Washington (AFP) - Baltimore prosecutors on Friday charged six officers with multiple counts including second-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with the death of Freddie Gray.
Here are details on his and a selection of other recent cases that have sparked outrage -- and sometimes violent protests -- across America.
April 12: Baltimore police officers arrest Gray, 25. He is handcuffed and eventually placed on his stomach in a police wagon, unsecured by a seatbelt.
State prosecutor Marilyn Mosby later calls the arrest illegal and said Gray had committed no crime.
While in transit, Gray asks for medical help but none is given. The police wagon is diverted to assist in an unrelated case, at which point Gray is found unresponsive.
Despite this, an ambulance is not called until after the police van reaches a police station and Gray is found to be in cardiac arrest having suffered serious injuries in the van.
Gray dies April 19, leading to rioting in Baltimore and protests in other US cities. On May 1, officials charge the six officers.
April 4: In the state of South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager is charged with murder after a video shows him gunning down a fleeing black man, 50-year-old Walter Scott after a traffic stop.
The video seems to show Slager in an altercation with Scott and then draw his gun and shoot seven to eight shots in Scott's back as he flees.
November 22, 2014: In Cleveland, Ohio, a video emerges of US police officers shooting dead Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy carrying a replica gun, just seconds after confronting him.
Surveillance video showed Rice was killed within seconds of the patrol car arriving on the scene in a park.
November 20, 2014: An unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, 28, a father of a young daughter, is shot by an Asian-American officer who opens fire in a dimly lit staircase at a Brooklyn, New York apartment block. On the day of his funeral on December 7, New Yorkers take to the streets to denounce the spate of police killings. The police officer, Peter Liang, was charged with manslaughter.
August 9, 2014: In Ferguson, Missouri a white police officer kills unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, 18, unleashing sometimes violent protests and heavy-handed police tactics.
A later decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson prompts riots in Ferguson and raises tensions from New York to Seattle with thousands taking to the streets.
In early March 2015, the US Justice Department publishes a scathing report into the shooting, condemning Ferguson's city hall, police department and municipal court for targeting its African-American majority.
July 17, 2014: African American father-of-six Eric Garner, 43, dies after being held in a police chokehold while he is being arrested for selling individual cigarettes illegally in New York. A coroner declares the death a homicide, but a grand jury opts not to charge the white officer involved, unleashing demonstrations in several cities.
In early December, thousands of demonstrators take to the streets over four nights after a decision by a grand jury not to charge the white officer involved in Garner's death.
In an amateur video which is viewed around the world, Garner is shown repeating: "I can't breathe."
Other recent cases
April 2: In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Eric Harris, 44, a suspect in an undercover gun-sale operation, is shot by a volunteer reserve deputy police officer who claims he thought he had drawn his Taser stun gun when he shot Harris. The officer has been charged with manslaughter.
March 9: In the state of Georgia, a white policeman kills an unarmed black man, Anthony Hill, 27, who appeared to suffer from mental problems, according to the police, who said he jumped on an officer, naked.
March 6: Tony Terrell Robinson, 19, is killed in Madison, Wisconsin, by a police officer. The killing comes on the eve of the commemoration in Selma, Alabama of the 50th anniversary of the brutal repression of a protest demanding civic rights for blacks.
August 11, 2014: Ezell Ford, 25, an unarmed black man who is mentally disabled, according to his family, is killed by Los Angeles police officers as he walked in the street. His autopsy shows he was shot three times, including once in the back at close range.