From Eric Garner and Michael Brown to George Floyd: Timeline of black people killed by police shows little has changed

THE CITY of Minneapolis is bracing itself for riots when the much anticipated verdict in Derek Chauvin's funeral is announced.

Thousands of protestors took to the streets when the closing arguments were heard on Monday.

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They held signs that read "Blue Lives Murder" as they demanded justice for George Floyd.

The 46-year-old black dad was apprehended by police after a convenience store clerk claimed he tried to use a fake $20 dollar bill. 

While Floyd tried to get back to his car, Officer Derek Chauvin pulled him out of the vehicle and kneeled on the back of his neck for seven minutes.

Shocking footage of the incident posted to social media shows Floyd groaning in pain before muttering his last words, "I can't breathe".

Chauvin was arrested on May 29.

The former cop faces second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges over Floyd’s death.

Closing arguments for the trial began on Monday, after the defence called on 45 witnesses including the Minneapolis police chief and other officers who have openly condemned Chauvin’s actions.

The death of George Floyd sparked protests across the country- but a timeline shows how little has changed as he was not the only black person to be killed by police.

Eric Garner

Eric Garner, 43, died in New York City after he was illegally restrained by officer Daniel Pantaleo during his arrest for allegedly selling loose untaxed cigarettes in June 2014.

Distressing footage of the incident showed him pleading at least 11 times, but officers remained on top of him until he fell unconscious and died.

His final words “I can’t breathe” have become a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement as protests were prompted across the country.

Pantaleo initially escaped criminal prosecution but was fired by Police Commissioner James O'Neill five years later, in August 2019.

Michael Brown

Teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by ex-cop Darren Wilson in August 2014.

Brown's death sparked public outrage and months of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, as demonstrators called for an end to police brutality.

The teenager was shot after Wilson told the teen and a friend to get out of the road.

Wilson alleged that Brown came toward him menacingly, and claimed self-defense.

Nearly six years later, in July 2020, a St Louis prosecutor announced that Wilson would not be charged.

Tamir Rice

12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot dead by  police Officer Timonthy Loehmann after he was found playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in Cleveland, Ohio in November 2014.

Loehmann and officer Frank Garmback were dispatched to the recreation center after a man who was waiting for a bus called 911 and said a “guy” was pointing a gun. 

He said the person appeared to be a juvenile and that the gun could be “fake,” but the dispatcher did not pass that information onto the officers.

The officers said that Rice reached for the toy gun before he was shot and that they demanded several times that he put up his hands. 

In December 2020 the Department of Justice announced that federal criminal charges will not be brought against the two Cleveland cops as the video footage of the shooting was too low quality for prosecutors to definitively determine what happened.

Walter Scott

50-year-old Walter Scott, was fatally shot in North Charleston, South Carolina, by cop Michael Slager, in April 2015.

Slager had stopped Scott for a non-functioning brake light.

Slager was charged with murder after a video revealed he shot Scott from behind while Scott tried to flee the scene.

In December 2017, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Alton Sterling

Father-of-five Alton Sterling, 37, was shot “several times” outside a store in Louisiana after being confronted by two Baton Rouge Police Department officers in July 2016.

Disturbing footage filmed by witnesses, shows the victim being tackled to the ground by one of the cops who were responding to a call about a black man selling CDs and reportedly threatening someone with a gun.

In the video one of the policeman can be seen reaching for his gun and pointing it at the man’s head before two shots are heard.

Following a post-mortem examination, it was concluded that Sterling died from gun shots to the chest and back.

The killing has sparked mass- protests outside the store in Baton Rouge with the angry crowd chanting "black lives matter".

Philando Castile

School canteen worker Philando, 32, was shot seven times by Jeronimo Yanez during a routine traffic stop in July 2016.

Yanez opened fire on Philando when he pulled him over for a broken brake light.

The shocking death sparked outcry across the country after Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds broadcast the immediate aftermath on Facebook Live, telling viewers how her boyfriend had just been shot dead in the car beside her.

Yanez was found not guilty in June 2017.

Stephon Clark

Father-of-two Clark, 22, was shot by police in his grandmother's back garden in March 2018.

The cops who shot him were responding to a call of someone breaking car windows.

The shooting was captured on a body cam video released by police, who claim he was moving towards officers in a menacing way.

An autopsy commissioned by his family shows most of the eight bullets fired struck Clark in the back, contradicting the police's version of events.

Breonna Taylor

Frontline medic Breonna Taylor was shot dead by police at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020.

The 26-year-old was accidentally shot dead during a drug raid on her house

According to a lawsuit filed by her family, her killing was the result of a botched drug-warrant execution.

Cops were looking for suspect Jamarcus Glover, who allegedly dated Taylor two years ago.

But the man was arrested in a separate raid ten miles away on the same night officers broke into her apartment.

When Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker – who was not the man wanted by cops – fired one shot with his legally held weapon, claiming he thought they were burglars, three officers returned fire with a hail of bullets that killed Breonna.

The cops were not charged with Taylor’s death, prompting protests in the Kentucky city.

Daunte Wright

Dad-of-one Daunte Wright was killed by an ex-cop Kimberly Potter in Minnesota in April 2021 during a routine traffic stop.

The veteran officer allegedly killed Daunte Wright after she confused her gun and Taser.

Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as an "accidental discharge".

Wright’s sobbing mother Katie told a crowd he called her to say he had been pulled over by police because of an air freshener that was dangling from his rear view mirror.

The cop appeared in court in April 16 as Wright's family demanded a life-sentence.

A second appearance date of May 17 was also scheduled.

Trayvon Martin

Teenager Trayvon Martin was not shot dead by police, but his death at the hands of neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012 is one of the founding events of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The unarmed 17-year-old was walking home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida after buying Skittles and an iced tea when he was targeted by Zimmerman.

After a physical altercation, Martin was shot in the chest.

Zimmerman went on trial charged with second-degree murder over the teen's death.

During the trial he claimed that he shot Martin in self defence.

He was found not guilty on all counts by a six-person jury, a controversial acquittal that led to widespread protests in more than 100 cities.

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