An unarmed man holding his arms in the air one minute lies on the ground in the next as an officer yells, “Shots fired!”
A man sitting in a car is shot through the open window by a police officer, the aftermath caught on film by his girlfriend sitting next to him who streams her grief on Facebook Live. Millions have seen it.
A teenager lies face down, shot in the back next to someone’s barbecue grill in a Chicago neighborhood after a car chase became a foot chase by police.
Just since June, the public has seen at least seven videos of men shot by police. Some of the images came from dashcams, some from body cameras worn by officers, others from witnesses’ cell phones.
The videos show the shootings of Philando Castile, Joseph Mann, Paul O’Neal, Alton Sterling, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott — all black men — and 19-year-old Dylan Noble, who was white.
That’s just seven out of 706 people who have been shot and killed by police in the United States in 2016, according to a database compiled by The Washington Post. The number is based on news reports, public records, social media and other sources.
The deaths, and videos, have sparked public anger and frustration, emotions that boiled over Tuesday night into a violent clash between police and people protesting Crutcher’s death in Charlotte, N.C.
The videos prompt such visceral responses that they themselves lately have prompted debate. Should we watch them? Should we not?
PBS Newshour explored the psychological impact on black people who watch the videos.
Chauncey DeVega, a contributing writer to Salon, wrote on Wednesday that he had decided to “no longer watch videos of black people being killed by America’s police.”
And yet, wrote DeVega, who is black, “how could I ignore Terence Crutcher? So I made an exception. I was not surprised by what I saw.”
In Charlotte, Police Chief Kerr Putney said on Wednesday his department will not release any footage of the Scott shooting until the investigation is complete. The ACLU and others have called for the police to make the video public now, given the conflicting reports about the circumstances.
Police say Scott had a gun when they confronted him; his family said he had a book.
Who knows whether rolling the tape will tell the truth or only muddle it.
Here below are videos of seven shootings since June. The contents are graphic.
On June 25, police in Fresno, Calif., shot and killed unarmed 19-year-old Dylan Noble during a traffic stop after he ignored repeated orders to get down on the ground and to show officers both of his hands. An autopsy revealed Noble, who was white, had a blood-alcohol level well above the legal limit and traces of cocaine in his body.
On July 6, Lavish Reynolds used Facebook Live to show what happened after her boyfriend was shot by a police officer as he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. The officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., shot Philando Castile while he was allegedly reaching for his wallet after he and Reynolds were pulled over for a broken tail light.
On July 11, police in Sacramento shot and killed Joseph Mann, a 50-year-old black man who ran from officers, then stopped to gesture at them before they shot him. Mann was armed with a knife and showing erratic behavior in the 15 minutes before he was shot by officers, witnesses said. His family said police did not do enough to de-escalate the situation before they killed Mann, who they said was mentally ill.
In July, nine videos showed Chicago police firing repeatedly at a reportedly stolen car as it careened down a street away from them. Paul O’Neal, 18, who was driving the car, got out and ran, and police chased him into a backyard in a residential neighborhood. Video showed them firing five more times. O’Neal died of a gunshot wound to the back.
Video shot by a bystander on July 5 shows Alton Sterling, 37, restrained by two police officers on the ground in Baton Rouge, La., when one pulls out a gun and points it at his chest. The video turns away when the police officer starts shooting Sterling, but several gunshots can be heard. Sterling died from gunshot wounds to his chest and back.
On Sept. 16, Terence Crutcher, 40, was fatally shot by Tulsa, Okla., police Officer Betty Shelby after Crutcher’s vehicle stalled in the middle of a road. Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV.
On Tuesday, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer in North Carolina fatally shot a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Police said they were looking for someone who had an outstanding warrant when they saw Keith Lamont Scott, 43, get out of his car holding a gun.
They approached him after he got back into the car. Police say when he got out of the car again with a firearm they shot him because he “posed an imminent deadly threat” to officers.
Scott was not the person officers were looking for on the warrant.
Family members said Scott was unarmed when he was shot and that he was sitting in his car reading a book and waiting for the school bus to drop off his son, but police insisted that Scott had a gun.