by Maddie Dewhirst, Raffie Pelayo, Sofia Rossi, & Sasha Ryu
Staff Writers, Editor-in-Chief
Upon seeing video after video and hearing story after story of black people dying at the hands of the police, it can feel as if you have no real power to make a difference. Especially if you’re too young to vote or if you don’t have enough money to donate, it’s easy to believe that you aren’t capable of making a meaningful contribution. However, signing petitions is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to make your support count. All it takes is a name and a valid email address, and you help the Black Lives Matter movement get one step closer to achieving justice for the victims of police brutality. That’s why, today, El Gato is sharing a list of petitions related to the Black Lives Matter movement for you to sign all at once.
Just a heads up before you start signing—when you make a “donation” on change.org, your money does not go to the person who made the petition, but rather to the website itself. If you do want to make a financial contribution, we encourage you to check out the link at the bottom of this article instead.
On May 16, 2010, Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley shot and killed 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in her sleep upon entering the wrong apartment in an unannounced SWAT team raid. After throwing a flashbang grenade through the living room window, Officer Weekley barged through the front door and shot a bullet into Stanley-Jones’ neck—instantly killing the second grader. The whole event was filmed by A&E for a program called The First 48, a true-crime documentary about the first two days of a murder investigation. It is widely speculated that Weekley attempted to put on a show for the cameras outside, at the expense of people’s safety. After dragging Aiyana’s family through a five-year-long court battle, Weekley was acquitted of all charges and promoted to the Detroit FBI.
Sign Aiyana’s petition to demand Weekley’s immediate removal.
On Nov. 16, 2019, 19-year-old Anthony Jermaine “AJ” Mitchell died in his mother’s arms after being brutally beaten by the Fulton County police. On the night he died, AJ was at one of his favorite restaurants, and his credit card was declined. AJ grew up with a severe case of autism, which made it difficult for him to control his anger. That night, he quickly became frustrated and tried to get behind the counter. Despite knowing about his condition, workers began beating and throwing chairs at him. By the time police arrived on the scene, AJ was already lying on the ground, bleeding from his head. According to the officers, AJ spit his blood in their direction, and they, in turn, picked the him up by the neck and started bashing his head against the front entrance. A cell phone recording from that night reveals that officers handcuffed the unarmed teenager, forced him to lay face-first in the parking lot, kneeled on his back, and put a plastic bag over his head. Shortly after, AJ’s mother arrived at the restaurant and took her son back home where he died minutes after they returned. The cause of his death was ruled “inconclusive.”
Sign AJ’s petition to demand that first responders be trained to help the mentally ill.
On Jun. 5, 2016, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police officers while he was pinned to the ground, seemingly immobile. Sterling was selling CDs outside of a shop where several robberies took place a few days earlier. Officers responded to an anonymous tip that Sterling had a firearm; he was carrying a gun to protect himself and his fellow vendors in the event of another attack. This was perfectly legal, given that Louisiana is an open carry state. However, when officers arrived on the scene, body cam footage reveals that they refused to explain what Sterling did wrong, screaming “Don’t f***ing move, I’ll shoot your f***cking a** b****” and repeatedly tazing the father of five. The two policemen then threw Sterling’s body against a parked car and wrestled him to the ground, where he laid motionless. Seconds after, one of the two responding officers shouted, “He’s got a gun,” and his partner shot Sterling multiple times—all while nis arms and legs were still pinned to the ground.
Sign this petition to demand that the U.S. Department of Justice open Alton’s case and charge both officers involved.
On Mar. 13, 2020, Louisville police officers used a No Knock Warrant to break into the apartment of 26-year-old award-winning EMT Breonna Taylor in an unannounced drug raid. After using a battering ram to break down the front door, officers shot Taylor at least eight times after her boyfriend, who assumed there was an intruder in the house, pulled out a gun. Not only were the officers at the wrong address, the perpetrator they were searching for was already arrested hours earlier that day. The police incident report from that night is mostly blank, and what little information the report offers is full of errors; it lists Taylor’s injuries as “none,” and denies that police forced their way into her home. Her killers currently face no criminal charges.
Sign Breonna’s petition to demand justice for her grieving family.
On Oct. 27, 2019, 39-year-old Dana Fletcher was with his wife and daughter in the parking lot of an Alabama Planet Fitness when a bystander phoned the Madison County Police Department, reporting that Fletcher and his wife were acting “weird” and taking videos of passersby. According to the authorities who arrived on the scene, Fletcher pulled a gun on them, prompting the officers to fire. Fletcher’s wife, however, maintains that her husband was not armed. When she asked for the city of Madison to release the officers’ body cam footage, they refused. Fletcher’s killers remain anonymous and free to this day.
Sign this petition to demand the release of the body cam footage of Fletcher’s death. Support this petition calling for Alabama to make body cam footage public record.
On Sept. 10, 2014, 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was cosplaying as a samurai warrior when he was shot and killed by police outside of a Panda Express in Salt Lake City, UT. Earlier that day, the Saratoga Springs Police Department received a call about a “suspicious man” carrying a weapon. Police who arrived on the scene claim that Hunt swung at them with his costume sword, prompting them to fire; however, eyewitnesses report that the young man was in fact several yards away from the officers when he lunged. Video taken from cameras at the strip mall shows Hunt being shot multiple times in the back while running from officers, a shooting that Utah prosecutors deemed to be justifiable.
Sign Darrien’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
On July 17, 2015, 19-year-old Darrius Stewart was sitting in the back seat of a friend’s car when Memphis police officer Connor Schilling pulled the vehicle over for a headlight violation. Officer Schilling demanded all of the passengers show him their IDs. When Stewart realized that he’d left his wallet at home, he asked if he could call his mother so she could give the officers the number of his card over the phone. Schilling denied his request, and instead wrestled Stewart to the ground and drove away with the teenager in the back of his squad car. Stewart’s friends, worried, decided to drive around the corner to get his ID from his mother. By the time she arrived at the scene, Stewart had already been brutally beaten, shot, and killed in a secluded church parking lot. Sometime during the incident, Schilling’s dashcam mysteriously ‘disappeared.’ No charges were ever brought against him. This event, however, was far from Officer Schilling’s first controversy. In 2013, he slammed a young black woman’s head against her car while performing what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop. In 2014, he was also “arrested for a DUI as he stalked a woman home from a party.”
Please sign Darrius’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
On Apr. 9, 2020, 22-year-old Desmond Franklin, a father of four, was confronted at a red light by an off-duty police officer named Jose Garcia. Officer Garcia, upon approaching Franklin, called him and his passenger several racial slurs, then fired his gun at them, seemingly unprompted. Garcia claims he killed the driver because Franklin fired a gun at him, however, according to Franklin’s attorney, “It literally looks like he’s just driving past the officer, and then the officer fires into [Desmond’s] vehicle.” The attorney also maintains that nobody in the car flashed or shot a firearm. Despite the baselessness of his defense, Officer Garcia has yet to be charged or fired.
Sign Franklin’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
Massage therapist Elijah McClain spent his free time playing violin at a local animal shelter so that the kittens waiting to be adopted “wouldn’t be lonely.” On Aug. 24, 2019, he was walking home and listening to music after buying tea at a nearby convenience store. At the time, McClain was also wearing a ski mask which covered his mouth because his anemia made his face sensitive to the cold. Around 10:30 PM, the Aurora Police Department received a call regarding a “suspicious man” waving his arms around. Body cam footage would later reveal that, upon arriving at the scene, three officers threw McClain against a wall, wrestled him to the ground, and put him in a chokehold as the young man repeatedly vomited and shouted, “I can’t breathe.” As the violence ensued, and all three of the officers shed their body cams; one even went as far as to explicitly instruct his coworker to point their camera away as he dug his knees into McClain’s back. When the paramedics came, they administered a dose of ketamine to “sedate” the already unconscious McClain. The dose was much larger than appropriate for the 140 pound man, and he suffered from a heart attack on his way to the hospital. He died just days later after being taken off life support. One of the three policemen has since been fired for photos that surfaced of him smiling and re-enacting the choke hold at the site of McClain’s memorial. However, all of the officers and the paramedics involved in Elijah’s death have yet to face any criminal charges.
Sign Elijah’s petition to demand a more in-depth investigation and the removal of his killers from the line of duty.
On July 17, 2014, 43-year-old father of six Eric Garner was arrested in Staten Island under suspicion of selling loose cigarettes without tax stamps. When a New York police officer approached Garner for the alleged sales, Garner denied the accusations outright. In a cellphone recording of the incident, Garner states: “Every time you see me, you want to stop me. I’m minding my business, officer. Please just leave me alone.” When the officer refused to leave the scene, Garner began raising his voice, insisting again that he hadn’t done anything wrong. Another officer on site, Daniel Panteleo, chose this moment to jump on Garner and put him in a chokehold (despite the maneuver being banned in the NYPD since 1993). Over six other officers swarmed to help hold Garner down as Officer Panteleo continued to choke him. Garner cried out “I can’t breathe!” 11 times before he went unconscious. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later. Although his death was ruled a homicide, a grand jury failed to indict Panteleo. He was fired five years later.
Sign Garner’s petition to demand a federal ban on chokeholds.
On Apr. 12, 2015, 25-year-old Freddie Gray was put under false arrest by the Baltimore Police Department for being in possession of a knife. Upon confronting the man, Baltimore Lieutenant Brian W. Rice, Officer Edward Nero, and Officer Garrett E. Miller Gray discovered a switchblade in Gray’s pocket. According to eyewitness testimony, the three officers then beat Gray with their batons, folded his legs “backwards,” kneeled on his neck, and dragged him into the back of their van. During the arrest, the officers inflicted a fatal neck injury upon Gray, severing his spine. Gray asked for medical attention multiple times, only to be ignored. It wasn’t until he fell into a coma that the officers phoned for an ambulance. Gray died in the hospital a few days later. His death was ruled a homicide, but the six officers involved were subsequently acquitted of all charges.
Sign Freddie’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
On May 25, 2020, 46-year-old George Floyd died after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground and suffocated him for eight minutes and 46 seconds straight. Chauvin, along with three others, was responding to a report from a local convenience store employee claiming that Floyd purchased cigarettes with a counterfeit 20 dollar bill. Floyd complied with all of the policemen’s orders as he was handcuffed and restrained, but Officer Chauvin forced him to lie face-down on the road, kneeled on the man’s neck, and continued to asphyxiate him, despite the father of five repeatedly crying out, “I can’t breathe.” Currently, all four officers face charges for Floyd’s murder.
Sign George’s petition to demand all four officers involved in his murder be convicted.
On Dec. 9, 2018, 38-year-old former combat medic Gregory Edwards was shopping at Walmart with his pregnant wife when he began having a PTSD-related episode and assaulted a charity worker. Edwards was arrested at the store and taken to jail, where paramedics would later find him laying on the floor, unresponsive. Edwards died after being taken off life support the next day. Although the Brevard medical examiner ruled Edward’s death an “accident” in the autopsy report, the chief medical examiner for Florida’s 10th Medical Examiner’s District claims that Edward’s death was likely a homicide. An alleged altercation while Edwards was being booked in the jail led to him getting tased, pepper sprayed, and tied down to a restraint chair. Video of Edwards at the jail has not been released.
Sign Gregory’s petition to demand his case be properly investigated.
On Jun. 6, 2016, 23-year-old Henry Green was walking home with a friend when an unmarked SUV with tinted windows began driving towards them. Two white Columbus, OH, police officers dressed in civilian clothing jumped out of the van with their guns drawn, then shot Green seven times. According to the officers, they chose to fire because they saw that Green was holding a gun. However, Ohio is an open-carry state, which meant that Green, as a card-carrying gun owner, should have been entitled to do just that. The officers, Jason Bare and Zachary Rosen, both of the Columbus Community Safety Initiative (CSI), were never indicted or fired, despite their testimonies contradicting key eyewitness statements.
Sign Henry’s petition asking for Bare and Rosen to be charged.
26-year-old Jamarion Robinson was a biology major and football player for Tuskegee University who had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. On Aug. 5, 2016, Robinson was at his girlfriend’s apartment when US Marshals showed up to deliver a warrant, believing Robinson matched the description of a man who had pointed a gun at Atlanta police the day before. Although authorities claim that Robinson fired on the officers when they arrived on scene, the US Marshals were not wearing body cameras and it is unclear if this account can be taken as fact. A video taken by a neighbor documents the three minutes that officers were firing into the apartment. The Fulton County medical examiner would later confirm that Robinson was shot 76 times.
Sign Jamarion’s petition to demand the arrest of the officers who killed him.
On Jun. 3, 2020, 35-year-old Metropolitan Detention Center inmate Jamel Floyd died after prison guards pepper-sprayed him in his cell. Floyd’s asthma and diabetes likely contributed to his fatal reaction to the gas. High concentrations are known to cause internal bleeding and halted breathing, and Floyd’s death indicates an excessive use of the life-threatening material.
Sign Jamel’s petition demanding the officers responsible for his death be charged and prosecuted.
On May 31, 2020, police shot 20-year-old Texas State University undergraduate Justin Howell in Austin, TX, while on scene at a Black Lives Matter protest. A demonstrator next to Howell threw a water bottle and a bag at police officers, who in turn fired nonlethal beanbag ammunition in the direction of the projectiles, hitting Howell in the head. Fellow protesters attempted to help Howell get to safety, but police fired on them as well. Howell subsequently suffered a fractured skull and brain damage from the ammunition. After being in the ICU for three weeks, he is just beginning the process of recovery.
Sign Justin’s petition to demand the resignation of APD Police Chief Brian Manley and call for an emphasis on nonviolent de-escalation tactics to protect innocent protestors.
Lakeith Smith is currently serving a 55 year prison sentence for the ‘murder’ of his friend, 16-year-old A’Donte Washington. In 2015, Smith and Washington, along with three of their friends, were caught trespassing by Alabama law enforcement. When gunfire erupted between the group and the police, Washington was shot and killed by an officer. Despite the fact that Smith was never even carrying a weapon, the judge decided to try him as an adult, and, due to Alabama’s accomplice liability law, the jury found Smith liable for Washington’s behavior during the break-in, and charged the then 15-year-old for a murder he didn’t commit. In contrast to their treatment of Smith, the grand jury determined that the policemen were justified in killing A’Donte. All of the officers involved remain free and anonymous to this day.
Sign this petition to demand justice for both Lakeith and A’Donte.
On July 14, 2002, 26-year-old Lionel Lewis died in police custody after being restrained, maced, and locked up alone in the back of a hot squad car. Just before the incident, a white neighbor called the police on Lewis after overhearing a verbal argument between him and his white girlfriend. Upon arriving on the scene, officers broke three of Lewis’ ribs, sprayed an entire bottle of mace onto his face, then left him handcuffed in the backseat of their squad car to get witness statements. Even after Lewis became unresponsive, the officers waited an hour and a half to give him medical attention. He died later that day. The Chief Medical Examiner claimed Lewis’ death resulted from “agitated delirium due to multiple drug use including cocaine”; however, Lewis’ daughter, Aniliese Meyer, believes her father died because of the conditions he was under in the officers’ custody. The officers involved were never charged or fired.
Sign Lionel’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
On May 4, 2016, 18-year-old Matthew Tucker was clinically depressed and attempting to take his own life. When Tucker’s mother called 911, the police arrived and saw the teenager standing alone in his garage, holding a knife. The officers didn’t call for backup or try to help the suffering young man. Instead, they shouted orders at Tucker, and, when he, in his suicidal state, refused to comply with the instructions, the officers fatally shot him in front of his family. Matthew died less than two minutes after the officers arrived.
Sign Matthew’s petition to demand that his case be reopened.
On May 23, 2020, New Jersey state trooper Randall Wetzel pulled over 28-year-old chemistry student Maurice Gordon for an alleged speeding violation. Dash cam footage reveals that, when Gordon opened his driver’s side door, Wetzel began shouting “Get in the car! Get in the car!” Gordon, however, left his vehicle, holding his cell phone and an energy drink, trying to explain that his car wouldn’t start. Officer Wetzel, seemingly distressed by Gordon’s dissent, frisked the man. Once it became clear that Gordon was unarmed, he let him sit in the back of his squad car. Gordon spent around thirty minutes quietly waiting for a tow truck to arrive before he appeared to make an attempt to sit in the officer’s driver’s seat. Wetzel saw what Gordon was doing and immediately suspected the worst, cussing and shouting at the man. Gordon exited the car, shoved Wetzel, and got pepper sprayed. When Gordon rose again, Wetzel shot him six times—despite knowing that he was unarmed.
Sign Maurice’s petition demanding that officer Wetzel be charged.
On Aug. 9, 2014, a white police officer named Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Micheal Brown Jr. six times in the head, neck, and chest in Ferguson, MO. According to Officer Wilson, Brown matched the description of a man who had stolen a pack of cigarillos from a local convenience store earlier that day. Reports of the exact details vary, but after Wilson confronted the unarmed teenager, an altercation arose between the two and the officer repeatedly fired his gun at Brown. Police left the teenager’s body lying in the street for the next four hours. Despite the nation-wide outrage that came in response to Brown’s killing, a grand jury subsequently dropped all charges against officer Wilson.
Sign this petition to demand thatMichael’s case be reopened, and for prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch’s permanent disbarment.
On Nov. 7, 2015, 50-year-old Michael Marshall, a homeless man who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was arrested on nonviolent charges of trespassing and disturbing the peace at a local motel. On his fourth day in custody, Marshall was sitting on a bench with a pile of his laundry. In security footage of the incident, viewers can see Marshall stand up from the bench. A nearby officer points for him to sit, then pushes him against the wall. Within two seconds, Marshall falls, and six deputies surround his body, pinning him to the floor and suffocating the man with a “spit cloth.” It was only when Marshall was strapped to a restraint chair that nurses realized he wasn’t breathing. Marshall was brain dead for nine days at Denver Medical Center before his family took him off life support. The Denver District Attorney ruled that “no excessive force was used.”
Sign Michael’s petition calling for both officers involved in the incident are removed from the Sheriff’s department.
On Jun. 11, 2020, Los Angeles police officers shot and killed 62-year-old Michael Thomas after he refused to allow them entry into his home without a warrant. According to the officers, they were visiting after receiving reports of domestic violence, and, when they engaged in a verbal argument at the front door, Thomas attempted to take one of the officer’s guns, prompting a deputy to fire. The officers’ claims, however, differ from the rest of the family’s eyewitness accounts. According to Thomas’s fiance, Michael was trying to turn away from the officers before he was grabbed by the arm and fatally shot. All of the officers involved have yet to be charged or fired.
Sign Michael’s petition calling for the state of California to conduct an in-depth investigation into the officers.
On May 31, 2020, 18-year-old cellist Mouhamed Cisse was shot and killed by a Philadelphia police officer as he was walking down the street. At the time, Cisse was leaving a Black Lives Matter protest with a friend when they were spotted and fired on by officers from the Philadelphia Police Department. Although there was a chaotic event happening closeby, it’s unclear what the two boys could have done to provoke the gunfire. Cisse was hit several times, and he died shortly after. His friend survived with a bullet wound to the hand. According to Cisse’s mother, she believes the two teenagers were misidentified. The Philadelphia PD still refuses to name the officers responsible for this gifted musician’s death.
Sign Mouhamed’s petition to demand that the officers involved be arrested.
On Feb. 8, 2015, 37-year-old mother Natasha McKenna died in the custody of Fairfax County jail. When officers attempted to move her to a different jail, McKenna, who suffered with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, resisted. In a 45-minute video of the struggle, McKenna can be heard saying, “You promised you wouldn’t kill me. I didn’t do anything.” In an attempt to restrain her, officers stun gunned her four times, inflicting 50,000 volts of damage onto her body. Fairfax County medical examiner would later McKenna’s death an accident, claiming she died due to ‘excited delirium syndrome,’ a controversial condition often used in reports when officers are involved with a subject’s death.
Sign Natasha’s petition to ask that her case be reopened.
Philando Castile was a 32-year-old man who worked as an elementary school cafeteria director in a Minnesota suburb. The students called him “Mr. Phil,” and he was known to make up secret handshakes with the kids. In an interview, 10-year-old Leila Ramgren said, “If you didn’t have enough [food] on your [lunch] tray, he would pull out graham crackers or something. And he did it with his own money.” On July 6, 2016, Castile was driving home from the grocery store with his girlfriend and his 4-year-old daughter when Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled him over for a busted tail light. Officer Yanez asked for Castile’s license and registration, and Castile complied. Castile then politely informed the officer that he was a card-carrying gun owner, and he had a firearm with him in the vehicle. Castile then offered to show him his ID and moved to pull out his wallet. Officer Yanez immediately drew his gun and pointed it at Castile, shouting, “Don’t reach for it!” Castile’s last words were, “I wasn’t reaching for it.” Officer Yanez shot him five times in front of his family. A grand jury has since acquitted Yanez of all charges.
Sign Philando’s petition calling for the city of St. Anthony to reopen his case.
On Jun. 12, 2020, 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was found sleeping in his car, partially obstructing the drive-thru entrance at an Atlanta, GA, Wendy’s fast food restaurant. Atlanta officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan arrived at the scene, whereupon Brooks admitted to having a couple of drinks earlier that night. The officers turned down Brooks’ offer to walk to his sister’s house around the corner, instead arresting Brooks for the misdemeanor. Brooks, clearly intoxicated, resisted being handcuffed, grabbed one of the officer’s tasers, and ran. He then pointed the taser towards Officer Rolfe, who, in turn, shot Brooks twice. Based on eyewitness testimony and video evidence, prosecutors claim that after Brooks fell to the ground, Officer Rolfe kicked the dying man as Officer Brosnan stood on his shoulder. They offered no medical treatment as Brooks bled out onto the pavement. Brooks passed away in the hospital later that night. It was his daughter’s birthday.
Sign Rayshard’s petition to demand that all of the officers involved in his death be held accountable.
On July 13, 2015, 28-year-old Sandra Bland was found hanged in a Waller County jail cell three days after she was arrested during a pretextual traffic stop (the vehicular equivalent of stop and frisk). In the moments leading up to her arrest, State Trooper Brian Encinia was tailing Bland’s car. Encinia closed in so near that Bland changed lanes to give him the right of way, believing he was headed to an emergency call. Because she failed to signal the lane change, he pulled her over, shouted at her, and drew his gun as he forced Bland out of the driver’s seat. “I will light you up!” he shouted. “Get out! Now!” He then wrestled Bland onto the ground, kneeled on her back, and slammed her head into the road. As he did so, Bland cried out, saying she was epileptic—to which Encinia responded, “Good.” Encinia had a history of performing these types of arrests. In less than 12 months, he issued 1,600 tickets, exploiting minor infractions as opportunities to perform random searches in the hopes of finding something criminal. Despite dashcam footage documenting Encinia’s horrific misconduct, he was acquitted of all charges in exchange for his resignation. Sandra’s death remains classified as a suicide.
Sign Sandra’s petition to demand that her case be reopened.
On Nov. 22, 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with a toy gun in a public park. Cleveland Officer Timothy Leohmann shot and killed the seventh grader within two seconds of arriving on the scene. Officer Leohmann didn’t even wait for the squad car to come to a stop before he fired on the boy. It was later revealed that, in his previous job as a police officer in a neighboring suburb, Loehmann was deemed “an emotionally unstable recruit and unfit for duty.” Despite this, a grand jury subsequently acquitted the officer of all charges.
Sign this petition to demand Tamir’s case be reopened. You can also support this second petition asking for a federal investigation into prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s handling of Tamir’s case.
On Sept. 16, 2016, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher’s car broke down in the middle of a highway in Tulsa, OK. After multiple passing drivers phoned the police about a vehicle blocking traffic, several officers arrived on the scene and surrounded him. “That looks like a bad dude,” one of the officers said before drawing his gun. Although the officers alleged that Crutcher didn’t comply with orders, footage of the event revealed that he had his hands up when Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby shot and killed him. After Crutcher’s death, Officer Shelby claimed that she fired because it appeared that he was reaching for a weapon—though this account doesn’t seem to align with the video record of the event. Shelby was never charged, indicted, or fired.
Sign Terence’s petition asking to reopen his case.
On May 27, 2020, a Tallahassee police officer stopped 38-year-old transgender man Tony McDade outside of his Florida apartment because he matched the description of a local murder suspect. While recording a Facebook live of the arrest, McDade’s neighbor exclaimed that the white officer called McDade the n-word. According to the witness, after McDade complied with the officer’s orders, the officer shot him twice, seemingly without warning. Although there are several contradictions among eyewitnesses’ testimonies, they all seem to agree that the officer made no attempt at de-escalation. The officer claims that McDade was armed at the time of his arrest, but several eyewitnesses also dispute these allegations.
Much about the events leading up to Tony’s death remains unconfirmed. Sign this petition asking for an in-depth investigation into his case.
On Feb. 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking into his father’s gated community after buying a pack of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea at a local convenience store. Neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman spotted the teenager, baselessly labeled him as “suspicious,” and left his vehicle to run after the young boy. Zimmerman then initiated an altercation, and when Martin fought back, Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed teenager. In court, the neighborhood watch coordinater justified the murder as a form of “self-defense.” A grand jury ultimately dropped all charges against Zimmerman. After he was set free, Zimmerman auctioned off the gun he used to kill Martin for 250,000 dollars. He has also been known to sign Skittles bags, in reference to the candy Trayvon purchased the night of his death.
Sign Trayvon’s petition to call for reformation of Neighborhood Watch Handbooks, as well as the repeal of the Florida Statute, which allows citizens to use deadly force even if they were the ones who initiated an aggressive act.
On July 19, 2015, University of Cincinnati police officer Raymond Tensing pulled 43-year-old Samuel DuBose over for driving without a license plate on the front of his car. When DuBose failed to provide his driver’s license, Officer Tensing became agitated, and attempted to enter DuBose’s vehicle. DuBose, alarmed, grappled with his driver’s side door, trying to keep it shut. In body cam footage of the event, the car appears to slowly roll forward as the two struggle with the door. Officer Tensing then reaches through DuBose’s window, grabbing at the man’s clothes, shooting him him seconds later, point blank, directly in the head. It was later revealed that, the day Officer Tensing killed DuBose, he was wearing a shirt depicting the Confederate Flag. This information, however, was thrown out in court. Although Officer Tensing was initially indicted and fired, in a retrial, he was subsequently released and awarded a settlement of nearly $350,000 for “unfair dismissal” from his previous employer.
Please sign Samuel’s petition to demand that U.S. Attorney David DeVillers press federal charges against Raymond Tensing.
On Mar. 18, 2018, 22-year-old Stephon Clark was standing in his grandmother’s backyard when two Sacramento police officers named Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet shot and killed the unarmed father of two. Earlier that night, the Sacramento PD received a report that someone on Clark’s street was vandalizing car windows. When officers arrived on the scene, they spotted Clark, suspected the worst, and charged, guns drawn. Clark, scared, began to run. Body cam footage of the incident reveals one of the officers chasing him, repeatedly yelling “Show me your hands!” However, not even a second after Clark turned around and held out his cellphone, the two officers fired. In total, the officers hit Clark eight times within 23 seconds of their arrival. Despite the fact that Mercadal and Robinet abandoned all that they’d learned in their department’s de-escalation training sessions, Sacramento’s former District Attorney ruled that no excessive force was used. All officers involved have since returned to the line of duty.