Jess Collarosi from ThinkProgress compiled this list.
During the month of October, police killed 95 people, according to the Killed By Police database. At least 71 of them were shot and killed. The Guardian also reports that 950 people have been killed by police this year, with two months to go til the end of 2015.
During #RiseUpOctober last month, a series of demonstrations in New York City attempted to shut down Rikers Island and called for an end to police terror nationwide. Family members of police victims participated in the march, joined by students, pastors, activists, and public figures like Dr. Cornel West and filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
New research shows the number of U.S. police officers charged in fatal shootings has hit the highest level in a decade. A dozen officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter this year, up from an average of about five a year from 2005 to 2014. Still, these prosecutions represent a very small fraction of police killings. The South Carolina cop who shot unarmed teenager Zachary Hammond ducked criminal charges last week, despite video appearing to show him open fire on Hammond’s car after it passed him.
Here are six of the most shocking police encounters in October, two of which occurred in public high schools:
Corey Jones, Palm Beach Gardens, FL: A 31-year-old, well-known Florida drummer was shot dead by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens police officer in an unmarked car after leaving a late night gig. The victim’s car broke down on along an Interstate 95 exit ramp. A police statement released the following day said the officer, Nouman Raja, “stopped to investigate what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle” and was “suddenly confronted by an armed subject.” But Jones’ family says he never fired his gun and had no way of knowing the man approaching him in the dark was a police officer. In fact, Jones was still on the phone with roadside assistance when he was killed.
Student, Columbia, SC: A black teenage student was thrown out of her chair by school resource officer in a classroom at Spring Valley High School. Officer Ben Fields was called to the classroom student refused to put her phone away and leave the room at her teacher’s request. The girl did not move, so Fields was called in. He grabbed her, slammed her backwards to the ground, and dragged her to the front of the room. Videos filmed by students surfaced on social media last week and sparked immediate outrage. Students and graduates reported that Fields has been brutal like this for years. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stressed that the incident started with a “very disruptive” student who was refusing to let the teacher continue the class. Still, Lott said Fields displayed “unacceptable” behavior and fired him days after the video erupted.
Student, Round Rock, TX: A black 14-year-old Round Rock High School student was grabbed by the throat and dragged to the ground by a police officer in the school. Two students were shoving each other, reportedly over a pair of sports goggles, when the school’s assistant principal and two school officers interceded. A video published by KXAN revealed the incident. The police department claims the move was for the boy’s “own safety.” No arrests were made, but the incident is under review. The student’s father said he plans to press charges against the officer for unnecessary handling of a “130-pound child.”
Published on ThinkProgress.com