A look at the nation’s most recent police brutality allegations:
-Two Lowndes County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed 42-year-old Dexter Pernell Bethea last Wednesday. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that officers were involved in a shooting behind the Econo Lodge on St. Augustine Road. Bethea attempted to hit the officers with his vehicle when they fired at him. Inside Bethea’s vehicle was 29-year-old Jasmine Riley and 39-year-old Michael Hendley. Officers arrested both of them, and are now being held at Lowndes County Jail on multiple drug charges. The GBI found cocaine, marijuana and a large amount of cash inside of the vehicle. The GBI is still investigating the events that led up to the shooting.
-The Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha has a fractured fibula and ligament damage following an altercation on April 8 by NYPD officers. According to ESPN<, Sefolosha sustained his injuries outside of a Manhattan nightclub as police accused him of resisting arrest. Sefolosha was arrested with his teammate Pero Antic. Due to his injury, Sefolosha will sit out for the remainder of the season and playoffs, and the team stated that he would need surgery. Sefolosha’s agent has acknowledged that an investigation of the officer’s conduct is underway.
-On that same day, an attorney representing Jamar Nicholson, 15, who was mistakenly shot and injured by a Los Angeles police officer on February 10, announced that he has filed a $20-million claim against the city. Nicholson and three of his friends were hanging out in a South L.A. alley, when two officers assigned to the LAPD’s criminal gang-homicide unit approached the group with guns drawn. The LAPD stated that one of the teenagers was holding what the officers thought was a gun, which led one of the officers to fire. Nicholson was struck in the upper back. The gun that officers believed to be real was actually fake as it had a small orange tip. LAPD Commander Andrew Smith, a department spokesman, said the department’s investigation into the incident was ongoing. The officer who fired the gun has been identified as Miguel Gutierrez. Officer Gutierrez has returned to full duties. According to The Los Angeles Times, the claim is a legal precursor to a civil lawsuit. Harris said if the city rejects the claim, he planned to file suit.
–Tulsa police have released disturbing video of the shooting that led to the death of Eric Courtney Harris. On the morning of April 2, Harris, 44, was running from deputies after allegedly selling a gun to undercover cops including to Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73. Bates later admitted that he mistakenly shot and killed Harris, instead he was reaching for his Taser according to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. Paramedics treated Harris at the scene. He was then taken to a hospital, where he died about an hour later. On the video, Harris can be heard saying, “I’m losing my breath,” to which one of the officers replies, “Fuck your breath.” Bates is not a full-time member of the police department, but rather, a wealthy insurance agent who is allowed to carry a gun and the title “Reserve Deputy” through a program that allows donors to essentially pay for “the privilege of playing police officer,” according to Raw Story.