There’s really no introduction needed. The title explains it all: This post is a compiled list of people who were killed by police (or miraculously survived) by an outrageous number of bullets.
Stephon Clark: Two police officers fired over 20 rounds of shots, hitting Stephon eight times–killing him. Allegedly he was a suspect in neighborhood car break-ins. When cornered in his own backyard by police and a helicopter what police thought was a gun was just a cellphone. Also, the police involved in the shooting muted their body cameras because that wouldn’t seem suspicious at all. Stephon was 22-years-old. The officers felt threatened.
Laquan McDonald: One police officer shot at Laquan 16 times, with 9 of those shots hitting his back. He was allegedly vandalizing cars and was seen carrying a knife at the time of the shooting. Laquan was 17-years-old. He was also sexually and physically abused while in foster care and was in and out of detention centers in his adolescence. He lived a very tragic and short life; his death did not have to be an inevitable end.
Sean Bell: You know, I’m probably never going to get over the Sean Bell story. Hours before Sean’s wedding day (his damn wedding day!!), five undercover police officers followed him and his two groomsmen to their car where they eventually fired 50 shots at the three friends. The two friends survived, one shot 19 times and the other three; Sean was shot four times. One officer shot 31 of the 50 bullets found. The officers were on duty to investigate prostitution but instead became more interested in the group of Black men. Sean was just 23-years-old and in case you forgot (or didn’t know) when he was killed right before his WEDDING DAY. Let that sink in.
Amadou Diallo: Four officers unloaded 41 bullets at Amadou, striking him 19 times for a reason that is still unclear. Whether they thought he was a rapist that committed a series of rapes in their assigned zone or a burglar, what is clear is that Amadou was an immigrant who fled from his native country for his American dream. He hustled on the NYC streets to survive just to be gunned down for no reason. One can mistakenly confuse salt and sugar: shooting someone 19 times is not a mistake. Amadou was 22-years-old.
Gidone Busch: Gidone who suffered from depression, mental episodes, and kidney failure was shot at by police at least 12 times after arriving at the scene after a call that Gidone attacked someone with a hammer. Gidone’s mother learned of his death on the television news. He was 31-years-old.
Dontre Hamilton: Not only do Starbucks employees not like when you don’t order anything but when you sleep on park benches across from its location. After employees called the police, Dontre was fatally shot 14 times (because once wasn’t enough) in a heated scuffle after taking hold of the baton used on him. Two officers already arrived on scene and determined Dontre wasn’t a nuisance, just sleepy. The third officer must have missed the memo. Dontre suffered from schizophrenia.
Johnathan Ferrell: Moments before his death, Johnathan got into a car accident. He survived a crash described by police as so severe the only possible way to escape was through the back window. He goes to the nearest house for help and startles the resident with his banging to that she called the police. Police arrived on the scene and Jonathan approached three police officers ignoring their orders and unfazed by a taser was shot 10 times. While Johnathan had alcohol in his system, it was under the legal BAC limit. Jonathan was 24-years-old.
Howard Morgan: Hold on to your seats. Howard was stopped by three police officers for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Howard says the officers grabbed him from his vehicle and started shooting once they saw the gun in his waistband. At the time, Howard was an officer who happened to be off-duty. On the contrary account, the officers stated Howard tried to fight all three of them when he became aggressive during the patdown. Either way, Howard was shot 28 times (not shot at–but shot) and in 2012, was convicted for attempted murder of the police officers for the 2005 incident. He surprisingly was pardoned by then-Governor Pat Quinn before he left office in 2014. I don’t know of many people who lived to tell their side of the story, still go to jail, and later get released by the governor. But I have heard of dozens and dozens of officer acquittals. Just saying.
Saheed Vassell: Was shot nine times after approaching people on the sidewalk in what appeared to be a gun his hand. That “gun” turned out to be a silver pipe. Saheed experienced mental health issues and was not on his medication at the time of the shooting, but was known to many residents in the Crown Heights community who were familiar with his mental disorder. The police officers who arrived on the scene were not. You can’t keep individuals who suffer from mental illness off the streets if there’s a lack of aid and resources that protect them from the streets.
If you haven’t noticed, I have not disclosed the race of any of the victims or the police officers mentioned. It was not my intention to include that detail because for some, you may already know or can guess but the focus was on the victims’ story. In this narrative race is not the point: my point is in the number of times these people were shot by police.