All involve the deaths of people of color, migrants or indigenous people during interactions with police or prison guards. Here are some of their stories:
Mark Duggan, 29, London, Aug. 4, 2011
Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old black man, was shot dead by a Metropolitan Police officer identified as V53 in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham during an attempted arrest. His death touched off riots that spread across the capital and then to other parts of England in the worst outbreak of social unrest Britain had experienced in several decades.
Images of smashed store windows and double-decker buses aflame stunned Britain a year before the London Olympics. Police reported several thousand arrests and five deaths.
Police said officers believed Duggan had a gun and that they acted in self-defense. His family accused the police of executing him. Jurors at an inquiry in 2014 found that Duggan was unarmed when he was shot but had been killed lawfully. Duggan’s family last year reached a confidential settlement with the police; the police did not admit liability.
In London over the weekend, protesters carried placards with Duggan’s name and chanted, “Who killed Mark Duggan? The police killed Mark Duggan.”
David Dungay Jr., 26,
Sydney, Dec. 29, 2015
When demonstrators in Australia held signs reading “I can’t breathe” over the weekend, they were invoking not only Floyd but also David Dungay Jr., who screamed the phrase at least 12 times as he was pinned down by five prison guards at a Sydney jail. The 26-year-old indigenous man had diabetes and schizophrenia; guards stormed his cell and dragged him to another after he refused to stop eating a pack of biscuits. They said they were concerned about his blood sugar levels. An hour later, he was dead.
As in the killing of Floyd, Dungay’s last moments were captured on video. At one point, a nurse administers him a sedative. At another, a guard tells Dungay: “If you’re talking, you can breathe.” The deputy coroner of New South Wales found last year that Dungay “did not pose a security risk” and that his cell transfer was unnecessary, according to the Guardian.
But he also said the guards should not be disciplined, citing “systemic efficiencies in training” and no evidence of “malicious intent.” Dungay’s family wants prosecutors to investigate whether charges could be brought against the guards.
Dungay’s death reignited long-simmering anger about the mistreatment of indigenous Australians, their overrepresentation in the country’s prison population and their deaths in custody — the subject of a royal commission in 1991. Dungay’s mother, Leetona, marched in Sydney over the weekend in a T-shirt with her son’s face and his last words. Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested Australians were “importing” problems from other countries. Duggan’s sister, Christine, had a message for Morrison: “Until we get justice, brother, you are not going to get any peace,” she told Australia’s “Today” show.
Oury Jalloh, 36,
Dessau, Germany, Jan. 7, 2005
Oury Jalloh, an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, burned to death in a police cell in the eastern German town of Dessau in 2005. The hands and feet of his charred corpse were still shackled to the bed frame. The 36-year-old, whose asylum claim had been rejected, had been arrested for allegedly harassing women.
Police said Jalloh died by suicide after setting the fire-retardant mattress alight with a lighter that officers did not find during a strip search. Critics accuse the police of a coverup. A melted lighter not found in the initial search of the cell and containing no traces of Jalloh’s DNA was entered into evidence several days after his death. Police said it was found under his body, and was not visible in video evidence from the cell.
Two officers were acquitted of charges in Jalloh’s death in 2008. A higher court four years later convicted one officer of involuntary manslaughter and fined him roughly $12,000 after he admitted to ignoring a fire alarm. Prosecutors closed the case in 2017, citing a lack of evidence. A medical report commissioned by activists last year indicated Jalloh had been beaten before he died.
“Murders by police officers are simply categorically ruled out,” the advocacy group Break the Silence said last week. A protest is scheduled on Thursday outside the police station in Dessau.
Regis Korchinski-Paquet, 29,
Toronto, May 27, 2020
Protesters in Canada are demanding answers in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Afro-indigenous woman who died after falling 24 stories from the balcony of her Toronto apartment while police were inside. Family members have asked whether the officers played a role in her death; it’s being investigated by Ontario’s police watchdog.
The events leading to the death of the gymnast and church volunteer are murky. According to the family’s lawyer, Korchinski-Paquet’s mother called police to the apartment after a family dispute and pleaded with them to take her to a psychiatric hospital. Korchinski-Paquet spoke with officers in the hallway, the lawyer said, and then asked to use the bathroom. She was escorted inside by officers who blocked her family from following, the lawyer said. After several minutes, her family heard a ruckus and cries of “Mom, help!” They later learned she had fallen and was dead.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders decried what he called “misinformation” and “lies” about the incident on social media, and called on people to wait for the watchdog to complete its investigation. The family said last week that it would postpone speaking with the oversight body, citing concerns about police leaks to the media.
Korchinski-Paquet’s death has sparked protests in several Canadian cities, including Toronto, where a 2018 report found that black people are more likely than their white counterparts to be injured or killed by police. Artists painted murals of Korchinski-Paquet and Floyd — who died two days apart, both calling for their mothers — in Toronto’s “Graffiti Alley.” Saunders on Monday announced his resignation as police chief, effective July 31; he did not say why.
Giovanni López, 30,
Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, Mexico, May 4, 2020
Giovanni López, a 30-year-old construction worker, was arrested on May 4 in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, a town outside Guadalajara. His family and activists said it was because he wasn’t wearing a face mask. State officials said he was accused of a minor charge of disturbing the peace or resisting arrest. He was declared dead the next day with traumatic brain injury, according to Mexican media.
Protests erupted in Guadalajara last week after video emerged of police shoving López into a patrol truck. His death highlighted widespread police brutality in Mexico, where activists say officers often torture detainees but are rarely found guilty of abuse. Enrique Alfaro, the governor of Jalisco state, said Saturday that three officers had been detained in the killing and that state authorities had taken control of the local police department.
López’s death has prompted a wave of online outrage, with the hashtag #JusticiaParaGiovanni and comparisons to Floyd’s death. Celebrities including Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and actress Salma Hayek have joined the campaign protesting the death. The protests in Guadalajara turned violent, with participants breaking windows and setting fire to police vehicles.
Adama Traoré, 24, Beaumont-sur-Oise, France, July 19, 2016
Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old construction worker, died in the Paris suburb of Beaumont-sur-Oise while out celebrating his birthday. Traoré’s family has sought to hold the police accountable for his death in a country where activists say police brutality against black and Arab citizens is common but struggles to hold the kind of public attention that has developed in the United States.
Traoré had been taken into police custody for fleeing an identity check. Police were accused of jumping on his back and suffocating him. Medical experts have come to different conclusions about whether a potential underlying condition or the manner in which he was restrained led to his death, according to the Reuters news agency.
His family launched the “Justice for Adama” movement to keep public attention on his case. Protesters have underscored the parallels between his death and Floyd’s, carrying signs with both men’s names and the words “I can’t breathe.” After days of protests, the French government on Monday banned police from using chokeholds to detain suspects.
“Today, when we fight for George Floyd, we fight for Adama Traoré,” his sister, Assa Traoré, said at a demonstration in Paris last week.
An earlier version of this article misstated the date on which Adama Traoré died. It was July 19, 2016, not July 16.
Coletta reported from Toronto. Loveday Morris in Berlin and Mary Beth Sheridan in Mexico City contributed to this report.