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4 Updates on Recent Police Shootings

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

An increased media focus on deadly police shootings, combined with the absence of reliable data on how many people are shot by police officers each year, it can be hard to keep track of which police shooting case is which. The New York Times had compiled 16 cases of fatal police shootings since Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson Missouri, and that was back on April 8.

And that doesn't include older cases that are just making their way through courts, or have recently been decided. Here is the latest on four recent police shootings that have been in the news, and what may be next:

Tamir Rice

Cleveland police have completed their investigation into the shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-yr-old boy who was holding a toy gun in a park. The evidence of the investigation will now be handed over to Cuyahoga County prosecutors who will present it to a grand jury. The grand jury will then decide if there is enough evidence to charge the officer who shot Rice with a crime.

Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams

Also known as the Michael Brelo case, as Brelo was the officer who fired 49 of 137 rounds into the car Russell was driving, the last 15 of which while he stood on the parked car's hood. Police found no guns in the car. A total of six officers were charged in the shooting that capped a 22-mile chase through Cleveland, and Brelo faced two counts of voluntary manslaughter.

Brelo was acquitted two weeks ago. (And then arrested for drunkenly brawling with his twin brother four days later.) There's no word yet on whether relatives of Russell or Williams will file a civil suit against Brelo or the department.

The Brelo and Rice cases follow news that Cleveland reached a settlement with the Department of Justice and agreed to overhaul their police practices.

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson was under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms when Madison Police officer Matt Kenny shot and killed him in an apartment house stairwell. Robinson had accosted several other people that night and Kenny claimed Robinson struck him in the head.

Last month, the Dane County District Attorney declined to press charges against Kenny, and he was cleared to return to active patrol duty this week. Robinson's family has said they will file a civil lawsuit.

Freddie Gray

A grand jury indicted all six officers involved in Freddie Gray's homicide. Gray wasn't shot, but died after suffering spinal cord injuries while in Baltimore Police custody. The case will now proceed to a jury trial, and both sides have been battling over evidence in the case.

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