The Police Aren't Very Good At Their Main Job: Solving Crimes

Jeffrey Young
·9 min read

One of the most common arguments you see made against the notion of “defunding” the police is: “Well, who are you going to call if someone burgles your home or attacks you?”

And yet a quick look at crime statistics makes it pretty clear that calling the police in those situations doesn’t do you much good anyway. I learned that lesson myself from the multiple times I’ve called the cops after being the victim of a crime.

We are taught as children that the police are there to help and protect us from criminals and to bring the bad guys to justice, and fictional portrayals of police officers in books, TV shows and movies reinforce this image. That is, of course, not how the Black community and many others actually experience the police in real life. It also barely connects to reality for anyone. Statistically, cops are good at arresting people (and sometimes beating and killing them), but not so good at crime solving.

It’s all right there in the FBI’s official crime data. Law enforcement solved less than half ― just 46% ― of violent crimes and just 18% of property crimes in 2017, the most recent year for which numbers are available. Homicides and aggravated assaults were the only types of crime with clearance rates above 50%. They also solved only 35% of rapes, 29% of robberies, 14% of burglaries, 19% of larcenies and 14% of automobile thefts. Other FBI data shows that murder cases are less likely to be solved when the victim is Black.

Under the FBI’s definition, a crime is deemed “cleared” if a suspect is arrested, charged and handed over to prosecutors. A case also is deemed cleared under other extraordinary circumstances, such as when the suspect dies prior to arrest or leaves the jurisdiction, or when a victim refuses to cooperate with prosecutors.

Given that these figures themselves come from a law enforcement agency that has an incentive to portray law enforcement in a positive light, there are good reasons to question how accurate even those are. For instance, a police department would get credit this year for clearing a previously unsolved case from a prior year. This creates a misleading view of how well a department responds to new crimes in any given year.

If those statistics and my own experiences are any guide, the person on the other end of the phone when you call the cops to report a crime is less Detective Briscoe from “Law & Order” than Chief Wiggum from “The Simpsons.”

Solving crimes is difficult. Police often cite resource constraints, and say that cutting budgets will mean fewer investigations. Maybe. But also maybe some of the money being used to send legions of riot cops in body armor and tanks out against peaceful protesters could be repurposed to, you know, actual crime.

Put it another way: Would you keep paying a plumber who only fixed your toilet 18% of the time?

‘This Is Why I Don’t Live In This City’

The global Black Lives Matter protests that erupted after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd last month and the growing interest in major policing reform got me thinking about my own experiences as a crime victim and how basically useless the police were.

The first time I was a victim of a crime was in May 1998, when I was living in London. I was returning to my apartment from a nightclub at around midnight, when my two friends and I got separated by about 20 yards. Suddenly, a group of young men blocked my way and started punching and kicking me. My friends rescued me, got me home and alerted nearby police. They took a statement, told me not to expect much and left. I only realized afterward that my wallet was gone.

The next morning, I dragged my bruised body to the neighborhood police station to see if anyone had been arrested and if they found my wallet. The sergeant at the desk had no idea.

“If it’s any consolation,” she said, “I don’t think you were mugged. Your wallet probably just fell out of your pocket while they were beating you.” This was not, in fact, a consolation.

I moved to Washington, D.C., later that year, and shortly thereafter the house I shared with several roommates was robbed. I wasn’t home when the crime occurred, and the only evidence that the police made even a cursory attempt to investigate was the fingerprint dust they left all over the house. None of us ever heard from those cops again.

In November 2005, three young men held me up at gunpoint about a block from my apartment in Washington. I called the police from my landline. The officer who came to my statement told me, “See, now, this is why I don’t live in this city.”

About a year later, I got a phone call from a detective who said he had just returned from a lengthy disability leave and found my case waiting for him. I went to the precinct, where he perfunctorily showed me some mug shots and sent me on my way. Here’s the thing, though: I had provided the responding officer with the muggers’ license plate number. I also knew they had used my credit card at a gas station, a McDonald’s and a Denny’s. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to use that information to maybe track down the perpetrators. I never heard back from that detective.

On an unseasonably warm Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2007, I was hanging out with two friends on their front stoop in D.C. when a man armed with a broken bottle ran up on us, demanded our wallets and fled. We flagged down an officer a few blocks away who took a statement. I asked him to reassure me that we’d done the right thing by not trying to fight off the mugger. “Well, I would’ve handled it differently,” he responded, smirking at me.

In July of that same year, I followed the woman I was dating into her Washington home one night and found a masked man pointing a gun in my face when I turned to close the door behind us. He ordered us to lie face down on the floor, and said he would shoot us if we moved. He emptied my pockets and took some belongings from her purse and the house. When we thought he had moved upstairs, we ran to a friend’s house and called the police, who showed up in force.

After taking statements, a lone officer stayed behind for far longer than was necessary so he could flirt with the women who lived in the house. We never heard another word about the case.

Most recently, in April 2018, I discovered someone had robbed the mailbox on my block in Brooklyn, taken a check I’d mailed and forged it for more than $5,000. I reported it at the nearest police station. A few weeks later, I even got a call from a detective who wanted additional information. Apparently, there had been a rash of mail thefts in New York City, which have probably stopped now ― not because the New York Police Department caught anyone, but because the U.S. Postal Service replaced the mailboxes with theft-deterrent models.

Officer Friendly Is Off Duty

In each case, officers pretty much told me not to expect anything to come out of reporting the crimes. I have no reason to believe any of those crimes were ever solved. If they were, nobody ever told me about it.

I’m in a position of personal privilege here. I’m a white man from the suburbs who went to college and has a job with a decent salary. I look like a poster child for the person the police are “supposed” to help, especially now that I’ve reached my mid-40s. When I sought help from the police, I never had to fear they’d hurt or kill me, and I could assume they would treat me with at least a little respect.

The first few times I reported the crimes with actual hope somebody would get caught. I was angry. I’d been attacked, threatened and had my belongings stolen. The perpetrators made me fear for my life and safety, and the lives and safety of people I care about. I felt powerless, and calling the cops felt like getting a little of that power back.

I also believed I had a civic duty to report those crimes and do what I could to make it less likely they would victimize other people.

To describe this attitude as naive would be an understatement. Pretty much all I got out of calling the police was the paperwork that allowed my banks to return money stolen from my checking account and to clear fraudulent charges from my credit cards.

Considering my encounters with the police and the track record the statistics show, it’s unsurprising that fewer than half of crimes are even reported to the police, according to a Justice Department survey. It also doesn’t speak well of the quality of police work that so many crimes are going unsolved during an era of relatively low crime rates.

My stories are just a few random examples of bad things that happened to one guy. Any encounter with the police could end far worse. But if the police routinely behave as though real crimes are not worth their time, utterly disregard the victims and solve a paltry percentage of crimes, what are they even for? Maybe real police reforms, whether you call it defunding or something else, will provide an answer.

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Amadou Diallo

Four plain-clothed <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/05/nyregion/officers-in-bronx-fire-41-shots-and-an-unarmed-man-is-killed.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">cops fired 41 bullets</a> at 23-year-old Amadou Diallo outside of his New York apartment in 1999. They were all charged with second-degree murder and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/26/nyregion/diallo-verdict-overview-4-officers-diallo-shooting-are-acquitted-all-charges.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">eventually acquitted</a>.
Four plain-clothed cops fired 41 bullets at 23-year-old Amadou Diallo outside of his New York apartment in 1999. They were all charged with second-degree murder and eventually acquitted.

Patrick Dorismond

Patrick Dorismond, 26, was killed by undercover cops while he was waiting for a taxi outside of a New York City bar in 2000. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/17/nyregion/undercover-police-in-manhattan-kill-an-unarmed-man-in-a-scuffle.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">A scuffle ensued </a>after the cops approached him and asked to buy drugs. Witnesses said police didn't reveal themselves until after one cop fired his gun. The officer who pulled the trigger was <a href="http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2000/08/nyc-a02.html%20" target="_blank">cleared of criminal charges</a>.
Patrick Dorismond, 26, was killed by undercover cops while he was waiting for a taxi outside of a New York City bar in 2000. A scuffle ensued after the cops approached him and asked to buy drugs. Witnesses said police didn't reveal themselves until after one cop fired his gun. The officer who pulled the trigger was cleared of criminal charges.

Sean Bell

Sean Bell, 23, was shot and killed in Queens, New York just hours before his wedding in 2006 by four plainclothes officers and an undercover detective. Only three out of five of the detectives involved in his killing went to trial. They were all <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/26/nyregion/26BELL.html" target="_blank">found not guilty </a>of all charges.
Sean Bell, 23, was shot and killed in Queens, New York just hours before his wedding in 2006 by four plainclothes officers and an undercover detective. Only three out of five of the detectives involved in his killing went to trial. They were all found not guilty of all charges.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones

Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, was asleep when she was <a href="http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/aiyana-stanley-jones-raid/" target="_blank">shot and killed</a> by Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley during a raid on the wrong home in 2010. Weekley was charged of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment with a gun. The first trial ended in a mistrial in 2013. He was <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/detroit-officer-accused-in-girls-death-wont-face-3rd-trial/" target="_blank">cleared of his involuntary manslaughter charge</a> during a retrial in 2013 and cleared of the remaining charge in 2015.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, was asleep when she was shot and killed by Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley during a raid on the wrong home in 2010. Weekley was charged of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment with a gun. The first trial ended in a mistrial in 2013. He was cleared of his involuntary manslaughter charge during a retrial in 2013 and cleared of the remaining charge in 2015.

Kenneth Chamberlain

Kenneth Chamberlain was <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/03/justice/new-york-chamberlain-death/" target="_blank">fatally shot by White Plains, New York, police</a> after he inadvertently triggered his medical alert necklace while he was home alone in 2011. Cops demanded the 68-year-old retired Marine open the door. He refused, telling them he didn't need help. Police broke down the door, Tasered him and shot him. A grand jury <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/03/justice/new-york-chamberlain-death/" target="_blank">declined to indict</a> the officer that killed him.
Kenneth Chamberlain was fatally shot by White Plains, New York, police after he inadvertently triggered his medical alert necklace while he was home alone in 2011. Cops demanded the 68-year-old retired Marine open the door. He refused, telling them he didn't need help. Police broke down the door, Tasered him and shot him. A grand jury declined to indict the officer that killed him.

Ramarley Graham

Officer Richard Haste shot Ramarley Graham, 18, in the bathroom of his grandmother's New York City apartment in 2012. Haste entered the home despite not having a warrant. There are still many <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/ramarley-graham_n_5765862.html">unanswered questions</a> revolving around his death, especially since there were no witnesses. Haste was charged with manslaughter but the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/nyregion/officer-in-ramarley-graham-shooting-wont-face-us-charges.html" target="_blank">charge was later dropped</a>.
Officer Richard Haste shot Ramarley Graham, 18, in the bathroom of his grandmother's New York City apartment in 2012. Haste entered the home despite not having a warrant. There are still many unanswered questions revolving around his death, especially since there were no witnesses. Haste was charged with manslaughter but the charge was later dropped.

Rekia Boyd

Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed when an off-duty Chicago detective, Dante Servin, fired five shots at a group in a dark alley in 2012. One of the bullets <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/rekia-boyd/">hit Boyd in the head</a> and she died. Servin claimed his life was in danger and said one person in the group pointed a weapon at him. Servin did not tell the group he was a detective before he fired. Though his actions were <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-cop-verdict-servin-edit-0423-20150422-story.html" target="_blank">"beyond reckless," </a>according to the judge, Servin was found not guilty on all charges.
Rekia Boyd, 22, was killed when an off-duty Chicago detective, Dante Servin, fired five shots at a group in a dark alley in 2012. One of the bullets hit Boyd in the head and she died. Servin claimed his life was in danger and said one person in the group pointed a weapon at him. Servin did not tell the group he was a detective before he fired. Though his actions were "beyond reckless," according to the judge, Servin was found not guilty on all charges.

Eric Garner

Eric Garner, 43, said <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/nyregion/eric-garner-police-chokehold-staten-island.html" target="_blank">"I can't breathe"</a> 11 times while NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold in July 2014 after accusing him of selling loose cigarettes. Garner's encounter with the police was caught on camera, yet a grand jury <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/daniel-pantaleo-fatal-choke-ready-back-job-article-1.2289076" target="_blank">did not indict Pantaleo</a>. The man who recorded the last moments of Garner's life, however, has been sentenced to four years in prison on <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/13/two_years_after_eric_garner_s" target="_blank">unrelated charges</a>.
Eric Garner, 43, said "I can't breathe" 11 times while NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold in July 2014 after accusing him of selling loose cigarettes. Garner's encounter with the police was caught on camera, yet a grand jury did not indict Pantaleo. The man who recorded the last moments of Garner's life, however, has been sentenced to four years in prison on unrelated charges.

Michael Brown

When former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson fatally <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/official-autopsy-michael-brown-had-marijuana-in-his-system-was-shot-6-times/2014/08/18/8c016ef8-26f4-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html" target="_blank">shot 18-year-old Michael Brown six times</a>, his dead body lay in the street for four hours on August 9, 2014. Brown's death resulted in civil unrest and eventually led to the revelation of corruption within the city's government. The Justice Department <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/ferguson-cop-darren-wilson-not-indicted-shooting-michael-brown-n255391" target="_blank">decided not to prosecute</a> former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.
When former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown six times, his dead body lay in the street for four hours on August 9, 2014. Brown's death resulted in civil unrest and eventually led to the revelation of corruption within the city's government. The Justice Department decided not to prosecute former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice, 12, was <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/28/tamir-rice-shooting-was-a-tragedy-not-a-crime.html" target="_blank">playing with a toy gun</a> at a park in Cleveland when he was killed in November 2014. Two officers responded to a call that a man had a pistol, though the 911 dispatcher didn't relay that the caller said the gun was "probably fake." Before the car came to a complete halt, Officer Timothy Loehmann jumped out of the car and shot the child in his torso. He later stated that it looked like Rice was reaching towards a gun in his waistband. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/28/us/tamir-rice-shooting/" target="_blank">Loehmann did not face charges</a>.
Tamir Rice, 12, was playing with a toy gun at a park in Cleveland when he was killed in November 2014. Two officers responded to a call that a man had a pistol, though the 911 dispatcher didn't relay that the caller said the gun was "probably fake." Before the car came to a complete halt, Officer Timothy Loehmann jumped out of the car and shot the child in his torso. He later stated that it looked like Rice was reaching towards a gun in his waistband. Loehmann did not face charges.

John Crawford III

John Crawford III was shot and <a href="http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/08/05/john-crawford-walmart-mom-speaks--rare-interview--cemetery/31171325/" target="_blank">killed in a Beavercreek, Ohio Wal-Mart</a> after police responded to a report that he was waving a gun and pointing it at other customers in 2014. Crawford, who was actually holding a BB gun which was sold at that store, was shot when police arrived. The cops involved <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/25/no_charges_in_ohio_police_killing" target="_blank">weren't charged</a> in the 22-year-old's death.
John Crawford III was shot and killed in a Beavercreek, Ohio Wal-Mart after police responded to a report that he was waving a gun and pointing it at other customers in 2014. Crawford, who was actually holding a BB gun which was sold at that store, was shot when police arrived. The cops involved weren't charged in the 22-year-old's death.

Jason Harrison

In 2014, Jason Harrison, a 38-year-old man who was mentally ill, was <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/deadly-consequences-police-lack-proper-training-handle-mental/story?id=33023577" target="_blank">shot five times </a>in front of his mother by Dallas police only moments after they told him to drop a screwdriver he was holding. His mother had called the police initially to request their help in getting him to the hospital because he had stopped taking his meds. Harrison was dead seconds after answering the door. A Texas <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/deadly-consequences-police-lack-proper-training-handle-mental/story?id=33023577" target="_blank">grand jury decided</a> not to indict the officers involved.
In 2014, Jason Harrison, a 38-year-old man who was mentally ill, was shot five times in front of his mother by Dallas police only moments after they told him to drop a screwdriver he was holding. His mother had called the police initially to request their help in getting him to the hospital because he had stopped taking his meds. Harrison was dead seconds after answering the door. A Texas grand jury decided not to indict the officers involved.

Freddie Gray

None of the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32400497" target="_blank">sustained a severe spinal injury</a> and fell into a coma while being transported in a police van on April 12, 2015 in Baltimore, were found guilty. He died a week after his arrest. After the first three officers -- including the driver and the highest-ranking officer -- were acquitted in their individual cases, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/charges-dropped-freddie-gray-case-officers_us_5798bd33e4b02d5d5ed3a2ec">charges against the remaining officers </a>were dropped.
None of the six officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who sustained a severe spinal injury and fell into a coma while being transported in a police van on April 12, 2015 in Baltimore, were found guilty. He died a week after his arrest. After the first three officers -- including the driver and the highest-ranking officer -- were acquitted in their individual cases, charges against the remaining officers were dropped.

Keith Lamont Scott

In September 2016, cops in pursuit of another man stopped <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/charlotte-police-shooting_us_57e1c953e4b0e80b1b9efd69">Keith Lamont Scott</a>, a 43-year-old with a mental illness, while he sat in his SUV waiting on his son. Police said they spotted Scott in his SUV with weed and a gun. The situation escalated and Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson. In November, the county district attorney announced that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-lamont-scott-officer-charges_us_583efbb5e4b04fcaa4d60490">no charges</a> would be filed against Vinson.
In September 2016, cops in pursuit of another man stopped Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old with a mental illness, while he sat in his SUV waiting on his son. Police said they spotted Scott in his SUV with weed and a gun. The situation escalated and Scott was fatally shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Brentley Vinson. In November, the county district attorney announced that no charges would be filed against Vinson.

Korryn Gaines

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/korryn-gaines-shooting_us_57a0cfbfe4b08a8e8b5f9fd4">Korryn Gaines</a>, a mother of two, was killed in her home during a standoff with Baltimore County Police in August 2016. Cops, who were attempting to serve Gaines a warrant for failing to appear in court, said that the 23-year-old pointed a gun at the officer and threatened to kill them. When the cop fired at Gaines, he also struck her 5-year-old son. The child was taken to the hospital. A month later, the county's chief prosecutor announced that <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-co-shellenberger-gaines-20160921-story.html" target="_blank">no criminal charges</a> would be filed against the officer. 
Korryn Gaines, a mother of two, was killed in her home during a standoff with Baltimore County Police in August 2016. Cops, who were attempting to serve Gaines a warrant for failing to appear in court, said that the 23-year-old pointed a gun at the officer and threatened to kill them. When the cop fired at Gaines, he also struck her 5-year-old son. The child was taken to the hospital. A month later, the county's chief prosecutor announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the officer.

Alton Sterling

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/13-painful-facts-about-alton-sterlings-life-and-death_us_577d1220e4b09b4c43c1b14e" target="_blank">Alton Sterling</a>, a 37-year-old father of five, was outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store where he frequently sold CDs when two cops approached him in July 2016. The officers, who were investigating reports of a man with a gun, were <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alton-sterling-video_us_577c78e7e4b09b4c43c18f1b">caught on camera</a> slamming Sterling to the ground. Sterling was shot in the chest and back. <br /><br />Following the shooting, one of the officers removed a gun from Sterling’s pocket, but the storeowner said that Sterling wasn’t holding a weapon during the altercation. The DOJ decided not to charge the two officers in May 2017. At the time, the state capital's police chief said it would be <a href="http://klfy.com/2017/06/02/baton-rouge-police-chief-refuses-to-prematurely-fire-officer-over-alton-sterling-shooting/" target="_blank">premature</a> to fire the cop who pulled the trigger. <br /><br />On March 27, the Louisiana attorney general declined to charge the two cops, citing that they acted in a "r<a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/louisiana-attorney-general-wont-charge-cops-in-alton-sterling-killing_us_5aba5453e4b054d118e733da">easonable and justified manner</a>."
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store where he frequently sold CDs when two cops approached him in July 2016. The officers, who were investigating reports of a man with a gun, were caught on camera slamming Sterling to the ground. Sterling was shot in the chest and back.

Following the shooting, one of the officers removed a gun from Sterling’s pocket, but the storeowner said that Sterling wasn’t holding a weapon during the altercation. The DOJ decided not to charge the two officers in May 2017. At the time, the state capital's police chief said it would be premature to fire the cop who pulled the trigger.

On March 27, the Louisiana attorney general declined to charge the two cops, citing that they acted in a "reasonable and justified manner."

Philando Castile

Philando Castile was in the car with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter when former Minneapolis cop Jeronimo Yanez pulled him over because his “wide-set nose” fit the description of of a robbery suspect’s. Castile <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/us/police-shooting-trial-philando-castile.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" data-beacon="{"p":{"lnid":"informed him","mpid":4,"plid":"https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/us/police-shooting-trial-philando-castile.html"}}" data-beacon-parsed="true">told Yanez</a> that he had a licensed gun in the car. After the officer told him not to reach for it, Castile said that he was getting his identification papers, as instructed. Yanez then shot Castile seven times while his seatbelt was on. His girlfriend <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/stay-calm-be-patient/2016/09/10/ec4ec3f2-7452-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html?utm_term=.228a8e1a071e" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" data-beacon="{"p":{"lnid":"livestreamed","mpid":5,"plid":"https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/stay-calm-be-patient/2016/09/10/ec4ec3f2-7452-11e6-8149-b8d05321db62_story.html?utm_term=.228a8e1a071e"}}" data-beacon-parsed="true">livestreamed</a> the final moments of Castile’s life after the cop fired. In June, a jury found Yanez <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/philando-castile-cop-not-guilty_us_594439ede4b06bb7d2731bb9?section=us_black-voices">not guilty</a> in the death of Castile. 
Philando Castile was in the car with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter when former Minneapolis cop Jeronimo Yanez pulled him over because his “wide-set nose” fit the description of of a robbery suspect’s. Castile told Yanez that he had a licensed gun in the car. After the officer told him not to reach for it, Castile said that he was getting his identification papers, as instructed. Yanez then shot Castile seven times while his seatbelt was on. His girlfriend livestreamed the final moments of Castile’s life after the cop fired. In June, a jury found Yanez not guilty in the death of Castile.

Terence Crutcher

Terence Crutcher, 40, was fatally shot by Tulsa, Oklahoma Officer Betty Shelby in September after his vehicle stalled on the side of the road. Shelby and her partner approached Crutcher while responding to an unrelated call. Shelby fired at Crutcher (because he reached into his car, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/betty-shelby-not-guilty-terence-crutcher_us_591d157be4b03b485cae8612">she later said</a>) and the second officer Tasered him. Not only was Shelby <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/betty-shelby-not-guilty-terence-crutcher_us_591d157be4b03b485cae8612">acquitted</a> of Crutcher's death, but she received <a href="http://people.com/crime/betty-shelby-back-pay/" target="_blank">$35,000 in back pay</a> for the time she was suspended during the investigation.
Terence Crutcher, 40, was fatally shot by Tulsa, Oklahoma Officer Betty Shelby in September after his vehicle stalled on the side of the road. Shelby and her partner approached Crutcher while responding to an unrelated call. Shelby fired at Crutcher (because he reached into his car, she later said) and the second officer Tasered him. Not only was Shelby acquitted of Crutcher's death, but she received $35,000 in back pay for the time she was suspended during the investigation.

Tyre King

Thirteen-year-old <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ohio-police-shooting-tyree-king_us_57da710ee4b08cb14093dfa6">Tyre King</a> was was gunned down by Columbus, Ohio police in September 2016. Cops were responding to reports of an armed robbery when they approached Tyre and two other teens. The three fled and the cops chased Tyre into an alley. According to police reports, Tyre appeared to pull a handgun from his waistband. A white officer shot him multiple times. Cops later determined that Tyre had a BB gun, not a real gun. A grand jury <a href="https://www.colorlines.com/articles/grand-jury-no-charges-cop-who-killed-tyre-king" target="_blank">declined to indict</a> the officer who shot him.
Thirteen-year-old Tyre King was was gunned down by Columbus, Ohio police in September 2016. Cops were responding to reports of an armed robbery when they approached Tyre and two other teens. The three fled and the cops chased Tyre into an alley. According to police reports, Tyre appeared to pull a handgun from his waistband. A white officer shot him multiple times. Cops later determined that Tyre had a BB gun, not a real gun. A grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot him.

Sandra Bland

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sandra-bland-facts_us_55a92c76e4b04740a3dfcd9f">Sandra Bland</a>, 28, had just moved to Texas to start a new job when a Waller County officer, Brian Encinia, stopped her for failing to signal when changing lanes in July 2015. Encinia forcibly arrested Bland after she refused to put out her cigarette. She was taken to jail and three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. Investigators report that her autopsy findings were consistent with suicide. Though Waller County police received backlash after reports showed that guards were negligent, a grand jury <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/22/us/grand-jury-finds-no-felony-committed-by-jailers-in-death-of-sandra-bland.html" target="_blank">declined to indict</a> anyone in Bland's death.
Sandra Bland, 28, had just moved to Texas to start a new job when a Waller County officer, Brian Encinia, stopped her for failing to signal when changing lanes in July 2015. Encinia forcibly arrested Bland after she refused to put out her cigarette. She was taken to jail and three days later, she was found dead in her jail cell. Investigators report that her autopsy findings were consistent with suicide. Though Waller County police received backlash after reports showed that guards were negligent, a grand jury declined to indict anyone in Bland's death.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.