicle and screamed that her children are still in the car. An officer demanded that he exits the vehicle, but Brown drives away. The officer fired one shot into the driver’s side window, then opened the car door and tried to get Brown out of the driver’s seat, according to police. The officer then used a Taser, but it was unsuccessful. The officer then fired a shot at into Brown’s stomach while the two kids were in the car. One neighbor’s surveillance video caught the incident, and the footage has been turned over to investigators. Brown died during surgery at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. The two boys were unhurt. According to NBC New York, police are not releasing the female officer’s name because Brown may have ties to gangs and police are concerned for her safety. The Suffolk District Attorney will review this investigation.