One of the most difficult aspects of my job is that so many of you keep informed about incidents of injustice in America that I sincerely struggle to keep up. I write at least one story a day about injustice in America, but that barely scratches the surface of how bad things truly are. I hope to use this new column to track and expose even more cases.
The Indianapolis Police Shooting of Aaron Bailey
On June 29, Indianapolis police shot and killed Aaron Bailey, a 45-year-old black man, after a traffic stop. He was unarmed. The shooting has a single eyewitness, Shiwanda Ward, who recently spoke to the press. In this video, she said Bailey was injured by airbags after their car crashed and that police shot him right there on the spot “for no apparent reason.”
Local police, and now the FBI, are investigating the shooting.
Columbus Officer Zachary Rosen fired for stomping a handcuffed man
Columbus, Ohio, police officer Zachary Rosen was involved in the 2016 shooting death of Henry Green, a beloved young man in the community. Rosen was not indicted by a grand jury after the shooting, and activists in Columbus have fought nonstop for Rosen to be fired — something that finally happened after video showed him stomping on a handcuffed man. Now, he must be arrested. What he did to a nonviolent man in handcuffswas not just against department policy, it should be classified as an illegal assault. Firing him is simply not enough.
Officer who shot and killed Philando Castile given $48,500 settlement
After shooting and killing a man who did absolutely nothing to deserve such violence, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was just given a $48,500 settlement in an agreement to leave the department. This man — who openly admitted that he first pulled over Philando Castile because he thought his nose resembled that of an armed robbery suspect — shot and killed Castile for no apparent reason whatsoever, then was given a load of cash? Not only is that bogus, it’s a true symptom of just how difficult it is to hold terrible cops accountable. The man literally just got paid after killing Philando Castile. My blood is boiling.
The Louisiana police killing of Dejuan Guillory
Early in the morning of July 7, 27-year-old Dejuan Guillory, a black man, was shot and killed by police in the rural Louisiana town of Mamou, La. Guillory was unarmed. According to the attorney of the only eyewitness to the shooting:
“They were both on the ground. Guillory was on the ground, on his belly, his hands behind his back, and the officer had a gun trained at Guillory’s back, maybe a foot or two from Guillory’s body. They were still arguing back and forth but Guillory was on the ground as directed. His hands were behind his back. Guillory said ‘Please don’t shoot me; I have three kids.’ He was not resisting. All of a sudden, a shot rang out.”
According to attorneys for the eyewitness, the officer, Paul LeFleur, then shot Guillory at least three more times. An autopsy report on Guillory has not yet been released.
Police in Colorado shoot and kill six people in five days
This year is on pace to be the deadliest measured for police brutality in America. In a span of just five days last week, police in Colorado shot and killed six people. To give that some perspective, in 2013, police in Finland, which has 5.3 million residents, fired six bullets the entire year.
Florida’s first and only black state’s attorney was racially profiled by police
Aramis Ayala is Florida’s first and only African-American state’s attorney — making her one of the most powerful and influential figures in their justice system. That didn’t stop police from pulling her over for flimsy reasons. Watch the outrageous video of the incident here.