2014 has been the year of police violence caught on video. From Eric Garner’s death to the assault of an Arizona professor, police have been caught red-handed abusing their power. As the country continues to debate the use and effectiveness of police body cameras, what these videos have done is offered a glimpse into black life that most people didn’t know—or believe—existed.
The Arizona State University professor was stopped in May for jaywalking and then arrested by campus police Officer Stewart Ferrin. In the video, you can hear Ore say she was crossing the street to avoid construction. The confrontation then got heated, and Ore was thrown to the ground and arrested. She received nine months’ probation for resisting arrest.
Pinnock, 51, a homeless great-grandmother who was walking on the side of the freeway to reach an underpass to go to sleep, was repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer in July. The officer, Daniel Andrew, elected to resign from his position. Pinnock was awarded a $1.5 million settlement.
Lollie was tased by St. Paul, Minn., police in January after he was confronted and asked to leave a public area near a bank. Lollie, who was in the area waiting to pick up his children from school, was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. The officers involved were not disciplined.
Jamal Jones and Lisa Mahone
What started as an ordinary traffic stop in September ended as a nightmare for Jones and Mahone. Police in Hammond, Ind., were captured on camera using their batons to break out the back windows of Mahone’s car while her 14-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter were sitting in the backseat. Jones was charged with resisting law enforcement and refusal to aid an officer. Jones and Mahone have filed a federal lawsuit against the Hammond Police Department.
Kathryn Said and Andre Stockett
While driving with their 2-week-old baby in October, Said and Stockett were stopped for what seemed to be a routine traffic stop. However, the Sandusky, Ohio, police officer accused the couple of carrying drugs and claimed that Stockett matched the description of a man with warrants. Video of the incident shows the police officer threatening to send the baby to protective services if Said and Stockett did not exit the vehicle. The couple were eventually arrested for obstruction. The Sandusky Police Department claimed that the stop and search was legal.
In September, Jones was attempting to buy gas when he was approached by South Carolina Highway Patrol Officer Sean Groubert about a seat belt violation. Jones was shot by Groubert after reaching for his wallet in response to the officer’s request for his license (Groubert, who fired at least four shots, hit Jones once in the hip). The officer was arrested and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.
A convenience store owner in St. Louis called 911 in August when he suspected Powell of stealing drinks and doughnuts from his shop. Another woman called to report that he was acting erratically and had a knife in his pocket. Police initially claimed that Powell was within 3 or 4 feet of them when they shot him. But video showed that Powell was not as close as police claimed and that he was fatally shot by police within 20 seconds of their arrival.
Twelve-year-old Tamir was playing with a toy gun at a Cleveland park near his home in November when a witness called 911 to report that someone was pointing a gun at passersby. Police gunned the boy down within seconds of arriving on the scene. Tim Loehmann, the police officer who shot Tamir, is under investigation.
John Crawford III
Crawford, 22, was fatally shot by police in August whlle standing with an air rifle in the aisle of a Beavercreek, Ohio, Wal-Mart store. A witness falsely claimed that Crawford was waving a gun and pointing it at people in the store. Just as the video was about to be released, that witness told The Guardian that Crawford never pointed the gun at anyone, which was clearly seen in the video. Police also claimed that they had ordered Crawford to drop the gun before shooting, but the video appears to show that Crawford, who was on his cellphone, was shot before he had a chance to respond to police commands.
After being accused of selling loose cigarettes, Garner, 43, of Staten Island, N.Y., was put in a choke hold in July by NYPD police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, a move that had been banned by the NYPD in 1993. The New York City medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide. A grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer—which came soon after a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decided not to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown—led to protests calling for the end of police brutality across the country.
Nicole L. Cvetnic is The Root’s multimedia editor and producer.