police shootings | KNKX

police shootings

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

(This story clarified at 12:54 pm, January 29, 2017, to reflect what less-lethal training King County Sheriff deputies have received and remarks made by the Director of Law Enforcement Oversight, Deborah Jacobs, regarding implicit-bias training.)

Soon, all King County patrol deputies will have gone through violence de-escalation training. The King County Sheriff’s Office says non-patrol officers will also be trained. It’s part of a broader initiative to promote anti-biased policing in the department.

Paula Wissel / knkx

A federal lawsuit has been filed over the shooting of 20-year-old Tommy Le last June by King County Sheriff's Deputy Cesar Molina in Burien.  

Will James / KNKX

King County is unique in the state because it requires an inquest to be held whenever there is a fatal shooting by police. But the process can be confusing and controversial, with some critics arguing that it's biased toward law enforcement.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

Tensions over high-profile police shooting deaths have led to ongoing conversations about bias, police culture and use of force.

It's rare for a law enforcement officer to be convicted of homicide for shooting someone while on duty. According to a new NPR data analysis, 2,400 people have been killed this way in the last two and a half years; the vast majority of those cases were found to be justified, but NPR found 20 officers who faced charges. Of those, six have been convicted or pleaded guilty.

Jordan Edwards, a high school freshman, was leaving a house party in a Dallas suburb late Saturday night with several friends when police officers arrived outside. The officers were investigating a complaint about noisy teenagers in the neighborhood, and they had heard gunshots in the area as they approached.

Within minutes, the black 15-year-old passenger had been killed — shot in the head by an officer through the front passenger window and pronounced dead at the hospital shortly afterward.

Elaine Thompson / AP

There will be no criminal charges against two Seattle police officers who shot and killed 46-year-old Che Taylor during an arrest last year in the Wegwood neighborhood.

Taylor was black. The two officers who shot him are white. The decision comes after a King County inquest last month into his death.

County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said that process and other evidence keeps him from pursuing criminal charges under the law. Specifically, the prosecutor said the officers reasonably believed their life was in danger and their fear justified their actions.

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state prosecutor says he will not file criminal charges against two Seattle police officers who fatally shot a 46-year-old African-American man last year.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said at a news conference Tuesday that the officers, who are white, reasonably believed their lives were in danger when they shot Che Taylor in February 2016. He says "their use of deadly force at that moment was authorized by law."

University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing's body camera was on when he pulled over Sam DuBose last year for a missing front license plate. From the footage, it is clear that Tensing is asking DuBose for his driver's license, and DuBose says he doesn't have it.

The murder trial of two former police officers in the shooting death of a mentally ill homeless man in Albuquerque, N.M., in 2014 has ended without verdicts.

On a late summer day in 2010, John T. Williams, a Native American woodcarver, was walking across the street carrying his carving knife and a small piece of wood when he was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer.

"He was carving an eagle at the moment," his brother Rick recalls, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. Rick tells his friend Jay Hollingsworth that his brother loved to carve — had been carving even at age 4, when he completed his first totem pole. He says John could walk and carve at the same time, and that was just what he was doing, carrying his knife openly.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of El Cajon, Calif., on Wednesday night, protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black man on Tuesday.

A 911 caller had reported that her brother was acting erratically and walking into traffic. She told police that he was mentally ill and unarmed, Andrew Bowen of member station KPBS reports.

It took nearly an hour for police to arrive on the scene. About a minute after they arrived, one of them shot Alfred Olango, The Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, a police officer in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, Calif., shot and killed an unarmed black man, sparking protests in the area.

El Cajon police Chief Jeff Davis said Tuesday night that police were on the scene because the man's sister had called 911, reporting that her brother was "not acting like himself," Andrew Bowen of member station KPBS reports.

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters, you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case.

Betty Shelby, the Tulsa Police Department officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher, is being charged with first-degree manslaughter in the case, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says.

Kunzweiler announced the charge Thursday afternoon, six days after Crutcher died in a controversial encounter that was captured on video by a police helicopter camera and dashboard cameras.

A black man who runs from police shouldn't necessarily be considered suspicious — and merely might be trying to avoid "the recurring indignity of being racially profiled," the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court says.

The police shooting of a man in Charlotte, N.C., sparked overnight protests and unrest. Protesters threw rocks at police, injuring 16 officers, while police wearing riot gear fired tear gas into the crowds. At one point, a major interstate was shut down as protesters set a fire and vandalized police cars.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick dropped to one knee rather than stand during the national anthem at a preseason football game Thursday night. It's an extension of the protest Kaepernick began last week when he sat as the anthem played before an earlier game, declaring, "I am not going to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

Chicago's police superintendent is moving to fire five officers who were involved in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald in 2014 — one who pulled the trigger, and four who are accused of giving false statements about what happened.

McDonald, who was black, was shot 16 times by officer Jason Van Dyke. Other officers said that McDonald had lunged at police before he was shot. But dashcam footage of the incident — released under a court order — contradicted their testimony.

In recent months, the nation has witnessed how questionable police shootings of African-Americans can spark anger and unrest across a community. But long after the demonstrations end, the streets go quiet and the cameras leave, families of those killed have to find ways to cope with their loss. And that's a private struggle that can last for decades and across generations.

Cordero Ducksworth has lived that struggle. He was 5 years old in 1962, when his father, Army Cpl. Roman Ducksworth Jr., was shot to death by William Kelly, a white Taylorsville, Miss., police officer.

As Hillary Clinton began a meeting with police chiefs from departments around the country, she expressed gratitude to those on the force.

"They represent officers who get up every day, put on their uniforms, kiss their families goodbye and risk their lives on behalf of our communities," the Democratic nominee said at the Thursday gathering in New York City.

Baltimore County police shot and killed Korryn Gaines, a 23-year-old black woman, after an hours-long standoff on Monday — during which Facebook and Instagram, at police request, temporarily shut down Gaines' accounts.

Twelve-year-old Mannie Thames knows a lot of kids with BB guns. He says kids have them for safety and because they're cool.

"Sometimes people get bullied a lot, and they want to have something to protect their self," Thames says. "And sometimes people think it's cool, they want to shoot people for fun."

He explains this in between bites of snacks at the after-school center, Penn North Kids Safe Zone, in West Baltimore.

Replica guns that shoot BBs and other projectiles are popular with kids. But in some settings, they pose a special danger.

Members of the Wichita, Kan., police department spent Sunday afternoon eating and talking with people from the community, at a cookout that was planned with the local Black Lives Matter group.

The event was called the First Steps Community Cookout — a reference to its goal of bridging the gap between police and the community they serve. Taking place instead of a protest that had been planned for Sunday, the cookout came about after Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay had a lengthy meeting with activist A.J. Bohannon and other members of the local Black Lives Matter movement.

It's a warm and muggy summer afternoon in Chicago, but that doesn't seem to bother the kids clamoring to ride the Ferris wheel, the Rock-O-Plane and other carnival rides set up in this southwest suburban park.

At the annual Chicago Fraternal Order of Police summer picnic, city cops and their families hauled in coolers and set up grills to enjoy food and bond with brothers and sisters in blue.

But there's something hanging over this picnic: the stress and strain of the job, and the scrutiny that many here say is harsher than ever.

When you listen to the protesters, the message is clear: They think police are too quick to pull the trigger when faced with potential danger.

The reality is that it's very difficult to tell whether this is something that's changing: The statistics on police use of force in the U.S. are too unreliable to say anything for certain.

Police in Fresno, Calif., have released video footage of the shooting of an unarmed man last month.

Dylan Noble, a white 19-year-old, was shot and killed by officers at a traffic stop in Fresno on June 25. Police said that they had pulled him over as they were investigating reports of a man walking around with a rifle. They said that Noble had told them he hated his life and reached for his waistband, at which point police shot him.

The killing of Alton Sterling, 37, by police earlier this week touched off protests across the country – but in Sterling's home city of Baton Rouge, La., demonstrators' outrage has rarely exceeded a parboil. And that's by design.

While in Warsaw, Poland, for the NATO summit, President Obama condemned the shootings that killed five police officers and left seven injured in Dallas. He said there was no justification for such a "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement" and that it's a reminder "of the sacrifices that they make for us."

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