When she heard the story of how 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot and killed by police in 2016, Jackie Carter decided that enough was enough.
Castile was driving with his girlfriend and her child when he was pulled over by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez who claimed to see Castile reaching for his gun and fired several shots into the vehicle, killing Castile. In a video recording of the shooting, Castile can be heard saying he “wasn’t reaching” for his gun.
Carter’s device called “Not Reaching!” is a clear card-carrying pouch that clips onto the driver-side air vent. The pouch is designed to be a safe location for drivers to store the important documents that officers typically ask to see during routine traffic stops.
With more than 1,000 units sold, and even more given away, the “Not Reaching!” pouch could be the difference between life and death for Black drivers across the country.
Sandra Bland managed to record 39 seconds of video just before she was arrested for allegedly becoming confrontational during a traffic stop in July 2015. She was found dead in a county jail cell three days later, and the Waller County Sheriff’s Office determined her death to be a suicide.
According to Bland’s attorney, the cellphone footage was not a part of evidence turned over by investigators during the criminal case, and it directly refutes officer statements that Bland had become combative during the traffic stop.
Some believe that Bland’s case should be reopened in light of the new footage. What do you think?
THE GUARDIAN — Vallejo police released body-camera footage of 20-year-old Willie McCoy’s killing, which happened at a Bay-area Taco Bell in February. The footage confirms that Vallejo police did not try to wake McCoy nor talk to him before opening fire on his vehicle.
As he slept in the Taco Bell drive-thru, police spotted a gun in McCoy’s lap and proceeded to aim their weapons at his head. In the next few seconds, McCoy was shot at least 25 times by six officers.
McCoy’s family is represented by NBL Top 100 Executive Committee Member John L. Burris who says the family intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers and police agency.
NBC News — Witnesses say police fired at least 20 rounds at 20-year-old Willie McCoy in a Taco Bell parking lot Saturday night. Though it is unclear how many bullets struck him, McCoy (whose stage name is Willie Bo) was pronounced dead on the scene. His family wants to see bodycam footage.
Employees at a Bay Area Taco Bell called the police to report that a man was slumped over in his car in the drive-thru. In a statement released on Tuesday, Vallejo police said that they saw a handgun in the driver’s lap and called for backup. While police positioned cruisers in front of and behind the vehicle, McCoy awakened. A few seconds later, he was dead.
WBRZ-2 (ABC) — A West Baton Rouge grand jury has indicted two officers accused of using excessive force on 14-year-old Isaiah Johnson in October, but the boy’s family believes the charges aren’t harsh enough.
Johnson’s family claimed the school misled them about the incident and accused the staff and officers of mishandling the teen, who they say is medicated for behavioral problems.
Both officers resigned from the department in November after an investigation into the incident began.
NFL star Michael Bennett criticized Las Vegas police who detained him in August, accusing them of excessive force and racial profiling. Now, Las Vegas police are striking back, accusing the Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman of being a liar, a publicity hound and a potential criminal, according to Slate. Bennett’s attorney says he’s considering a lawsuit alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Attorney John Burris says police illegally detained Bennett and used excessive force by pointing a gun at his head. Meanwhile, Las Vegas police have yet to offer an account of what happened in the incident. Bennett has received support from a number of civil rights leaders and athletes after going public with his accusations of police brutality.