Say Their Names
This art exhibit was made possible from the folks at The Greater Arts Council, The Main Library family, and the Columbus Community. These pieces were taken down from the 934 Gallery, chopped up individually, and brought to the Main Library by GCAC to create this exhibition.
The displayed artwork and descriptions are made possible because of the hard work and sacrifice of Black writers, activists, journalists and people who care to raise up and remind people of those who have been affected by and are victims of systemic racism and police brutality and murder.
These tribute murals were made possible by the Columbus community who came together with artist Julia Barrett in order to remember and memorialize these souls.
The links used for researching each person’s story are at the end of the descriptions.
Travon Martin - Travon Martin...the same age as artist Julia Barrett, was just like every teenager his age--having big hopes and dreams. He traveled with his family, and even expressed interest in having a career in aviation. His favorite subject was math. On February 26, 2012, an off-duty neighborhood watch person, George Zimmerman, noticed Martin walking by a convenience store (Trayvon had bought some skittles and an Arizona Tea) while on his drive home to his housing community. He later called the Sanford police non-emergency line reporting a suspicious person, describing an unknown male “just walking around and looking about” in the rain and said “this guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something.” Zimmerman mentioned, per the recording, that Martin was wearing a dark hoodie and that “these a**holes, they always get away.” About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said Trayvon was running, to which Zimmerman then followed Martin against the request of the dispatcher. Upon ending the call, a violent encounter took place between Martin and Zimmerman, and Zimmerman fatally shot Martin within seventy yards of his family house. On July 13, 2013, after a 16-hour deliberation, the jury found Zimmerman not guilty on all counts, and the U.S. The Justice Department later announced that no federal civil rights charges will be filed against Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, has honored her son by qualifying for her bid for the District 1 seat of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and with her candidacy, Fulton has joined a group of incredulously resilient Black mothers, sometimes affectionately called the Mothers of the Movement, who have sought elected office after their children were shot and killed.
Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley-Jones - Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanley-Jones was a seven-year-old girl living on Detroit’s east side who loved Justin Beiber’s song, “Baby.” At too young an age, she suffered a tragic death at the hands of Officer Joseph Weekley who shot her in the head during a drug raid conducted by the Detroit police. The officer who shot the little girl at first falsely claimed that he saw Aiyana’s grandmother reaching for a gun. Following two trials that resulted in hung juries, he will not be retried. Nine years later, the family agreed to an $8.25 million settlement from the city of Detroit.
Clifford Glover - At 5 a.m. on April 28, 1973, 10-year-old Clifford Glover was shot when he and his stepfather were stopped by two undercover officers, Thomas Shea, and his partner Walter Scott. The two officers believed the boy and his stepfather had just committed a robbery. Glover and his stepfather were afraid of the two officers and ran from them, believing they themselves were about to be robbed. Shea testified that he drew fire on the boy who appeared to have a weapon. Glover was hit by at least two bullets. When Glover was hit, the officers claimed his father took the alleged weapon from him, which was never recovered. Immediately following the shooting, there were several days of riots in the South Jamaica, New York neighborhood--at least 24 people were injured. Shea was acquitted of murder.
Amadou Diallo - On February 4, 1999, an unarmed 23-year-old Amadou Diallo was fatally shot in his home by four New York City Police Department plainclothes officers: Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon, and Kenneth Boss. Carroll would later claim to have mistaken him for a rape suspect from one year earlier. During Diallo’s life, he followed his family to Togo, Singapore, Thailand, and back to Guinea. He decided to stay in the US in NYC in order to pursue his dream of getting a college education. After Diallo’s death, the four officers were charged with second-degree murder. In a controversial trial, they were all acquitted. His family sued the city and settled for $3 million. They used some of that money to create the Amadou Diallo Foundation and scholarship fund in 2005.
Jerame Reid - The shooting of Jerame Reid occurred on December 30, 2014, in Bridgeton, New Jersey, during a traffic stop. While questioning the two men in the car, Leroy Tutt and Jerame Reid, officer Days suddenly shouted to his partner, "We've got a gun in his glove compartment!" followed by "Show me your f***ing hands." Days, who appears to recognize Reid, as he is heard calling him by his first name, retrieves a large silver handgun from the glove compartment. Days continues to warn Reid not to move, as Reid continues to move his hands around inside the vehicle. Several times, Days exclaims, "He's reaching for something!" As the situation intensifies, someone in the vehicle can be heard telling the officers, "I'm not reaching for nothing. I ain't got no reason to reach for nothing." Reid then tells Days, "I'm getting out and getting on the ground." The officer responds, "No you're not, stay right there, don't move." A struggle ensues as Reid tries to push the door open, and the officer attempts to keep the door closed. Days steps back, and Reid pushes the door open, gets up, and exits the car with his hands at chest level. Days backs up and fires as Reid exits the vehicle. Reid reacts to the shots by moving his hands upwards. Worley fires one shot, and Reid is killed. Reid was unarmed at the time.
Walter Scott - Walter Scott was a Coast Guard veteran, a born-again devout Christian who sang in his church choir, and was studying massage therapy. The 50-year-old father of four was fatally shot by police officer Michael Slager on April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Slager stopped Walter for a brake light. An eyewitness video captures Scott running away from the officer and Slager shooting him eight times in the back from a distance of 15 to 20 feet. Walter Scott was unarmed. Video clearly showed, though, that after the shooting the white police officer Michael Slager picked up an unidentified object—which appeared to be his stun gun—from where he opened fire and dropped it by Scott, seemingly planting evidence by the body to give his side of the story more credibility. A judge sentenced Michael Slager to 20 years in prison.
Breonna Taylor – Breonna Taylor was an accomplished EMT for the city of Louisville and worked full time as an ER technician. Shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, Louisville police officers, executing a search warrant, used a battering ram to crash into her apartment, and after a brief confrontation of extreme confusion, they fired several shots. The judge’s order was a so-called “no-knock warrant,” which allowed the police to enter without warning or without identifying themselves as law enforcement. However, in a New York Times article, it was later clarified that prior to the raid the judge changed the order to a “knock and announce,” meaning the officers were required to announce themselves. One of the officers, Officer Hankinson, stepped outside and fired recklessly through the apartment windows. These are the bullets that are believed to have struck Taylor multiple times. These bullets also cascaded through walls into neighboring apartments, which housed sleeping children. Breonna Taylor’s murder has led to worldwide protests, which include the recurring demand to “Say her name!” Louisville has since suspended the use of “no knock” warrants, and Breonna’s Law was voted in on June 10, 2020, in Louisville. The law requires all officers who serve warrants to wear body cameras and have them on five minutes before and after the warrant is served.
David McAtee - David “BBQ Man” McAtee owned and operated YaYa's BBQ Shack, a popular barbeque restaurant in Louisville's predominantly black West End neighborhood, a food desert, and was a "beloved fixture" of his community. The 53-year-old African-American had a reputation for generosity, including serving food at no cost in his restaurant to police officers and members of his community who were struggling financially. Having de-escalated a potentially violent situations on multiple occasions, he was also known as a calming presence in his neighborhood. On June 1, 2020, McAtee, was fatally shot by the Kentucky Army National Guard in Louisville during nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd and the killing of Breonna Taylor. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and National Guard were in the area to enforce a curfew. According to officials, the police and soldiers were fired upon by McAtee, and two Louisville officers and two National Guardsmen returned fire. McAtee was killed by a shot fired from a guardsman. The body cams of the police involved were deactivated during the shooting, in violation of department policy.
George Floyd - George Perry Floyd Jr, along with Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade, were the ones who sparked these murals to come alive. He was a 46-year-old father of five and grandfather of two who worked as a truck driver and security guard. He had played college football and basketball, was a hip-hop artist, and was known to family and friends as a “Gentle Giant.” On May 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested on a charge of passing a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill at a grocery store in Minneapolis. According to the store clerk, the bill was an obvious fake and George refused to return his purchase when challenged. Police were called and an arrest was under way. Handcuffed, Floyd lay face down in the street, while two other officers further restrained him, and a fourth officer prevented onlookers from intervening. Floyd died as Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest. Floyd’s death sparked protests globally against police brutality and lack of police accountability. The ex-officer who placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck, Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter. On April 20, 2021 Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and man-slaughter. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on June 25, 2021. Lane, Kueng and Thao are scheduled to stand trial in March 2022 on charges of aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Tony McDade - Tony McDade, a 38-year old Black transgender man (pronouns: he/him), was born in Tallahassee, Florida on June 18, 1981. He was known as a loving, compassionate, loyal person with a beautiful smile. He was diligent, tenacious, and a gifted athlete. Tony’s friends and family said he’d light up a room and give everything he had to ensure people he loved were happy, satisfied and fulfilled. On May 27, 2020, Tony was fatally shot in his apartment complex by an officer of the Tallahassee Police Department. According to police, Tony was a suspect in the fatal stabbing of Malik Jackson earlier that day, and claimed Tony had in his possession a handgun and a bloody knife that was found at the scene. Witnesses claim the officers never identified themselves nor told Tony to freeze and used a racial slur, the N-word, before fatally shooting Tony. An investigation is underway but remains unresolved.
Corey Jones - On October 18, 2015, Corey Jones was shot to death by police officer Nouman K. Raja, while waiting for a tow truck by his disabled car, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Raja, who was in plainclothes and in an unmarked white van, approached Jones, who was waiting by his disabled vehicle on a highway exit ramp. Within seconds, Raja fired six shots at Jones, striking him three times. After the shooting, Raja falsely claimed to investigators that he had identified himself as a police officer and shot Jones in self-defense; both assertions were disproved by an audio recording of the fatal shooting. Corey was known for playing instruments, football, and worked as a youth mentor at My Brother's Keeper, a nonprofit organization that helps African-American youths.
Akai Gurley - Akai Gurley, 28-years-old, lived with his fiancée and two young daughters in Brooklyn, New York. He was shot by a police officer on November 20, 2014, as he and a friend went down the stairs of her building in the Louis H. Pink Houses project. The officer and his partner were on a “vertical sweep” of the building from top to bottom, pointing a flashlight and a gun into the pitch-black stairwell. The officer who fired the weapon maintained that it had gone off accidentally. The officer’s shot ricocheted off a wall and fatally struck Gurley in his chest.
Leroy Browning - On Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, Browning, was unconscious behind the wheel of a car that had struck the wall of the building at a Taco Bell drive-through window. From the police statement there was some struggle during Browning's arrest where Officer Brett Nolin shot and killed Leroy Browning.
Ezell Ford - Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old African-American man, died from multiple gunshot wounds after being shot by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers in Florence, Los Angeles, California on August 11, 2014. According to Ford’s mother, Mrs. Tritobia Ford, when she arrived on the scene, her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers’ commands when he was shot three times. Another eyewitness stated that Ford was shot in the back. A third witness, Mrs. Ina Smalls, reported that she rushed outside when she heard gunshots and found officers standing over her neighbor’s 25-year-old son. She said he was on the ground, shot dead, and handcuffed on his stomach. As a child he played basketball, and wanted to play professionally and to study medicine. Ezell was the oldest of seven children.
Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. - Robinson, an unarmed 19-year-old man, was fatally shot by Madison police officer Matthew Kenny, during a "check-person" call. His friend had called police to ask them to assist his friend, who he described as unarmed, not trying to hurt anybody but in need of help. Robinson is remembered as a skateboarder with his tight group of friends that dubbed themselves “Splash Nation”.
Rumain Brisbon - Rumain Brisbon was somebody who wrote letters to friends, was never late, wanted to have a good life and stay out of trouble...and most of all loved his family (especially his mother and daughters). On Dec. 2, Phoenix police Officer Mark Rine was responding to a tip that a drug deal was underway in a north Phoenix apartment complex. Rine approached Brisbon, but claimed he ran which led to a struggle between Rine and Brisbon. Rine claimed Brisbon was reaching for a gun on him so that is why Rine decided to shoot Brisbon. Brisbon died at the age of 34. His friends and family still fight to this day to stop Rumain Brisbon’s name from being dragged through the mud.
Michael Brown - On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, after a report of a theft at a nearby convenience store. Brown was shot six times, all in the front of his body--his body was not removed from the scene of the crime for 4 hours. Protests erupted for weeks in Ferguson. The media and politicians strongly criticized the response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests...for many this was the first time seeing police brutality aired on live TV in their lives and sparked many BLM protests around the nation. Michael Brown Jr., “Big’Mike,” was an 18-year-old recently high school graduate and amateur rapper and musician.
Oscar Grant III - Oscar Grant III enjoyed playing sports, loved being in community with friends of all stripes, was helpful, and lived life to the fullest. Grant performed in front of the congregation reciting scripture and singing hymns at his local family church. On December 31, 2008, Grant was on the way back home to Oakland from watching NYE fireworks, Oscar ran into a fellow former inmate from jail and a fight ensued between them. Grant’s friends and several others on the train broke up the fight. On the train platform, seven BART police officers detained people suspected to be involved in the train fight. Officer Tony Pirone rushed at Grant and punched him repeatedly in the face. Grant had raised his hands while seated against the platform wall. Officers Johannes Mehserle and Pirone then lay Grant face down while he pleaded they not hurt him. Officer Pirole kneeled on Grant’s neck as Officer Mehserle stood up in an attempt to handcuff Grant, then shot him in the back in what eyewitness testimony implies might have been either a sudden impulse or a mistake. Grant was taken to Highland Hospital and died from the gunshot seven hours later. Officer Mehserle was arrested, and his $3 million bail was quickly posted by the police union. In 2010, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty for charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter by a Los Angeles jury. Officer Mehserle served a total of 292 days in prison, including the 146 days he’d spent in custody following the trial.
Philando Castile - Philando Castile was a long-time employee for the Saint Paul public schools in Minnesota. Being a cafeteria worker at the time of his death, he was known for greeting every student and for giving extra servings to those who were in need. On July 6, 2016, Castile was driving with his partner Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter when their car was pulled over by two officers at a traffic stop. After being asked for his license and registration, Castile told Officer Yanez that he had a firearm (Castile was licensed to carry) to which Yanez replied, "Don't reach for it then", and Castile said "I'm, I, I was reaching for..." Yanez said "Don't pull it out", Castile replied "I'm not pulling it out", and Reynolds said "He's not..." Yanez repeated "Don't pull it out". Yanez then fired seven close-range shots at Castile, hitting him five times. Castile died of his wounds at 9:37 p.m. at Hennepin County Medical Center, about 20 minutes after being shot. Castile’s partner, Diamond, posted a video on Facebook after the shooting, which prompted local and national protests. Five months later, Yanez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm. However, after five days of deliberation, Yanez was acquitted of all charges in a jury trial, but later fired by the City of Saint Anthony.
Sandra Bland - Sandra is remembered as a smart, outspoken woman. After graduating from college, she returned to DuPage Church, serving on church committees, befriending older members of the congregation and helping organize the church’s Women’s Day event. She was viewed as an educated Christian who was excited about the future. On July 10, 2015 the 28-year-old woman from the Chicago area was taken into custody by a state trooper in Prairie View, Texas, following a confrontational arrest for a minor traffic violation. On July 13, 2015 just three days after being arrested, Sandra Bland was found hanged in her jail cell and her death was ruled a suicide. Bland’s alleged suicide exposed the inherent racism and disparities in the money bail system. Bland was forced to stay in jail, because she could not afford to pay the $515 she needed to post bond. Her alleged suicide sparked outrage and disbelief with the hashtag #IfIDieInPoliceCustody trending on Twitter. On June 15, 2017, Texas’ Governor signed the "Sandra Bland Act" into law. The measure mandates county jails divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues toward treatment and requires that independent law enforcement agencies investigate jail deaths.
Ahmaud Arbery - Ahmaud was humble, kind, and well mannered. He always made sure he never departed from his loved ones without an “I love you.” He had a beautiful personality, loved to tell jokes, and had a way to make others laugh. Ahmaud was also quite the athlete, basketball and football being his top choices, and he loved to run. He was out for a run in Satilla Shores, Georgia, in the early afternoon of February 23, 2020, when he was chased and gunned down by a father and son in a pickup truck, along with a third man in another vehicle, who thought that Ahmaud looked like a recent robbery suspect. Abrey was shot and killed while doing a simple act that millions do every day--jogging. Two of the suspects, the father and son, were charged on May 7, 2020, with murder and aggravated assault. The third suspect was charged on May 21, 2020, with felony murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.
Bettie Jones - Bettie Jones was a 55-year-old woman living in the Garfield Park area of Chicago, IL. She was killed shortly after letting police into her apartment building so they could respond to a call about her upstairs neighbor’s son. Jones was killed after trying to be a good neighbor. The officer was not prosecuted for criminal charges but was later fired from the force, nearly four years later. The police chief classified Jones’ death as accidental and The Civilian Office of Police Accountability ruled the shooting unjustified. Nicknamed Betty Boo, the matriarch of the large family, she was a generous woman fiercely proud of her five children and an avid church goer.
Kenneth Smith - Kenneth Smith was a friend of one of the volunteers who joined the mural team to create these beautiful faces. On March 10, 2012, Smith had gotten caught up in the tense aftermath of a show at Wilbert's. Someone fired a shot, and things escalated. Smith hopped in a car with some friends from his neighborhood. Police were looking for a suspect in a Saturn, and officer Roger Jones, who was in the area at a bar having a drink, went out into the streets, finding Smith and two others in a car. Jones claimed Smith lunged for a gun before Jones fired. Police suspected the driver of the car, Devonta Hill, was the one who fired the shots that got everything started in the first place, and the prosecutor's office criminally indicted him for Smith's deaths, among other charges. He was an aspiring rapper. While there was not much to be found about Kenneth’s life, his memory lives on through his friends and loved ones.
Tanisha Anderson - Like George Floyd and countless others, Tanisha Anderson died as a result of being physically restrained in a prone position by Cleveland police. Her family called police for a well-being check to check on 37 year old Anderson who struggled with bipolar disorder. She was said to be praying while police restrained her to death. She was loved by her mother and siblings who carry her legacy on to this day.
Tamir Rice - Tamir Rice was an innocent 12-year-old child who was killed on November 22, 2014, by a white police officer in Cleveland, Ohio. Two officers responded to a police dispatch call reporting that there was a male pointing a pistol at random people in the park. The 911 caller explicitly stated at the beginning and the middle of the call that the pistol is “probably fake.” Towards the end of the call, he adds that the person pointing the gun “is probably a juvenile.” This crucial information was not relayed to the responding officers. Rice was a natural athlete, showcasing talent in basketball, football and ping-pong. Tamir was known for his tight football spiral. Although Rice was only in elementary school, his friends claimed his athletic abilities could’ve challenged even LeBron James. Rice was also involved in arts programs within his community; he enjoyed pottery and crocheting embroidery for his mother. He was very talented and who knows where he could have gone...but he was a child, and he was murdered by an officer who, during the investigation, was revealed that he had been deemed an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty in his previous job as a police officer in a Cleveland suburb. He should not have been a police officer and Tamir Rice should not be dead.
Julius Tate Jr. - On Dec. 7, 2018, An undercover SWAT team arranged their agents to set up a sting and pose as potential buyers. They met Tate for a sale of merchandise for cash that had been arranged online, and expected Tate to come and Columbus police anticipated an armed robbery to occur during this sale. Police claim Tate pulled a gun on the agent to rob him, prompting another officer, Eric Richard, to shoot Tate. The CPD also claims Tate’s gun was recovered at the scene. Seven days later his girlfriend Masonique Saunders was charged for the death of her boyfriend. Saunders was charged on the basis of the so-called “felony murder doctrine,” a legal loophole that resulted in her spending the next three years in juvenile detention, while Eric Richard is able to walk scotchfree. Masonique Saunders has since been sentenced to three years in a Department of Youth Services prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery.
Tyre King - Tyre King was in eighth grade at Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, played football, and was in his school’s young scholars program. King was killed in Sept. 2016, authorities had responded to a report of an armed robbery of $10 by a group of teenagers. When officers arrived, King was spotted with two other males who matched a description of the suspects and soon fled on foot. As officer Bryan Mason approached King, police said the child removed a BB gun from his waistband, before he was shot multiple times. King was transferred to a hospital and pronounced dead at 8:22 p.m. “Based on the location and the direction of the wound paths it is more likely than not that Tyre King was in the process of running away from the shooter or shooters when he suffered all three gunshot wounds,” the examiner, Dr Francisco Diaz, said, according to a statement from the family. King did not have a violent criminal history and King’s family believes that being involved in an armed robbery would be “so out of character” for him.
Joshua Brown - Jan. 25, 2020 — The 34-year-old was shot during an armed robbery at Bob Evans, 1455 Olentangy River Road. Officer Jeffrey Miller shot Brown, the suspect in the robbery, when he fled out the back of the restaurant. Columbus police's Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the case. Not much else is said about Brown’s life. Questions remain unanswered.
Henry Green - Henry Green—also known as Bub to his family—was described as a funny kid with a wide grin and gentle eyes. On June 6, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio, 23-year-old Henry Green, and a friend, Christian Rutledge, were walking toward the house where Green lived with his aunt, when a white SUV with blackened windows abruptly swerved in their direction. From the car, two white men in casual clothes, one in camouflage cargo shorts and the other dressed in all black, jumped out with guns drawn. Before he could identify Columbus Division of Police officers Jason Bare and Zachary Rosen as law enforcement, seeing no badges, shots rang out. Green struck seven times, fell to the ground. His neighbor, Jamar Jordan, saw his friend fight for life on the sidewalk and told him to focus, to try and stay present. Green was later pronounced dead after being transferred to a nearby hospital. His mother--Adrienne Hood--has since advocated for her son and other family’s loved ones who have fell victim to police brutality and murder. She is an activist, artist, and forever a loving caring mother to all...especially Henry Green.
Phillip White - Phillip White was arrested at his home in Vineland on the morning of March 31, 2015, and died while he was in custody. Police were responding to calls of a man “freaking out.” One witness said officers punched, kicked and stomped White while he was restrained and left him unconscious. He was also bitten by a police dog on his face and body. The incident was caught on video and later posted to YouTube. Bystanders were heard telling police to get off of White and to stop having the dog attack him because he had gone unconscious. The police later told his mom that White had died from a heart attack...which was far from the whole truth.
John Crawford III - John Crawford III, a Cincinnati, Ohio native, was a father of two sons, a loving boyfriend, and son to his parents whom he visited often. On August 5, 2014, he was out shopping at a Walmart in Beaverton, Ohio. In the store, he selected a BB/Pellet air rifle (a toy gun) for purchase from the sporting goods section, and then continued shopping, all while casually chatting on the phone. Seeing the gun in Crawford’s hand, another customer called the police, falsely claiming that John was an armed threat--even though it was shown on surveillance cameras he was not threatening other customers and was simply shopping. Upon arrival, the police confronted John and fatally shot him. A second person, Angela Williams, died after suffering a heart attack while fleeing from the shooting. Her death was ruled a homicide. In the aftermath of the shooting, media revealed police aggressively questioning Crawford’s girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, threatening her with jail time, demanding she respond to hostile questions and suggesting she was under the influence when she stated Crawford did not enter the store with a gun. Although his family settled a lawsuit for wrongful death for $1.7 million, his father, John Crawford Jr. said he was on the cellphone with his son at the time of the shooting, and he heard his dying breaths, and that keeps replaying in his head.
Kevin Matthews - Kevin Matthews was a 5’5” unarmed Black man who was chased on foot and killed in December 2015 after being accused of stealing an energy drink and harassing the worker and customers at a gas station and then having an altercation with police officer Chris Hampton--who later committed suicide after these events. Matthews, 35, had a history of mental illness and was recovering from a broken arm. There were no witnesses to the shooting or video of the final moments. Not much else was said about who Kevin Matthews was throughout his life, but he had a loving and caring family who fought for him even in death.
Eric Garner - Eric Garner is now known for his cry on July 17, 2014, "I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” which was caught on video as a Staten Island police officer placed him in a deadly and illegal chokehold, in an attempt to arrest him...which eventually was fatal to Garner. Allegedly, Eric was selling single cigarettes illegally. Eric Garner, aged 43, was a horticulturist at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and he was also known as a peacemaker in his community.
Alton Sterling - Alton Sterling was a son, a brother, and a father of five children. He had been living in a shelter in Baton Rouge before his death. He was known by residents as someone who loved to cook for everyone at the shelter. On July 5, 2016, police received an anonymous report that a man in a red shirt was selling CDs and that he had threatened a man with a gun outside a convenience store. When the officers arrived, they forced Sterling to the ground, pinning him down by kneeling on his chest and thigh. One officer claimed Sterling reached for his pockets for a gun, at which point he fired six shots at close range, killing Sterling. There were several eyewitness videos and accounts, including the store owner who denied initial reports that Sterling was waving a gun. The owner said that Sterling was "not the one causing trouble" during the situation that led to the police being called. Bodycam footage from the officer who shot Sterling showed that seconds after arriving, the officer had drawn his gun and threatened to shoot him. Baton Rouge police later apologized for what happened to Alton Sterling.
Dontre Hamilton - On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton was sleeping on a park bench when Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney began what was later determined to be an “out-of-policy pat-down” on Hamilton. Hamilton resisted and Manney shot him 14 times, killing him. No charges were brought, but Manney was fired from the force. Hamilton's family stated that Hamilton had been treated for schizophrenia but was not violent. Maria Hamilton, Dontre Hamilton's mother, now runs Mothers for Justice United, a nonprofit that provides services to people who experience tragedy and stigma from racism.
Emmett Till - Although not a victim of police brutality, Emmett Till was a victim of systemic racism. Emmett was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman cashier in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi, where he was visiting relatives. On August 28, 1955, the cashier's husband and his half-brother kidnapped Till from his great-uncle's house, mutilated his face and body, shot him and left his body in a river. His mother chose to have an open casket in order to show the public what had happened to her son and not to forget the true face of racism.
Rodney King - Although Rodney King’s life was not taken from police, he is what many call the image of police brutality in America. On March 3, 1991, at the age of 25, King and a friend had been a part of a car chase which ended in extreme police brutality such as being beaten with 55 baton blows, kicked repeatedly, tasered to the point of burn marks, and left in serious condition--all of which ended up being captured on film which sparked a national dialogue about police violence. Four out of the nine officers involved were charged with excessive force, but three officers were acquitted, and the jury failed to reach a verdict for one officer. This acquittal led to the public outrage that gave rise to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which lasted six days and left 63 people dead and 2,383 more injured. The riots highlighted racial divisions in the realms of the criminal justice system, the economy, and media portrayal. King, who was a peaceful, shy man, was highly criticized and put into an unwanted spotlight where he felt like a pawn between both police and racial justice advocates. Society seemed to have forgotten that first and foremost he was human.
Eric Harris - On April 2, 2015, 44-year-old African-American Eric Courtney Harris was fatally shot during an undercover sting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as Harris ran from authorities unarmed. While Harris was being subdued, Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Charles "Bob" Bates, 73, allegedly confused his personal weapon, a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver, for a Model X26 Taser. Bates shot Harris in the back when he was on the ground. According to the Tulsa County Sheriff's office, he immediately said afterwards, "Oh, I shot him! I'm sorry." Bates was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison, but was released after serving 18 months. The shooting led to questions about Bates's qualifications as a reserve deputy and corruption within the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Anonymous sources said that supervisors at the sheriff's office were ordered to falsify Bates's records — and those who didn't comply with the orders were transferred from their positions. Those allegations came after the discovery by Tulsa World's Goforth that Bates, an insurance executive, had donated equipment to the police force, leading to criticisms that the reserve deputy had essentially bought his way into the sheriff's program.
These two people were apart of the original mural at 934 Gallery in June 2020, but have since been lost.
Randolph Evans - Randolph Evans was a 15-year-old Brooklyn boy who was shot and killed by NYPD officer Robert Torsney on November 25, 1976. Evans was a ninth-grader at Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn at the time of the shooting. On Thanksgiving Day 1976, responding to a report of a man with a gun in the Cypress Hills housing projects, Officer Torsney encountered a group of youths. After a brief conversation, Torsney shot one of them, Evans, point-blank in the head. After shooting Evans, Torsney made no effort to check on the boy’s condition but instead walked to his patrol car, got in, removed the spent cartridge from his weapon, and calmly replaced it with another bullet. Torsney’s partner, Officer Matthew Williams, who was already in the vehicle when Torsney shot Evans, asked, “What did you do?” Torsney responded, “I don’t know, Matty. What did I do?” Torsney was found not guilty by reason of insanity for Randolph’s murder.
Christopher Wade - On April 6, 2017, Westerville medics requested police to go with them to a patient transport in the 600 block of Garden Terrace Road. Police said the patient, later identified as 39-year-old Christopher Wade, was experiencing psychological issues. Wade walked out of the ambulance at the hospital and began to head toward the emergency room entrance while carrying a bag. Witnesses told police Wade looked back, saw an officer, then reached down into the bag and pulled out what officers thought was a gun. Columbus police officer Nathan Komisarek claimed to have repeatedly asked Wade to get on the ground and drop the gun but did not comply. The officer fired at Wade, striking him. Police said Wade’s gun was later identified to be a BB gun. No indictment was filed and sadly not much else was found about who Christopher Wade was during his life.