Record Number of Cops Charged with Killing People in 2015 — Not a Single Officer Convicted

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Police State USA

Although the number of cops charged with murder or manslaughter sharply spiked last year, not a single officer was convicted for these unjustified deaths. With less cops killed in the line of duty in 2015, the number of people killed by police increased yet again.

The accumulated number of people killed by police in the U.S. last year remains between 986 and 1,200, with The Guardian currently totaling 1,138 victims. Although many disagree on the exact number of fatalities caused by cops, most concur that 2015 saw an escalation in both the total of people killed by police and the number of officers charged with murder or manslaughter.

Within the last decade, an average of five cops per year have been charged with murder or manslaughter in fatal on-duty shootings. Last year, that number more than tripled as 18 cops were arrested for unjustified shootings. This number does not comprise non-shooting homicides, including the six Baltimore officers charged with fatally severing Freddie Gray’s spine. Nor does it include the cops who will not face criminal charges for the deaths of Tamir Rice, Zachary Hammond, Natasha McKenna, Troy Goode, or Antonio Zambrano-Montes.

On December 3, Pike County Deputy Joel Jenkins was arrested after fatally shooting his neighbor in the head while drunk and off-duty. Charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, and tampering with evidence in connection with his neighbor’s death, Jenkins was also charged with felony murder and reckless homicide in a separate shooting. On March 28, 2015, Jenkins was on-duty when he shot Robert Rooker to death following a police pursuit after Rooker had already crashed his vehicle.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder on November 24, after a Cook County judge ordered the release of a suppressed dashcam video depicting the officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. Although Van Dyke claimed the teenager had lunged at him with a knife, the video clearly shows McDonald walking away before the officer opened fire.

On November 6, Marksville police officers Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford were charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder for gunning down an unarmed autistic child. Six-year-old Jeremy Mardis was sitting beside his father, who was reportedly surrendering with his hands in the air when the officers fired 18 rounds into the car.

Three Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies were charged with murder, conspiracy, and assault under the color of authority on September 3, after beating a mentally ill man to death. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and with a history of mental illness, Michael James Tyree was waiting to be transferred to an adult treatment facility when deputies Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin, and Rafael Rodriguez entered his cell and assaulted Tyree for roughly 20 minutes as he begged for mercy.

On July 19, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing pulled over Samuel DuBose for driving without a front license plate. Although Tensing claimed he was almost killed by DuBose’s fleeing vehicle, the officer’s body cam video revealed that Tensing was not dragged by DuBose’s car and instead immediately fell backward after shooting the suspect in the head. On July 29, Tensing was fired from the department and charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Charged with second-degree manslaughter on April 13, a 73-year-old reserve sheriff’s deputy was caught on body cam video accidentally shooting a restrained suspect in the back. Instead of deploying his Taser, Deputy Robert Bates claimed he mistakenly drew his gun and fired a single round into Eric Harris’ back. Bates immediately apologized as his fellow officers ignored Harris’ pleas for help while refusing to give him medical attention for his bullet wound.

At 9:33 a.m. on April 4, North Charleston Patrolman Michael Slager pulled over Walter “Lamar” Scott for driving with a broken brake light. After Scott fled on foot, a bystander named Feidin Santana recorded a cellphone video of Slager shooting the unarmed man in the back. Three days later, Slager was fired and arrested for murder.

Last January, Detective Keith Sandy and SWAT Officer Dominique Perez of the Albuquerque Police Department were charged with second-degree murder for killing a mentally ill homeless man. Video of the incident revealed James Boyd had been complying with officers when police suddenly deployed a flashbang grenade moments before shooting him to death. Two hours before the shooting, a state police officer’s dashcam video recorded Det. Sandy referring to Boyd as a “lunatic” and telling Officer Chris Ware, “I’m going to shoot him in the penis with a shotgun here in a second.”

The list of cops facing criminal charges also includes NYPD officer Peter Liang, who claimed he accidentally shot Akai Gurley while opening a door with the same hand holding his firearm. Responding to a call about a shoplifting suspect, Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin shot unarmed 18-year-old William Chapman in a Walmart parking lot. Bolivar County sheriff’s deputy Walter Grant shot 20-year-old Willie Lee Bingham in the back of the head because he mistakenly thought Bingham had a gun.

Although these officers still face criminal charges, the only officer acquitted of all counts in 2015 was Hummelstown police officer Lisa Mearkle. After shooting David Kassick with her Taser, Mearkle fired two rounds into the unarmed man’s back because she momentarily could not see one of his hands as he writhed face down on the ground in pain. Mistrials were declared for the police shooting of Yvette Smith, who police falsely accused of holding a weapon, and in the first of six trials against the officers responsible for killing Freddie Gray.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, more officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014 than last year. At least 133 cops died on-duty in 2014, while 129 were killed last year. As the number of officer fatalities decreases, the number of people being killed by police continues to drastically rise along with the rate of cops facing criminal charges for murder or manslaughter.

Although more officers will supposedly be held accountable for their crimes in 2016, the only number that matters from last year is the amount of cops convicted of murder or manslaughter: zero.

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Contributed by Andrew Emett of The Free Thought Project.

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  • Aug Ust

    Once again YOU know what has to be done

  • csbubba

    If you are going to “quote” the officer down page, then please do so correctly.
    Yes 129 DEAD cops, BUT you need to see how they bought it.
    Example: 6 for “9/11 Illness (WTF) 18 heart attacks, 28 killed themselves by driving recklessly, 1 fell down and broke his crown, 2 “accidentally” shot themselves and so on. Also out of the 129 dead you have to SUBTRACT 26 that WERE DOGS/K9’s Yep they get counted also, so minus the dogs you get 103 dead. Plus a new category I have either missed or is new and that is killed by BOMB, there were 6, all fed agent OVERSEAS, wtf? The page makes for good fun reading!

    • Figures lie and liars figure, they can make those numbers say whatever they want them to. Thanks for breaking it down.

      • Aug Ust

        Way….read them signs

        • well that’s friggin’ weird

          • Aug Ust

            if you can down load videos down load this one and tell me what them words are around 150 or 151 they flash just for a split of a second
            this has something to do with the white house

          • Aug Ust

            check this out remember last year what happen and the stock market this year
            they are all in it to together from what i am finding out by doing research is that china wants Obama to disarmed Americans i can prove this Dec 18, 2012 – The official Chinese government news agency, Xinhua, has demanded the US immediately adopt stricter gun laws Chinese State Media Demands US Citizens Be Disarmed Congress Sends Health Law Repeal to Obama all that was in 2012 fast forward 2016 14 hours ago – Barack Obama will take his push for tighter gun measures directly to critics 1 day ago – Last night, House Republicans voted once again to repeal Obamacare
            watch this video from 2015 you see what i see?

        • LiberalsRLost

          disgruntled employees…..?

          • Aug Ust

            lol Read them sings

    • BigGaySteve

      Why even charge a cop when there is video of the guy holding a gun pointing it at people & the cop like Tamir Rice? Maybe if he didn’t take the orange cap off he would be alive.

    • NonYo Business

      Getting away with murder… 1 is too many. That is the figure that matters.

  • No federal Obamabot/ziobot replacements!

  • DontCensor MeBro

    America has the largest Death by Police in the world. It also has the LARGEST PRISON SYSTEM in the world. I noticed that back in the 80’s the laws were changing and taking away more and more of your rights, they started handing out felonies like candy for things that should just be a fine. They did that to take away your right to vote and to take away your gun rights. NO ONE LISTNED THEN AND THEY ARE NOT LISTENING NOW

  • DontCensor MeBro

    Speaking of gun rights I bet Obama is saying (I will make them give me those guns if I have to murder every kid in school). That is what is really going on with all of the workplace violence, or school shootings, ITS THE GOVERNMENT doing it. They are murdering our kids and family just to get what they want, to control us. GOD HELP US ALL

  • The judiciary obviously disagrees with the premise that the deaths were unjustified.

  • Americadies

    So what? 99.5% of those killed by police were criminals with weapons. Essential we have maybe 6 of the nearly 1200 were unarmed yet committing crimes.
    Killing feral blacks should not be considered a crime.

    • BigGaySteve

      Leftist news cant even show 5 seconds before cops shoot on videos or it would destroy their narratives

      • Americadies

        This who evil police narrative is pure bullshit. If thugs tried acting human they might survive.

  • Guillotine_ready

    The thin blue line is between the peasants and the merchant class which is not include the small business person only the corporations and wealthy. Of course they will not allow their plantation police to be punished for killing a peasant or ten.
    Police are in no way shape or form there to protect or serve you, not in any way at all.
    If we want justice we have to provide consequences, otherwise why would they stop? They won’t.

    • csbubba

      Thin blue line means “Comply or DIE

  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    The same illness that pervades and plagues society also affects law enforcement-the unwillingness of the many to condemn the immoral, illegal acts of their peers. As a people, we are broken-morally, spiritually, politically and ethically.

  • LiberalsRLost

    well whaddah yah spect….dey all followed ‘proper procedure’ so there…..!

  • Jodie Lynn Gaeta

    We have to hammer it into the general public’s heads: GOOD CITIZENS DO NOT PUT THE POLICE ON A PEDESTAL. No, they hold them accountable.That officer that shot a suspect twice in the back, killing him (while he was lying on the ground after she tased him) should have been convicted, and would have been if it weren’t for the childish police-worship that infects too many adult Americans today.

  • AllodialTitle

    Doesn’t it take awhile for convictions in these type of cases? How about the conviction rate from 2014?

  • Phil Rou

    Please allow me to share my personal experience with police brutality in Switzerland. A depressed friend who I tried desperately to help hung himself in my house. He sent me a suicide text message, had a history of suicide attempts BUT when I called the police to report it, they immediately arrested me for murder. I was held for 9 hours without a lawyer, tortured, and threatened with “waterboarding” if I didn’t confess; then I was summarily thrown in jail, because in Switzerland the cops can do that without even going before a judge. After I got out, and went to see a lawyer, the first three lawyers I went to see refused to file suit against the cops for torture. After months of harassment and torment, I resorted to Amnesty International who provided probably the only lawyer in Switzerland prepared to take on the state. Remember, these lawyers profit from “the system” and at least in Switzerland, they prefer to remain friendly with the public prosecutor. My consulate said that what happened to me, happens every week in Geneva alone, and the embassy is powerless because the police collude and lie; in the end it is the word of the victim against the word of several police. You can read more about my story here in detail :

  • Ed

    The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops. ~Robert Higgs