Opinions & Editorials

Say their names

editorial–newswire editorial board

No justice, no peace.

Last summer, Newswire published an editorial containing the names and information of unarmed Black individuals who have been killed by police since 2014. It is a horrific but expected reality that our editorial, “Say their names,” is now outdated.

This list was  prompted by the grim reality that Ma’Khia Bryant, Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo have become the next Black Americans to lose their lives at the hands of police brutality.

In the midst of these injustices, the former Minneapolis police officer and murderer of George Floyd was convicted on all counts by a jury of his peers on Tuesday. This conviction has demonstrated two things. First, accountability is attainable through months of hard work, protestors, activists and advocates. Secondly, achieving anything resemblant of justice is far more difficult than it ought to be.

It should not take this amount of hard work, self-endangerment and pure luck to sentence one murderer. It remains an infuriating reality that most police killings never reach trial and, for those that do, convictions remain elusive.

Thus, the Newswire Editorial Board has compiled this list of unarmed Black people in the U.S. who have been killed by police since May 2020. We have chosen to include victims whose status as armed is questionable and those who were “armed” with items that are not weapons. Our information is drawn from the Washington Post’s Police Shooting Database.

We have focused our attention on Black victims because Black people are killed at more than twice the rate of White people. At the same time, other minority groups are subject to police brutality at disproportionately high rates. They, like the many Black people on this list, deserve justice.

Despite our criteria, we wish to unequivocally state that any and all killings at the hands of police are unacceptable tragedies. Fleeing a scene is not a death sentence. Resisting arrest is not a death sentence. Being armed is not a death sentence.

As with last year’s list, we have included information about each victim to emphasize these are not merely names, but people, and to memorialize their lives instead of their deaths.

We acknowledge that this list is incomplete and welcome additions. If any member of the Xavier community would like a name added to the list, please reach out to newswire@xavier.edu.

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2020

Albert Lee Hughes was killed on Jan. 15, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Ga. Officers claim Hughes was “armed with a chair,” but no body camera footage was released.

Jaquyn O’Neill Light was killed on Jan. 29, 2020. He was 20 years old, known to his friends and family as “Beef” and had four brothers and one sister. 

Barry Gedeus was killed on March 6, 2020. He was 27 years old and described as a loving man whose motto was “get right with God.”

Donnie Sanders was killed on March 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. He was 47 years old and was described as protective and fun to hang out with. 

Mychal Johnson was killed on March 20, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. He was 31 years old and a graphic engineer. Johnson enjoyed reading, playing video games and working on the computer.

Fred Brown was killed on April 23, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nev. He was 34 years old. 

Shaun Lee Fuhr was killed on May 1, 2020 in Seattle, Wash. He was 24 years old and a father.

Maurice Gordon was killed on May 23, 2020 in Bass River, N.J.  He was 28 years old.  Gordon was studying chemistry at Dutchess Community College.  He was described as a warrior and someone who would lay his blood down for others to stand.

Dion Johnson was 28 when he was killed on May 25, 2020 in Phoenix, Ariz. He was one of five siblings and the father to a 14-year-old daughter. Johnson was described as a “mama’s boy,” a music lover and was well-liked by everyone he met. He was described as being in the process of turning his life around after jail time when he was killed.

Robert D’Lon Harris was killed on June 25, 2020 in Vinta, Okla. He was 34 years old. He was a loving brother, son and uncle. His family called him the life of the party, someone that knew no strangers and the protector of his family and friends.

Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis was killed on Aug. 7, 2020. He worked as a carpenter. Lewis left a widow, Betty Lewis, behind. “He was too good to die as he did,” she said.

Kurt Andras Reinhold was 42 years old when he was killed on Sept. 23, 2020. He suffered from mental illness and was homeless at the time of his death. His family is fighting for justice over his killing. 

Mickel Erich Lewis was 39 years old when he was killed on Oct. 2, 2020. He was driving with his girlfriend and her two teenage daughters at the time of his death.

Jonathan Price was killed on Oct. 3, 2020. Price was 31 years old at the time of his death, and  was trying to stop a domestic dispute.  “He helped everybody in his community and had a big heart and spirit,” his mother said of him.

Anthony Jones was killed on Oct. 12, 2020.  “He used to bring strays home, and he used to play with his toys. I still remember and envision him as that same lovable little boy,” his aunt said of him.

Marcellis Stinnette was 19 years old when he was killed on Oct. 20, 2020. He was with his girlfriend and the mother of his child, who was also injured. 

Andre Maurice Hill was killed on Dec. 22, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Andre was 47 years old, had a passion for cooking and was trained in hotel restaurant management and culinary arts. He was a loving father, grandfather and uncle.

Amir Johnson was killed on Aug. 6 2020. He 30 years old and had been mourning the death of his fiancée. 

Rayshard Brooks was killed on June 12, 2020. He was married for eight years and had three daughters and a stepson.

Wilbon Cleveland Woodard was killed on May 19, 2020 in Tallahassee, Fla. Woodward was 69 years old when he was killed. Police claimed he was armed, but no details or body camera footage were ever released.

Yassin Mohamed was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time of his death on May 9, 2020.

Casey Goodson Jr. was killed on Dec. 4, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. Goodson was 23 years old, described as a good man who worked at Gap, loved his family and being a big brother. 

2021

Carl Dorsey III was killed minutes into the new year on Jan. 1, 2021 in Newark, N.J. Dorsey was a father to four children — three biological and one adopted — worked as a trucker and was planning to start a trucking business named after his children. 

Patrick Lynn Warren  was 52 years old when he was killed on Jan. 10, 2021. He was having mental health issues and had voluntarily gone to a hospital the day before.

Jenoah Donald was 30 years old when he was killed on Feb. 4, 2021 in Hazel Dell, Wash. His mother and brother remember him as a loving man who worked all his life to overcome mental illness, learning disorders and substance abuse. He liked to come up with mechanical projects and go camping. 

Daverion Kinard was killed just hours before his 29th birthday on Feb. 14, 2021.

Arnell States  was killed on Feb. 20, 2021 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. States was 39 years old and a father of three. 

Donovon W. Lynch was killed on March 26, 2021 in Virginia Beach, Va. Lynch was 25 years old. Lynch loved basketball, football, playing pool and fashion. He was a volunteer and member of Faith World Ministries. 

Adam Toledo was killed on March 29, 2021. He was 13 years old, loved to play with Legos, say funny jokes and make others laugh. Adam’s mother says he dreamed of being a police officer.

Daunte Wright was killed on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minn. Daunte Wright was described as a caring uncle and a wonderful father. He had an “amazing smile” and liked to drive around and listen to music “just like your average 20-year-old.”

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Categories: Opinions & Editorials