Fifty-four police officers have been charged over the past decade for fatally shooting someone while on duty, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers at Bowling Green State University. This analysis, based on a wide range of public records and interviews with law enforcement, judicial and other legal experts, sought to identify for the first time every officer who faced charges­ for such shootings since 2005. These represent a small fraction of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred across the country in that time.

In an overwhelming majority of the cases where an officer was charged, the person killed was unarmed. But it usually took more than that.

When prosecutors pressed charges, The Post analysis found, there were typically other factors that made the case exceptional, including: a victim shot in the back, a video recording of the incident, incriminating testimony from other officers or allegations of a coverup.

But even in these most extreme instances, the majority of the officers whose cases have been resolved have not been convicted, The Post analysis found.

Read more of The Post’s analysis here.

There is no accurate tally of all the cases­ of police shootings across the country, even deadly ones. The FBI maintains a national database of fatal shootings by officers but does not require police departments to keep it updated.

Explore the cases in charging through sentencing and the factors involved.

Here are descriptions of all 54 cases and their outcomes:


Michael Brelo during his trial. (Tony Dejak/Reuters)

Officer: Michael Brelo
Department: Cleveland Police Department (Ohio)
Outcome: pending
Brelo shot and killed Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43, both of them unarmed, after a 62-car police chase in 2012 around Cleveland. The chase began, according to prosecutors, when officers mistook backfire from Russell’s Chevrolet Malibu for gunshots as it drove past the police headquarters. After A 22-minute pursuit, Russell’s vehicle came to a stop in East Cleveland. Brelo climbed onto the hood of the Malibu and fired 15 rounds into the windshield, killing the pair, according to prosecutors. Brelo was charged with two counts of felony voluntary manslaughter. His trial is underway. After the shooting, Brelo told investigators: “I’ve never been more in fear of my life than in the moment when my partner and I fired when I thought we were going to die, sir.”

Officer: Tommy Sanders III
Department: Baltimore Police Department (Maryland)
Outcome: Not convicted
Sanders shot Edward Lamont Hunt, 27, twice in the back in 2008 in a parking lot outside a store in Baltimore. Sanders’s attorney, Michael Belsky, told The Post that the officer had stopped Hunt to question him about suspected drug activity. At some point, Hunt appeared to be reaching into his pocket for a gun, Belsky said. Hunt was unarmed. Sanders was acquitted by a jury on charges of felony voluntary manslaughter. Sanders remains employed with the Baltimore police.

Charles Kleinert. (Austin Police Department/AP) Charles Kleinert. (Austin Police Department/AP)

Officer: Charles Kleinert
Department: Austin Police Department (Texas)
Outcome: Pending
Kleinert shot and killed Larry Eugene Jackson Jr., 32, in 2013 after Jackson, who was unarmed, tried to enter an Austin bank that was closed because of an earlier robbery, according to court records. Kleinert was at the bank investigating the robbery when Jackson approached the closed bank, records show. When Jackson left, Kleinert pursued him and was attempting to detain him when he said his gun accidentally discharged, striking Jackson, records show. He was shot in the back of the neck. “It was an unintentional discharge of his duty weapon while lawfully attempting to make an arrest,” Kleinert’s attorney, Randy Leavitt, told The Post. Kleinert was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of felony second-degree manslaughter. The case is pending.

Richard Haste is arraigned. (Richard Drew/AP) Richard Haste is arraigned. (Richard Drew/AP)

Officer: Richard Haste
Department: New York City Police Department
Outcome: Not convicted
Haste shot and killed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham, who was unarmed, in a bathroom at his grandmother’s apartment in 2012 in New York City. The teen had fled from police during a narcotics investigation. Haste shot him after officers told Graham to show his hands and the teenager reached into his clothing, according to Haste’s attorney, Stuart London. Haste heard radio communications among other officers that indicated Graham may have been armed, records show. Haste was indicted for felony manslaughter, but a judge dismissed the charge, citing faulty instructions to a grand jury. A second grand jury declined to indict Haste. Haste remains employed with the department and assigned to administrative duties.

Officer: Paul Robert Carrier Jr.
Department: Humboldt Police Department (Tennessee)
Outcome: Convicted
Carrier shot and killed Roy Glenn Jr., 29, who was unarmed, in 2009 after a traffic stop led to a brief foot chase in Humboldt, Tenn. Carrier had stopped the car Glenn was driving after it sped out of a parking lot, squealing its tires. Glenn ran and Carrier chased after him with his gun drawn and fired a warning shot, records show. Carrier fired the gun again, striking Glenn in the back. The officer later told investigators that the shooting was unintentional: “”I slipped. I think I slipped on some gravel or something in the alley. I heard the shot go off. The guy said, ‘I’ve been shot.’ I freaked out and got down to check on him.”” Carrier was convicted by a jury of felony reckless homicide and served six months of a two-year prison sentence.


Larry Norman (Northwest Arkansas Times)

Officer: Larry P. Norman
Department: Arkansas State Police
Outcome: Plea
Norman shot and killed 21-year-old Joseph Erin Hamley in 2006 as Hamley laid on his back along a highway near Tontitown, Ark. Hamley, who had cerebral palsy, was walking along the highway when officers approached him and ordered him to the ground, according to news reports. Norman told investigators that he mistakenly thought Hamley was an escaped fugitive and that when Hamley moved his arm he fired his shotgun, which hit the pavement and struck Hamley in the chest, reports show. In court, Norman said, “I mistook this young man’s actions as threatening toward me and the other officers and I made the mistake of acting on this misunderstanding, sir,” according to an account by the Associated Press. Norman pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor negligent homicide and was sentenced to probation, community service and 90 days in jail, news reports show. Norman’s attorney declined to comment.


Troy Meade reacts after being found not guilty in 2010. ( John Lok/ Seattle Times/AP)

Officer: Troy Meade
Department: Everett Police Deparment (Washington)
Outcome: Not convicted
Meade shot and killed Niles Meservey, 51, in 2009 as the unarmed man sat in his Corvette outside a restaurant in Everett, Wash. Police had been called to the restaurant because Meservey was suspected of being intoxicated and was about to drive away. When officers arrived they parked behind Meservey’s vehicle with their patrol car to prevent him from leaving, according to court documents. Meade used his Taser on Meservey and Meservey’s vehicle lurched forward over a curb. Meade shot him seven times, including in the back, records show. Meade was acquitted by a jury of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder. Meade’s attorney, David Allen, told The Post that the officer acted in self-defense: “The guy put the car in reverse, and my client thought he was going to get run over, so he fired shots,” Allen said.

Officer: Torrey Thompson
Department: Dekalb County Police Department (Georgia)
Outcome: Not convicted
Thompson shot and killed Lorenzo Matthews, 21, in 2006 as the unarmed man attempted to run from officers in DeKalb County, Ga., according to news reports. Deputies had sought Matthews for questioning about an armed robbery. Thompson’s attorney Bill Atkins told The Post that the officer saw a dark object that he believed to be a gun and opened fire. Thompson was indicted on felony murder and other charges. In 2011, prosecutors dismissed the charges, saying they had insufficient evidence to pursue it, news reports indicated.

Officer: Levi Deron Randolph
Department: Gary Police Department (Indiana)
Outcome: Not convicted
Randolph shot and killed 16-year-old Vincent Smith Jr. in 2006 as the teenager fled from an abandoned home in Gary, Ind. Smith, who was burglarizing the home, jumped a fence as he ran from police. Randolph opened fire, striking him once behind his left ear, according to court records. Randolph told investigators that he shot Smith because he believed the teenager was reaching for a gun in the pocket of his hoodie. Smith was unarmed when he was shot, but a knife was found nearby. Randolph was acquitted by a jury on a charge of felony reckless homicide. Randolph could not be reached for comment. As part of a civil suit, he said in a deposition: “I fear [sic] for my life that he was going for a weapon.”

Johannes Mehserle in court. (Cathleen Allison/AP) Johannes Mehserle in court. (Cathleen Allison/AP)

Officer: Johannes Mehserle
Department: BART Police Department (California)
Outcome: Convicted
Mehserle fatally shot Oscar Grant III in 2009 in the back while Grant, who was unarmed, was detained by police at a transit station in Oakland, Calif. Mehserle told investigators that he mistook his gun for his Taser when he shot the 22-year-old, according to Mehserle’s attorney Michael Rains. “He was using thumb movements to pull, activate and fire a Taser, different movements than to draw and shoot a firearm, but ended up, like eight other officers before him, pulling a gun instead of the intended Taser,” Rains told The Post. Mehserle was convicted by a jury on charges of felony involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in county jail.

Officer: Jody Ledoux
Department: West Monroe Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Pending
Ledoux is accused of fatally shooting Raymond Martinez in December as the 51-year-old reached for a cellphone inside a newspaper vending machine in West Monroe, La. Ledoux had been called to a convenience store about Martinez, who was homeless and intoxicated. When Martinez reached for the phone, Ledoux fired four times, striking Martinez twice, prosecutors said. Martinez was unarmed. Ledoux was charged with felony negligent homicide. A trial date has not been scheduled. Neither Ledoux nor his attorney returned requests for comment.

Officer: Ivan E. Lawyer
Department: Colorado State Patrol
Outcome: Not convicted
Lawyer shot and killed 31-year-old Jason Kemp, who was unarmed, after police were called to his Grand Junction, Colo., home in 2010 by a neighbor who complained that Kemp’s Jet Ski had fallen into his yard. Police kicked in Kemp’s door, and Lawyer shot the unarmed man in the chest, records show. The officer mistook Kemp’s silver braclet for a gun, according to his attorney, Malcolm Seawell. “The door flies open and my client sees what appears to be a gun and he fears he’s going to be killed, and he acts on the apprehension of that and shoots and kills Kemp,” Seawell told The Post. “He made an honest and tragic mistake.” Lawyer was acquited by a jury of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, and other charges.

New Orleans Police Sgt. Kenneth Bowen and other officers arrive at the city jail in 2007. (Chuck Burton/AP) New Orleans Police Sgt. Kenneth Bowen and other officers arrive at the city jail in 2007. (Chuck Burton/AP)

Officer: Kenneth Bowen
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Pending
Bowen is one of four officers accused of shooting 17-year-old James Brissette as the teenager walked across the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brissette was shot multiple times in the front and back, according to an autopsy report. Officers were responding to a report of a shooting in the area and that an officer was in danger. Bowen said he saw two people point guns at him as he sat in the passenger seat of the truck that brought officers to the bridge, according to his attorney, Robin Schulberg. Bowen said he kicked two guns off the bridge when the shooting stopped but the guns have not been found, Schulberg said. “He was a sitting duck,” Schulberg said of Bowen. Bowen was convicted on charges of federal conspiracy and civil rights violations in Brissette’s death, but a judge overturned the case and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors had disparaged the defense on social media and tainted the jury pool, records show. Bowen remains in prison while prosecutors have appealed the judge’s decision.
(This item has been updated to more accurately describe attorney Robin Schulberg’s comments to The Post.)

Former New Orleans police officer Robert Faulcon Jr. leaves the city jail in 2007. (Steve Kashishian/AP) Former New Orleans police officer Robert Faulcon Jr. leaves the city jail in 2007. (Steve Kashishian/AP)

Officer: Robert Faulcon
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Pending
Faulcon is accused of shooting 40-year-old Ronald Madison and is one of four officers accused of shooting 17-year-old James Brissette on the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Madison was shot in the back, according to court records, and Brissette was shot multiple times in the front and back, according to his autopsy report. Officers were responding to a report of a shooting in the area and that an officer was in danger. Faulcon was convicted on charges of federal conspiracy and civil rights violations in the deaths of Brissette and Madison, but a judge overturned the case and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors had disparaged the defense on social media and tainted the jury pool, records show. Faulcon remains in prison while prosecutors have appealed the judge’s decision.

Robert Gisevius Jr., left. (Steve Kashishian/AP) Robert Gisevius Jr., left. (Steve Kashishian/AP)

Officer: Robert Gisevius
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Pending
Gisevius is one of four officers accused of shooting 17-year-old James Brissette in the back as the teenager walked across the Danziger Bridge in New Orleans 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brissette was shot multiple times in the front and back, according to an autopsy report. Gisevius’s attorney, Eric Hessler, told The Post that the officer was riding in the back of a cargo truck, heard gunfire and jumped out believing that officers were “in the middle of a gunfight.” Gisevius was convicted on charges of federal conspiracy and civil rights violations in Brissette’s death, but a judge overturned the case and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors had disparaged the defense on social media and tainted the jury pool, records show. Gisevius remains in prison while prosecutors have appealed the judge’s decision.

Anthony Villavaso (Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office) Anthony Villavaso (Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office)

Officer: Anthony Villavaso
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Pending
Villavaso is one of four officers accused of shooting 17-year-old James Brissette in the back as the teenager walked across the Danziger Bridge in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Brissette was shot multiple times in the front and back, according to his autopsy report. Officers were responding to a report of a shooting in the area and that an officer was in danger. Villavaso was convicted on federal conspiracy and civil rights charges in Brissette’s death, but a judge overturned the case and ordered a new trial after finding that prosecutors had disparaged the defense on social media and tainted the jury pool, records show. Villavaso remains in prison while prosecutors have appealed the judge’s decision. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Officer Brian G. Massa. (McDonald County Sheriff’s Office via Joplin Globe) Officer Brian G. Massa. (McDonald County Sheriff’s Office via Joplin Globe)

Officer: Brian Geoffrey Massa
Department: Southwest City Police Department (Missouri)
Outcome: Convicted
Massa shot and killed Bobby Stacy, 26, in 2010 in McDonald County, Mo., when Stacy attempted to flee police after a traffic stop, news reports show. Massa shot Stacy, who was unarmed, in the head. The officer claimed that Stacy tried to run over him with the vehicle he was driving, reports said. Massa was convicted by a jury in 2011 of first-degree felony manslaughter. Massa’s attorney did not return requests for comment.

Officer: Joshua Colclough
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Convicted
Colclough fatally shot 20-year-old Wendell Allen during a drug raid at his home in 2012 in New Orleans, according to news reports. Colclough shot Allen, who was unarmed, once in the chest, reports indicate. Colclough pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter charges and was sentenced to four years in prison. Claude Schlesinger, who represents Colclough in a civil suit over the shooting, told The Post that the officer accepted responsibility for the incident and apologized to Allen’s family.

Officer: Bryon Vance Vassey
Department: Southport Police Department (North Carolina)
Outcome: Pending
Vassey shot and killed Keith Vidal, 18, who suffered from schizophrenia, after the teen’s mother called 911 to their Boiling Springs, N.C., home because Vidal had threatened her with a sharp object and would not take medication, according to news reports. Vassey’s attorney, James Payne, said the officer shot Vidal because the teenager attacked police. Vassey has been charged with felony voluntary manslaughter. A trial date has not been set.

Dominique Perez. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department via The Albuquerque Journal) Dominique Perez. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department via The Albuquerque Journal)

Officer: Dominique Perez
Department: Albuquerque Police Department (New Mexico)
Outcome: Pending
Perez is one of two officers accused of fatally shooting James Boyd, 38, a homeless man who was camping last year in the Sandia Mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Police confronted Boyd for illegal camping, which led to a four-hour standoff. When Boyd brandished a knife in each hand, police opened fire, with two officers each firing several times, according to the police records. Boyd was shot once in the back. Prosecutors charged Perez by information with an open count of murder. Perez’s attorney, Luis Robles, told The Post that the shooting was justified. “It was objectively reasonable under the circumstances,” Robles said. “Boyd was shot because he was about to stab the canine officer with knives.”

Keith Sandy. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department via The Albuquerque Journal) Keith Sandy. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department via The Albuquerque Journal)

Officer: Keith Sandy
Department: Albuquerque Police Department (New Mexico)
Outcome: Pending
Sandy is one of two officers accused of fatally shooting James Boyd, 38, a homeless man who was camping last year in the Sandia Mountains on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Police confronted Boyd for illegal camping, which led to a four-hour standoff. When Boyd brandished a knife in each hand, police opened fire, with two officers each firing several times, according to police records. Boyd was shot once in the back. Prosecutors charged Sandy by information with an open count of murder. Sandy told investigators that he was in fear for his life and the lives of his fellow officers. “He had the right to protect a fellow officer, and that’s what he did,” Sandy’s attorney, Sam Bregman, told The Post.

Richard Chrisman . (AP Photo/Phoenix Police Department) Richard Chrisman . (AP Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

Officer: Richard Chrisman
Department: Phoenix Police Department (Arizona)
Outcome: Convicted
Chrisman shot and killed Daniel Frank Rodriguez, 29, in 2010 after police were called to his mother’s mobile home in Phoenix to investigate a domestic dispute between Rodriguez and his mother, records show. Investigators said Chrisman held his service weapon to Rodriguez’s temple. As Rodriguez was attempting to leave on his bicycle, Chrisman shot him twice, according to a prosecutor and court records. Chrisman was convicted by a jury of felony aggravated assault in 2013 and pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter. He is serving a seven-year sentence. “As for my client’s defense, it has always been that Mr. Rodriguez, high on meth, was, in the close confines of that trailer, attempting to grab Chrisman’s gun,” his attorney, Craig Mehrens, told The Post.

Deputy Daniel Willis (Bastrop County Sherrif's Office) Deputy Daniel Willis (Bastrop County Sherrif’s Office)

Officer: Daniel Willis
Department: Bastrop County Sheriff’s Department (Texas)
Outcome: Pending
Willis is accused of fatally shooting Yvette Smith, 47, in 2014 on her porch in Bastrop, Tex. Deputies had been called to Smith’s home to investigate a domestic disturbance, according to news clips. Smith’s family told the Austin American-Statesman that she was unarmed. Willis was indicted by a grand jury on a felony murder charge. The case is pending. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Joseph Chavalia in court in August 2008. (AP Photo/Lima News, Kelli Cardinal) Joseph Chavalia in court in August 2008. (AP Photo/Lima News, Kelli Cardinal)

Officer: Joseph Chavalia
Department: Lima Police Department (Ohio)
Outcome: Not convicted
Chavalia shot and killed Tarika Wilson, 26, who was unarmed and holding her infant son at her home in 2008 in Lima, Ohio. Chavalia was part of a SWAT team conducting a drug raid at Wilson’s home. Prosecutors said that Chavalia opened fire in a bedroom where Wilson and her children had gathered, according to news reports. At trial, Chavalia testified that he thought his life was in danger, reports show. The jury acquitted the officer of misdemeanor negligent homicide and misdemeanor negligent assault. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Gregg Junnier in court in 2007. (John Bazemore/AP) Gregg Junnier in court in 2007. (John Bazemore/AP)

Officer: Gregg Junnier
Department: Atlanta Police Department (Georgia)
Outcome: Convicted
Junnier and another officer shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson in an attempted 2006 drug raid at her Atlanta home. As the two narcotics enforcement officers tried to enter her front door, Johnson fired a warning shot. The officers began shooting, firing 39 times total and striking Johnson repeatedly. The drug raid was based on information that the officers knew to be false, records show. Junnier was convicted of felony voluntary manslaughter and a federal civil rights violation and was sentenced to six years in federal prison. He was released in 2013. “This case was all about cops lying about probable cause to get a search warrant and then they made a double mistake and shot an innocent woman,” Junnier’s attorney, Wilmer Parker, told The Post. “As I told the court, he deeply regretted his actions.” Junnier declined to comment.

Jason Smith in court. (John Bazemore/AP) Jason Smith in court. (John Bazemore/AP)

Officer: Jason R. Smith
Department: Atlanta Police Department (Georgia)
Outcome: Convicted
Smith and another officer shot and killed 92-year-old Kathryn Johnson in an attempted 2006 drug raid at her Atlanta home. As the two narcotics enforcement officers tried to enter Johnson’s front door, she fired a warning shot. The officers began shooting, firing their guns 39 times total and striking Johnson repeatedly. The drug raid was based on information that the officers knew to be false, and after the shooting Smith planted marijuana in Johnson’s basement, records show. Smith was convicted of felony voluntary manslaughter and a federal civil rights violation and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. He is scheduled for release in 2016. Smith’s attorney, John Garland, told The Post that the former officer served in Bosnia and Iraq and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which “contributed to his poor decision making.”


Robert Lawlor outside Hartford Superior Court. (Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant)

Officer: Robert Lawlor
Department: Hartford Police Department (Connecticut)
Outcome: Not convicted
Lawlor killed 18-year-old Jashon Bryant, shooting the teenager twice in the back of the head in 2005 in Hartford, Conn. Lawlor approached the car Bryant was in because it matched the description of a vehicle used in a homicide, according to court testimony and Lawlor’s attorney. Lawlor told investigators that he opened fire because he thought Bryant had a gun and that his partner, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was in danger. But no gun was found, and the ATF agent testified that he was not in danger, records show. A jury acquitted Lawlor of felony first-degree manslaughter. Lawlor’s attorney, Michael Georgetti, told The Post that his client saw Bryant with a gun moments before the shooting and believed Bryant was reaching for the weapon when he opened fire. “He followed his training,” Georgetti said. Lawlor resigned from the department.

Marc Cooper arrives for his trial in 2008. (Ellis Kaplan-Pool/Getty Images) Marc Cooper arrives for his trial in 2008. (Ellis Kaplan-Pool/Getty Images)

Officer: Marc Cooper
Department: New York City Police Department
Outcome: Not convicted
Cooper was charged in the 2006 shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell, who was killed by police as he left his bachelor party at a New York City nightclub. Cooper and other officers told investigators that they were at the strip club investigating prostitution complaints when they overheard talk of a gun. When officers approached Bell and his friends in their car outside the club, Bell tried to drive away. Officers opened fire, shooting more than 50 times and fatally striking Bell. Officers told investigators that they believed Bell and his friends were returning fire, though all were unarmed. Cooper — who fired four shots, none of which struck Bell — was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony reckless endangerment. He was acquitted at a trial by judge in 2008.


Gescard Isnora leaves the courthouse in 2008. (Chip East/Reuters)

Officer: Gescard Isnora
Department: New York City Police Department
Outcome: Not convicted
Isnora was charged in the 2006 shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell, who was killed by police as he left his bachelor party at a New York City nightclub. Isnora and other officers told investigators that they were at the strip club investigating prostitution complaints when they overheard talk of a gun. When officers approached Bell and his friends in their car outside the club, Bell tried to drive away. Officers opened fire, shooting more than 50 times and fatally striking Bell. Officers later said they believed that Bell and his friends were returning fire, though all were unarmed. Isnora, who was the first to shoot, fired his gun 11 times, according to a ballistics report. The fatal bullet that struck Bell in the chest was fragmented, and experts could not determine who fired the fatal shot, the report shows. Isnora was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony assault, first- and second-degree manslaughter, and reckless endangerment. He was acquitted at a trial by judge in 2008. Isnora’s attorney, Philip E. Karasyk, told The Post that shattering glass from Bell’s car made it appear as if bullets were being fired from inside the car at the officers.

Michael Oliver arrives for trial (Ellis Kaplan/Getty Images) Michael Oliver arrives for trial (Ellis Kaplan/Getty Images)

Officer: Michael Oliver
Department: New York City Police Department
Outcome: Not convicted
Oliver was charged in the 2006 shooting of 23-year-old Sean Bell, who was killed by police as he left his bachelor party at a New York City nightclub. Oliver and other officers told investigators they were at the strip club investigating prostitution complaints when they overheard talk of a gun. As Bell and his friends got into their car to leave, officers approached them and Bell tried to flee in his car, records show. Officers opened fire, shooting more than 50 times and fatally striking Bell. Officers later said they believed that Bell and his friends were returning fire, though all were unarmed. Oliver fired 31 of the 50 shots, a ballistics report shows. The fatal bullet that struck Bell in the chest was fragmented, and experts could not determine who fired the fatal shot. Oliver was indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony assault, first- and second-degree manslaughter, and reckless endangerment. He was acquitted at a trial by judge in 2008. Oliver declined to comment, and calls seeking comment from his attorney were not returned.

Paul Bradley Rogers. (Courtesy of The Oklahoman) Paul Bradley Rogers. (Courtesy of The Oklahoman)

Officer: Paul Bradley Rogers
Department: Noble Police Department (Oklahoma)
Outcome: Not convicted
Rogers shot and killed 5-year-old Austin Haley in 2007 as the officer tried to shoot a snake out of a birdhouse in Noble, Okla. When Rogers shot at the snake in a tree, the bullet ricocheted and hit Austin in the back of his head as he fished nearby from a dock with his grandfather. Rogers was indicted on a felony second-degree manslaughter charge. He pleaded no contest to the charge and was placed on probation for two and a half years. The agreement allowed him to have his record sealed and the charges dismissed in 2013 after he successfully completed probation. Rogers could not be reached for comment, and messages left by The Post with his attorney seeking comment were not returned.

Officer: Stephen Merchant
Department: Colfax Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Convicted
Merchant shot 54-year-old Harold Phillips five times in the back as he tried to run from the officer in 2007 in Colfax, La. Merchant said he was in his patrol car when he saw Phillips assaulting a woman and stopped to investigate. After a brief foot chase, Merchant caught Phillips and began to handcuff him. Merchant told investigators that he shot Phillips because he resisted arrest and attempted to take his gun, court records show. However, prosecutors said that Merchant was in no danger and that he shot Phillips as he ran away from the officer. Merchant pleaded guilty in 2009 to felony manslaughter charges and was sentenced to five years in state prison. He was released last year. Messages left for Merchant and his attorney seeking comment were not returned.


Randy Harrison. (AP Photo/Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, File)

Officer: Randy “Trent” Harrison
Department: Del City Police (Oklahoma)
Outcome: Convicted
Harrison shot and killed 18-year-old Dane Scott Jr. in 2012 as he ran from police through a vacant lot filled with weeds in an Oklahoma City suburb. Scott was under surveillance for selling drugs. Harrison told investigators that seconds before, he
seized a gun from Scott and thought the suspect was reaching into his pants for a second gun when he shot him. But two officers at the scene testified that Scott didn’t have a weapon at the time he was shot and posed no danger. Harrison was convicted by a jury on a felony charge of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to four years in state prison. He is scheduled for release in 2016. Harrison’s attorney, Doug Friesen, told The Post that when his client shot Scott “his hand was inside his right pants pocket. He thought he was going for a gun.”

Josh Hastings.. (AP Photo/Little Rock Police Department) Josh Hastings.. (AP Photo/Little Rock Police Department)

Officer: Joshua Ryan Hastings
Department: Little Rock Police Department (Arkansas)
Outcome: Not convicted
Hastings shot and killed 15-year-old Bobby Moore Jr., who was driving in the parking lot of an apartment complex in 2012 in Little Rock. Hastings shot Moore through the windshield, striking him three times, including once in the head. The officer said he shot Moore, a car burglary suspect, because he attempted to strike the officer with the car. However, prosecutors said the evidence showed the car was moving in reverse or stopped several feet away from Hastings when the officer opened fire. Hastings was charged with felony manslaughter and went to trial in 2013. Juries were unable to reach a verdict twice. Prosecutors decided not to pursue a third trial and dropped the criminal charges. Hastings’s attorney, Bill James, told The Post: “The car was stolen, there were drugs and a gun in the car … he thought [Moore] was going to run him over.”

Randall Kerrick. (AP Photo/Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office) Randall Kerrick. (AP Photo/Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office)

Officer: Randall Kerrick
Department: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (North Carolina)
Outcome: Pending
Kerrick is accused of fatally shooting Jonathan Ferrell, 24, who approached police after he crashed his vehicle in a wooded area of Charlotte in 2013. Prosecutors said Ferrell, who was unarmed, was seeking help after his accident. Officers had been dispatched to the area in response to a 911 call from a woman who thought Ferrell was trying to rob her when he banged on the door of her house. As Ferrell approached officers, Kerrick shot him 10 times, court records show. Kerrick’s attorney, Michael Green, told The Post that Ferrell failed to respond to commands to show his hands and to respond to commands to “get on the ground.” The officer faces felony voluntary manslaughter charges and is scheduled for trial in July.

Officer: Steven Randall Julian
Department: Missouri Department of Corrections
Outcome: Not convicted
Julian shot and killed 23-year-old Zachary Snyder, who was unarmed, as the officer attempted to arrest Snyder in 2008 on a parole violation in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Julian told investigators that Snyder appeared to be complying and placed his hands on the officer’s vehicle but then abruptly spun around. Julian said he thought Snyder was going to attack him and that he might be armed. Julian shot Snyder once in the back, and the bullet tore through Snyder’s right lung and the “root of the aorta,” according to the autopsy. The officer was acquitted by a jury of felony involuntary manslaughter charges. Julian’s attorney, Stephen Wilson, told The Post that prosecutors had an eyewitness who made “some claims that the jury didn’t find credible. They found Mr. Julian’s testimony credible. He was defending himself.”


Shaun Cowley. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Officer: Shaun Cowley
Department: West Valley City Police Department (Utah)
Outcome: Not convicted
Cowley fatally shot 21-year-old Danielle Willard in 2012 as she attempted to drive out of an apartment complex in West Valley City, Utah. Cowley, who was conducting drug surveillance and was not in uniform, told investigators that he ordered Willard from her car and she didn’t comply. The officer said she reversed her car toward him and that he opened fire. Prosecutors said evidence showed he shot her in the top of her head as he stood to the side of her car, not behind it. Cowley was charged with second-degree felony manslaughter. In October, a judge dismissed the charge against Cowley, noting that a witness for the prosecution said Cowley could assume that Willard “was attempting to kill him,” court records show. At a news conference, Cowley said: “I knew what happened that day. I knew I was justified.”

Antonio Taharka. (Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News) Antonio Taharka. (Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News)

Officer: Antonio Franklin Taharka
Department: Savannah-Chatham Metro Police (Atlanta)
Outcome: Plea
Taharka fatally shot Anthony Smashum in 2007 as the 41-year-old climbed a chain-link fence to the back yard of a Savannah home to avoid being arrested on a warrant for a probation violation. Smashum, who was unarmed, was shot in the leg and the back. Taharka told other officers at the scene that he thought Smashum may have been armed but that he did not see a weapon, police records show. A grand jury indicted Taharka on charges of felony voluntary manslaughter, alleging that the officer caused Smashum’s death “while acting solely as the result of a sudden, violent and irresistible passion,” records show. In 2009, Taharka entered a guilty plea to felony involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to three months in jail, nine months of house arrest and nine years of probation. No conviction was imposed, and if he successfully completes probation he may petition the court to have the charge dismissed. Messages left by The Post for Taharka and his attorneys were not returned.


Jay Morningstar. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)

Officer: Jay Morningstar
Department: Michigan State Police
Outcome: Not convicted
Morningstar shot and killed 40-year-old Eric Williams outside a Detroit bar in 2005 as the unarmed homeless man argued with another person. In an interview with The Post and in a statement he gave to investigators at the time, Morningstar said that he told Williams to remove his hand from his jacket but that he failed to do so. He said he shot Williams once in the chest because he believed that Williams had a gun. Prosecutors charged Morningstar with felony second-degree murder and felony manslaughter, alleging that Williams posed no threat. A jury acquitted Morningstar of the charges, and he continues to work as a Michigan state trooper. In an interview with The Post, Morningstar said it wasn’t until after he shot Williams that he learned the man had no gun. “After I shot him, I reached to grab his right hand out of his pocket. He had a folded dollar bill in his hand,”” Morningstar said. “”That was the first moment, when I was like, ‘Oh my God, he doesn’t have a gun in his hand.’ ”

David Warren. (Jonathan Bachman/AP) David Warren. (Jonathan Bachman/AP)

Officer: David Warren
Department: New Orleans Police Department (Louisiana)
Outcome: Not convicted
Warren shot and killed 31-year-old Henry Glover in 2005 when Glover went to a shopping mall in New Orleans to retrieve looted items in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Warren, who was working at a makeshift police station at the mall, told investigators that he shot at Glover because he thought he was armed and because Glover was trying to break into the mall where Warren was working alone. Warren was indicted in 2010 on federal weapons and civil rights charges, following investigative stories by reporters with ProPublica and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. After the shooting, Glover’s body was burned by other officers in an attempt to cover up the shooting. A jury found Warren guilty of the federal charges, and he was sentenced to 25 years and nine months in prison. His attorneys successfully appealed, saying he was not part of the coverup and should not have been tried with the other officers. He was acquitted in 2011 during his second trial, having already spent three years in prison. Warren’s attorney, Julian Murray, told The Post that his client was defending himself. “You have to keep in mind, this was right after Katrina. Police were getting shot. There was no law and order. [Glover and another man] pulled up in a Firestone truck that was clearly stolen. These two fellows get out and started running for him. He was alone, and they could have killed him.”


Joseph Weekley. (William Archie/Detroit Free Press)

Officer: Joseph Weekley
Department: Detroit Police Department (Michigan)
Outcome: Not convicted
Weekley fatally shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in the head in 2010 as she slept on her grandmother’s couch in Detroit. Weekley, a member of the Detroit Police Department’s SWAT team, had entered the home in search of a man wanted for murder. Weekley was indicted on a felony manslaughter charge and a charge of misdemeanor careless use of a firearm causing death. The officer testified at his trial, telling jurors that the girl’s grandmother “hit” his MP5, a submachine gun, which caused his finger to pull the trigger and the gun to discharge. The grandmother testified in court that she did not touch the gun. The trial ended when jurors could not reach a verdict on the two charges. In a retrial, a judge dismissed the felony charge and jurors could not reach a verdict on the misdemeanor. Prosecutors then decided to drop the misdemeanor charge. Weekley’s attorney, Steve Fishman, told The Post: “Officer Weekley is a perfect example of what you would want in a police officer; 15 years on the job without a single complaint. A tragedy occurred, and it was not his fault.” Weekley remains with the department.


James Bonard Fowler in court before a hearing. (Dave Martin/AP)

Officer: James Bonard Fowler
Department: Alabama State Police
Outcome: Convicted
Fowler, a retired Alabama state trooper, pleaded guilty in 2007 to a misdemeanor manslaughter charge in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson in 1965. Jackson was shot twice in the stomach after participating in a peaceful voting rights march in Marion, Ala. Jackson’s death triggered the first of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches for voting rights. Two grand juries in the 1960s declined to indict Fowler. But in 2004, he told a reporter at the Anniston Star newspaper that he killed Jackson, saying he believed that Jackson was trying to grab his gun and that he had acted in self-defense. This time, prosecutors secured a murder indictment. Fowler pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced to six months in state prison, records show. He was released early because of health problems. Fowler could not be reached for comment, and his attorney declined to comment.

Justin Gregory Craven. (Edgefield County Detention Center) Justin Gregory Craven. (Edgefield County Detention Center)

Officer: Justin Craven
Department: North Augusta Police Department (South Carolina)
Outcome: Pending
Craven shot Ernest Satterwhite four times in 2014 as the 68-year-old sat in the driver’s seat of his car in front of his home in Trenton, S.C. The fatal shooting followed a 15-mile pursuit that ended when Satterwhite, who was suspected of drunken driving, pulled into his driveway. Prosecutors said that a video recording of the incident shows that Craven ran up to the car and fired shots through the car door when Satterwhite no longer posed a danger, records show. Craven’s attorney, Jack Swirling, told The Post that Satterwhite was trying to grab the officer’s gun and that Craven was defending himself when he fired the shots. A grand jury indicted Craven in 2014 on a misdemeanor charge of misconduct in office. This month, after a state investigation into the incident, Craven was charged with a felony count of discharging a gun into an occupied vehicle. A trial date has not been scheduled, and the North Augusta officer has been reassigned to the city’s building standards department. Swirling told The Post that the video supports Craven’s assertion that Satterwhite was a threat and was reaching for the officer’s gun: “You can see him reaching out of the car; grabbing at the officer. … He grabs onto his arm.”


Coleman Brackney makes his way to the Benton County Courthouse in 2010. (Northwest Arkansas Newspapers)

Officer: Coleman “Duke” Brackney
Department: Bella Vista Police Department (Arkansas)
Outcome: Plea
Brackney fatally shot 47-year-old James Ahern five times — four times in the back — after a high-speed chase in 2010 in Bella Vista, Ark. Brackney said that he fired at Ahern because the suspect was trying to run him over. Prosecutors said a video, recorded by a dashcam on Brackney’s police cruiser, showed otherwise. Brackney was charged with felony manslaughter. In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide. No conviction was imposed, and if Brackney successfully completes the terms of his probation, he may request to have his record sealed and the criminal charge expunged. The Bella Vista department fired him after the shooting. In 2013, Brackney was hired as the police chief of nearby Sulphur Springs, Ark. Brackney told The Post that he fired because he thought Ahern was going to run him down. “I thought he was going to kill me,” Brackney said.

Officer: Timothy Robertson
Department: Darlington County Sheriff’s Department (South Carolina)
Outcome: Not convicted
Robertson fatally shot 45-year-old William Sheffield in the back four times in 2005 in Society Hill, S.C., during an attempted arrest on two warrants for grand larceny. Prosecutors said the autopsy and ballistics reports showed that Sheffield was trying to get away from the deputy and posed no danger. In an interview with The Post, Robertson said he feared for his life as Sheffield, an ex-convict, resisted arrest and twice grabbed for his gun. In 2006, a jury found Robertson not guilty of murder. He retired from the department, but, as a reserve deputy, he provides firearms and use-of-force training to officers there. Robertson said he never should have been charged: “I’ve spent more time investigating property crimes than they did investigating this. It was a witch hunt.”

New York City rookie police officer Peter Liang in court in February. (Mary Altaffer/AP) New York City rookie police officer Peter Liang in court in February. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Officer: Peter Liang
Department: New York City Police Department
Outcome: Pending
Liang shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley, who was unarmed, in the stairwell of a public housing complex in Brooklyn last year. Prosecutors said Liang entered the stairwell with his gun in his left hand and a flashlight in the right. As he pushed the door open with his right shoulder, he turned to his left and fired a single shot, prosecutors said. They asserted that Liang ignored his training to hold his gun with his finger outside the trigger guard. Police officials said that the fatal shooting occurred while Liang was on a routine patrol and that Gurley was not engaged in any criminal activity. The New York City medical examiner’s office said the “”cause of death is gunshot wound to torso. The manner of death is homicide.”” Liang was indicted on six charges, including felony second-degree manslaughter. No trial date has been scheduled. Liang’s attorney, Stephen Worth, told The Post that the shooting was “an accident.”

Officer: Daniel Harmon-Wright
Department: Culpeper Police Department (Virginia)
Outcome: Convicted
Harmon-Wright fatally shot 54-year-old Patricia Cook in 2012 as the unarmed woman sat in her vehicle in Culpeper, Va. Before the shooting, the officer had confronted Cook about trespassing at a private school. Harmon-Wright told investigators that Cook rolled his hand up in the window of her Jeep Wrangler and started to drive away. He said he feared for his life and shot Cook four times. Prosecutors called into question whether his hand was caught in the window and said he was not in danger at the time of shooting. Harmon-Wright was fired from the department. In 2013, a jury found him guilty of three felonies — voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and unlawful shooting into an occupied vehicle. He received a three-year sentence and is serving time in the Culpeper County jail. He is scheduled for release in August. Harmon-Wright’s attorney, Daniel L. Hawes, told The Post: “The reason he felt he had to shoot? This lady tried to kill him, and she was driving down the street with a sunshade covering her window and may have killed someone else. She was a threat to him and to the community.”

Officer: Patrick Tuter
Department: Garland Police Department (Texas)
Outcome: Pending
Tuter is accused of firing 41 shots and killing Michael Vincent Allen, 25, after a high-speed chase in Mesquite, Tex., in 2012. Tuter’s attorney, Robert Rogers, said in an interview with The Post that at the end of the chase, Tuter’s patrol car and Allen’s pickup truck were locked together, Allen was accelerating and Tuter thought Allen was reaching for a gun. Both men were in their vehicles when the shooting took place. Prosecutors said Allen was unarmed and posed no threat at the time of the shooting. A grand jury indicted Tuter in 2013 on a felony manslaughter charge, records show. No trial date has been scheduled. The Garland Police Department said Tuter has been fired. Rogers said that his client now operates a lawn maintenance business. He said that in Tuter’s mind, “[Allen] was a fleeing felon who had put officers and citizens in danger and was continuing to do so.”

Officer: Chad Walder
Department: New Jersey State Park Police
Outcome: Not convicted
Walder fatally shot 45-year-old Emil Mann in 2006 near Ringwood State Park after a confrontation with Mann and his family, who had been illegally riding all-terrain vehicles in the park. Walder, a New Jersey State Park Police officer, told investigators that his partner was attacked by someone who was riding with Mann and that as Walder rushed to her aid, Mann confronted him, according to police records. Walder said he shot Mann, who was unarmed, to defend himself and so he could reach his partner. A jury found Walder not guilty of a felony reckless homicide charge in 2009. He retired from the department. Walder’s attorney, Robert Galantucci, described the encounter an “ambush” in which Mann was forced to defend himself. “He was surrounded, and they were banging her head against the ATV. She was convinced that she was going to be killed if she didn’t get help,” Galantucci said.


Richard Combs in court in January. (Larry Hardy/The Times and Democrat/Reuters)

Officer: Richard J. Combs
Department: Eutawville Police Department (South Carolina)
Outcome: Pending
Combs fired three shots at Bernard Bailey, killing the 54-year-old as he sat in his truck outside the town hall in Eutawville, S.C., in 2011. The confrontation began inside the town hall when Combs tried to arrest Bailey on a warrant for obstruction of justice. A month earlier, Combs had stopped Bailey’s daughter because her car had a broken taillight and the father had protested the citation, records show. Outside the town hall, Combs said that Bailey shifted his truck into reverse and that he thought Bailey was going to run over him. Combs shot Bailey twice in the chest and once in the shoulder, according to the autopsy report. In 2013, Combs was indicted on a felony murder charge and a misdemeanor misconduct in office charge. A mistrial was declared this year after the jury deadlocked. A new trial has not been scheduled. Combs’s attorney, John O’Leary, told The Post that Combs was reaching inside the truck and “he’s trying to handcuff him. That’s when the truck backed up. He dropped the cuffs and fired two shots and a third as he’s going down.”


Lisa Mearkle in March. (AP/PennLive.com, Mark Pynes)

Officer: Lisa Mearkle
Department: Hummelstown Police Department (Pennsyvlavnia)
Outcome: Pending
Mearkle is charged with killing David Kassick, 59, who was shot twice in the back in February as he lay face-down in the snow in Hummelstown, Pa. Mearkle tried to pull over Kassick’s car for an expired inspection tag. Kassick sped off, jumped out of the car and ran until Mearkle used a stun gun to stop him, according to police records. Mearkle told investigators that Kassick failed to show his hands and was reaching toward his waist, where she thought he may have had a gun. Prosecutors said that a video, captured by a camera on her stun gun, was the critical evidence that led to Mearkle’s indictment on a felony homicide charge. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 20 to determine whether she will face trial. Neither she nor her attorney responded to requests for comment.

Officer: Nancy Regina Cummings
Department: Alexander Police Department (Arkansas)
Outcome: Not convicted
Cummings fatally shot 30-year-old Carleton J. Wallace in 2013 after she encountered him as he walked along a street in Alexander, Ark., with a pistol tucked into his shorts. Cummings told investigators that she saw Wallace while she was on patrol and ordered him to put his hands up. Instead, Wallace pulled the pistol out and pointed it at her, Cummings and eyewitnesses said. When she ordered him to drop the pistol, he threw it into the woods, records show. Cummings told investigators that as she tried to handcuff Wallace, they struggled and the gun accidentally fired. The shot struck Wallace once in the back, tearing through his right lung, the autopsy showed. A jury acquitted Cummings of felony manslaughter in 2013. Cummings’s attorney, Bill James, said his client was handcuffing Wallace, he was resisting arrest, and “he jerked on her and the gun goes off. It was an accidental discharge.”

Officer: Walter Grant
Department: Bolivar County Sheriff’s Office (Mississippi)
Outcome: Pending
Grant shot and killed 20-year-old Willie Lee Bingham, who was suspected of breaking into cars in an automobile equipment plant parking lot in Cleveland, Miss., in 2013. Grant gave chase to Bingham and a group of men in a blue Grand Marquis. The car stalled near a cotton field, and Bingham jumped out and ran toward the field. Grant caught up with him and shot him once in the back of the head, killing him, according to autopsy and investigative reports. Grant told investigators that he thought Bingham had a gun, but no firearm was recovered. A wooden baton was found near Bingham’s body, and in a pending civil lawsuit, Grant is accused of putting it there, records show. Grant was indicted by a grand jury in March on a felony manslaughter charge, records show. Grant’s attorney, Azki Shah, told The Post, “Mr. Grant has mantained his innocence.” The case is pending.

Michael Slager. (North Charleston Police Department/AP) Michael Slager. (North Charleston Police Department/AP)

Officer: Michael T. Slager
Department: North Charleston Police Department (South Carolina)
Outcome: Pending
Slager fatally shot Walter Scott in the back in North Charleston, S.C., as the 50-year-old ran from the officer after a traffic stop for a broken taillight on April 4, records show. Slager was arrested on a murder charge three days later, after an eyewitness turned over a cellphone video recording of the incident to Scott’s family. The video shows Scott trying to get away from the officer, with his back toward him as Slager fired eight shots. Slager appeared to be 15 to 20 feet from Scott, who appeared to be unarmed, when the shots were fired. Slager told investigators that Scott had taken his stun gun. In the video, Slager appeared to drop an object beside Scott, but it is unclear what it was. A lawyer for the Scott family said they believe Scott ran because he was afraid he would be arrested over back child support payments. The FBI is investigating the shooting along with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Slager could not be reached for comment, and his attorney declined to comment on the case, saying he has not yet received any “investigative documents, audio or video tapes, other than a copy of Mr. Slager’s arrest warrant” and is, therefore, not in a place to make any statements about the case. The Charleston County coroner’s office has not released the autopsy report, but it said in a statement that Scott “sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the back of his body and the manner of death was ruled ‘Homicide.’