High-profile US police killings of black suspects

1 / 3

Protesters march in Washington, DC on December 5, 2014 during nationwide protests, after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner, a black man

Protesters march in Washington, DC on December 5, 2014 during nationwide protests, after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner, a black man (AFP Photo/Mladen Antonov)

Ferguson (United States) (AFP) - The fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri a year ago ignited weeks of unrest and fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.

Here are details on his case and a selection of other recent ones that have caused outrage -- and sometimes violent protests -- across America.

- Michael Brown -

August 9, 2014: In Ferguson, Missouri, a white police officer shoots dead 18-year-old Brown, unleashing sometimes violent protests.

A subsequent decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, prompts riots in Ferguson and raises tensions from New York to Seattle, with thousands taking to the streets.

In 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 the city's African American majority.

- Eric Garner -

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.

In an amateur video which is viewed around the world, as police wrestle him to the ground, Garner is heard repeating: "I can't breathe."

A coroner declares the death a homicide. But a grand jury opts not to charge the white officer involved, sparking demonstrations in several cities.

- Akai Gurley -

November 20, 2014: An unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, 28, 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.

- Tamir Rice -

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.

A judge ruled in June that there was probable cause to charge the police officers with murder, but prosecutors said they are still investigating the case.

- Walter Scott -

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. Slager then draws his gun and shoot seven to eight shots in Scott's back as he flees.

- Freddie Gray -

April 12: Baltimore police officers arrest Freddie Gray, 25. He is handcuffed and eventually placed on his stomach in a police wagon, unsecured by a seatbelt.

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 on April 19, leading to rioting in Baltimore and protests in other US cities. State prosecutor Marilyn Mosby calls the arrest illegal. Six officers are later charged over the incident.

- Samuel DuBose -

July 19: A white University of Cincinnati campus police officer pulls over Samuel DuBose, 43, for failing to have a front license plate on his vehicle and then shoots him as DuBose tries to drive away.

The officer, Ray Tensing, initially said he shot DuBose, who is black, because he was being dragged by the car. But prosecutors said Tensing's bodycam video shows he was never in danger and hit the ground only after he fired the fatal shot two minutes after approaching DuBose's car.

Tensing was charged with murder on July 29.

- Other recent cases -

July 13: A video showing Sandra Bland, 28, pinned to the ground after being pulled over for failing to signal a lane change in rural Texas goes viral after her body is found hanging in a jail cell three days later.

While the coroner ruled her death a suicide and found no evidence of foul play, many still see her death as suspicious and insist she never should have been arrested in the first place.

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 says he thought he had drawn his Taser stun gun when he shot Harris. The officer has been charged with manslaughter.

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.