Report on Black People Executed without Trial by Police, Security Guards and Self-Appointed Law Enforcers January 1 – June 30, 2012.
Highlights from the Report
US Cities - Extrajudicial Killings of Black People
A significant proportion of the 110 were killed because they suffered from mental health problems or were intoxicated and behaved in ways the police allegedly could not control.
Most of the people executed were not armed.Here is the breakdown:
Regardless of how these encounters begin, whether they involve activity that violates the laws of the state or the laws of basic human decency, no one should be sentenced to death without a trial.In most countries, even with a trial, capital punishment is considered barbaric. So the use of deadly force is always “excessive” (and extrajudicial by international human rights standards) except in certain circumstances.
The “justice system” gives impunity to murderers. The names of a few of the 110 people on this death roll have become nationally-known rallying cries for justice: like Trayvon Martin and Remarley Graham. Their murders have sparked massive mobilizations, media commentary, calls for government intervention, lawsuits and endless legal wrangling. However, after the initial announcements in local news media, the lives of most of those who were executed are forgotten. The standard procedure in most jurisdictions is for police involved in fatal shootings to be given paid “desk-duty” while the department conducts an investigation of itself. The press applauds their fine records while it screams about the criminal records of the deceased. Almost all killer cops are routinely exonerated and quickly return to the street. Grieving families who invariably ask the modest question, “why did he have to die?” are ignored. If there is some demonstrated community outrage the case may be further investigated. The legal system almost never charges these executioners and even if they do, the killing continues. A number of families seek legal redress through the civil courts and seek financial restitution. After years of litigation a tiny minority may gain some solace from a financial payment. And the executions continue.
The data for this report was collected by meticulously combing the internet during the last ten days of June 2012. In addition to searching on “police-involved shootings”, “police killings of Black people”, etc., we also went to the websites of the local press, blogs and police departments in the 100 cities and towns with the largest Black populations and followed wherever the links led. In the course of these searches, we found the names of an additional 14 people killed before March 31, who we hadn’t found during the research for the first quarterly report. Those names appear here. There is, as far as we know, no national database that tracks these killings. Wikipedia has posted a very incomplete list and also detailed the other databases available. See:
This report covers the deaths of 110 Black people: 54 from January thru March and 56 from April thru June, 2012. In other words, despite the huge mobilizations after the Remarley Graham and Trayvon Martin murders, the killing continued at an even faster pace. We do not believe the 110 deaths listed here are all the Black people killed by police and security guards. There are no doubt more—especially in places that do not have an active internet media presence. We found the names of an additional 15 people killed by police whose race we could not confirm. There were countless others who were in critical condition from police shootings, but the press never reported on whether they survived. With time, we estimate another 30 to 40 cases might emerge. For more information on any given case, you can type “shooting of name, date, place” in your search engine. For more information on this Report or to contribute updated information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.