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After Ferguson, New Focus on Race and Policing from smalljournal on Vimeo.

NEW YORK—Last month’s fatal shooting of an unarmed African American teen by a white police officer after a street confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri, has drawn a new focus on other such cases throughout the U.S., amid protests and demands by civil rights leaders for investigation of racial bias in aggressive policing.

Barely a week after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, police in nearby St. Louis shot and killed Kajieme Powell, a mentally disturbed 25-year-old black man who held a small steak knife. Two police officers fired within 15 seconds of arriving at the scene where Powell was walking around, seemingly aimlessly, with his hands at his side.

In Utah, a 22-year-old black man was shot dead on September 10 by police in Saratoga Springs. He had been carrying on his back a one meter-long souvenir Samurai sword he had bought in a gift shop, and some witnesses said he appeared “distressed.” His family says he was shot in the back while running away.

In New York, marchers demanded justice for Eric Garner, a 43-year-old African American man who died two months ago after police used a chokehold on him while arresting him for a misdemeanor. A grand jury is investigating the role of the banned chokehold in Garner’s death.

Family members of two other black men killed in local police shootings in 2011 and 2012 held rallies outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, calling for the U.S. Justice Department to finish its investigations into those deaths.

Constance Malcolm’s 18-year-old son, Ramarley Graham, was shot and killed in 2012 by a narcotics unit police officer who chased him into his home in the Bronx, breaking down the door, and into an upstairs bathroom. Officer Richard Haste reportedly said he fired when he thought he saw Graham reaching for a gun in his waistband. No gun was found, though a small amount of marijuana was in the toilet.

(via After Ferguson, New Focus on Race and Policing)

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