Porsche Bennett speaking truth to power in Kenosha 9/3/2020

Porsche Bennet spoke to Joe Biden on Thursday 9/3/2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is a member of Black Lives Activists Kenosha.

Andrés Guardado, 18

Shot and killed on June 18, 2020 in Gardena, California.

Andrés Guardado, a Salvadoran American, age 18, was shot and killed by two White police officers in an alley in Gardena, California on June 18, 2020. Guardado was shot in the back either five, six, or seven times, according to differing reports. No video of events seems to be available.

Guardado was working as an unlicensed security guard, not wearing a uniform, and possessing a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol that was unlicensed. At 18, he was too young to be eligible for a security guard license or to legally own a handgun.

According to his family, Guardado was working two jobs and attending LA Trade-Technical College. He’d just bought a new car. He was standing in front of Street Dynamic Autobody where he worked security, talking to someone in a car, when deputy sheriffs Miguel Vega and Chris Hernandez stopped and got out of their car, with their guns raised. Guardado ran and the deputies chased him into an alley. Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots, and one witness said Guardado had surrendered, kneeling with his hands behind his head, when deputy sheriff Vega shot him in the back, and kept shooting after he fell face-down on the ground. The coroner’s report seems to confirm that account, based on the angle of bullets. Deputy Hernandez did not fire his gun, and Guardado’s gun had not been fired.

There has been no public explanation of the purpose of the deputy sheriffs’ pursuit of Guardado. Deputy Sheriff Vega has a history of various allegations of misconduct. Guardado had no criminal record.

A man from a nearby body shop told KCAL-TV, “We had security out front because we had certain issues with people tagging and stuff like that, and then the police come up and they pull their guns on him, and he ran because he was scared and they shot and killed him.”

Dijon Kizzee, 29

Shot on Aug. 31, 2020 in South Los Angeles, California

Dijon Kizzee, a Black man, was stopped by LA County sheriff’s deputies on Aug. 31, 2020 for “vehicle code violations” while he was riding his bicycle. Kizzee dropped his bicycle and ran from the police, carrying some clothing. They lost sight of him. One report said he tried to get a friend to drive him away from the area. When the police caught up to him, the police said he punched one of them, and some clothing fell out of his hands to the ground, revealing a semi-automatic pistol. The police said Kizzee “made a motion” as if to pick it up, so the two deputies shot him 15 to 20 times, continuing to shoot after he was on the ground. A witness who watched the events from across the street said, “I watched him go from living to dying to dead.” LA County deputies do not wear body cams.

Kizzee’s aunt asked an LA Times reporter, “How do you get a violation on a bicycle?” The county sheriff’s office later explained that bicycles have to follow the same laws as cars. Attorney Carl Douglas, who grew up in the neighborhood, told CNN, “You never see anybody in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica stopped for a code violation while riding a bike.”

Dijon Kizzee had cared for his mother until her death in 2011, and since then helped care for a younger nephew. Kizzee’s aunt stayed by his body for the hours he lay on the ground until the arrival of the coroner’s van.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, funds were approved for the first time for the LA County Sheriff’s Department to buy body cams for its 5,200 officers on patrol, which will start next month.

Steven Taylor, 33

Shot on April 18, 2020 in San Leandro, California

On 9/2/2020, White police officer Jason Fletcher was arrested for voluntary manslaughter for shooting and killing Steven Taylor, a Black man, on 4/18/2020 in San Leandro, California.

On April 18, a Walmart security guard called the police when Taylor was trying to leave the store without paying for a tent and an aluminum baseball bat. Officer Fletcher arrived alone, and ordered Taylor to drop the bat, then used a stun gun that staggered Taylor. The bat was still in Taylor’s hand, pointing toward the floor, and he was 17 feet away when the officer shot Taylor once in the chest. The shooting was recorded on body cam and cell phone video from multiple angles.

The policeman fired and killed Taylor just 40 seconds after arriving at the Walmart, and before a backup officer arrived. Taylor was pronounced dead on the scene. His later police report of the incident included the observation that Taylor seemed to be having a mental episode, and was not in touch with reality. The officer had been on administrative leave since the shooting.

A new 2020 law in California permits police to use deadly force only when necessary to defend human life. The county district attorney concluded that this was not the case when Officer Fletcher shot Taylor, and was the reason for filing felony charges against the 20-year veteran policeman.

Daniel Prude, 41

Died of suffocation March 30, 2020 in Rochester, NY

Daniel Prude lived in Chicago, and was visiting his brother in Rochester, New York in March 2020. On March 22, he had been hospitalized briefly with mental issues. The next day, March 23, his brother called 911 because Daniel was in an erratic state and ran out of the house. Police found him running down the street, naked. They put his wrists in handcuffs behind his back, then put a spit hood over his head because he was trying to spit on them. One policeman held Daniel’s head down on the pavement, another kept a knee on his back. After 2 minutes, the police noticed that he wasn’t moving anymore. They attempted CPR before the ambulance arrived.

Seven days later, on March 30, Daniel died in the hospital. The medical examiner ruled his death due to the complications of asphyxia with physical restraints. Manner of death: Homicide.

Nobody heard about Daniel Prude’s death, two months before George Floyd was killed by police. It took until Aug. 20, 2020 for the family to obtain police body cam footage of Prude’s death, after filing an open records request. On Sept. 2 the family held a news conference to make the excruciating footage available and demand justice. An investigation is now underway by the New York Attorney General. The officers involved are still on duty.

Update 9/3/2020: The 7 officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death have been suspended from the Rochester Police Department — with pay — while investigation ramps up due to the publicity caused by this week’s release of body cam footage not made available before.