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Even as the Derek Chauvin case was fresh in memory — the reading of the verdict in a Minneapolis courtroom, the shackling of the former police officer, the jubilation at what many saw as justice in the death of George Floyd — even then, blood flowed on America’s streets.

And even then, some of that blood was shed at the hands of law enforcement.

At least six people were fatally shot by officers across the United States in the 24 hours after jurors reached a verdict in the murder case against Chauvin on Tuesday. The roll call of the dead is distressing:

A 16-year-old girl in Columbus, Ohio.

An oft-arrested man in Escondido, California.

A 42-year-old man in eastern North Carolina.

The deaths, in some cases, sparked new cries for justice. Some said they reflect an urgent need for radical changes to American policing — a need that the Chauvin verdict cannot paper over. For others, the shootings are a tragic reminder of the difficult and dangerous decisions law enforcement face daily.

An unidentified man in San Antonio.

Another man, killed in the same city within hours of the first.

A 31-year-old man in central Massachusetts.

The circumstances surrounding each death differ widely. Some happened while officers investigated serious crimes. Police say some of the people were armed with a gun, knife or a metal pole. One man claimed to have a bomb that he threatened to detonate. In several cases, little is known about the lives of those killed and what happened in their final moments.

The deadly encounters are only a small snapshot of the thousands of interactions between American police officers and civilians every day, most of which end safely. Uneventful encounters between the police and the populace, however, are not an issue.

It’s a very different story when a weapon is drawn and a life is ended.

___

A group of women from Colorado and North Carolina react while paying respects to George Floyd at a mural at George Floyd Square, Friday, April 23, 2021, in Minneapolis.


As the nation watched the judge read the verdict against Chavuin on Tuesday afternoon, an officer hundreds of miles away was listening over his patrol car radio in a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Minutes earlier, a colleague fatally shot a teenage girl.

Police had been called to the house after someone called 911 and reported being physically threatened. Body camera footage shows an officer approaching a group of people in the driveway as the teenager, Ma’Khia Bryant, swings a knife wildly. Moments later, the girl charges at a young woman pinned against a car.

The officer fires four shots before Bryant slumps to the ground. A black-handled blade, similar to a kitchen or steak knife, lies on the sidewalk next to her.

“You didn’t have to shoot her! She’s just a kid, man!” a man shouted at the officer.

The officer responds, “She had a knife. She just went at her.”

Later, an anguished neighbor yells at officers: “Do you see why Black lives matter? Do you get it now?”

Bryant, who was in foster care at the time, was a shy, quiet girl who liked making hair and dance videos on TikTok, her grandmother, Debra Wilcox, told The Associated Press. Her family says her actions that day were out of character.

“I don’t know what happened there unless she was fearful for her life,” Wilcox said.

Though officials have said Bryant’s death was a tragedy, they point to laws allowing police to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.

The officer’s actions were “an act of heroism” with tragic results, said the National Fraternal Order of Police president, “yet another demonstration of the impossible situations” police face.

___

Demonstrators take part in a protest in downtown Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday night, April 21, 2021, over the fatal shooting a day earlier by police of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. (Barbara J. Perenic/The Columbus 


About the same time the radio brought the news of Chauvin’s verdict to Columbus, two officers in San Antonio were confronting a man on a bus. Exactly how the encounter started remains unclear, but police say the unidentified man was armed. It ended with officers firing fatal shots.

Later that evening in the same city, authorities say a man killed a person working in a shed outside his home. As officers arrived, the suspect started shooting at police. They returned fired, killing him. Officials have not released his name.

___

As the nation digested the news from Minneapolis, the day wore on and daily life unspooled. In Worcester, Massachusetts, the night was punctuated by a standoff with police that ended in gunfire.

Phet Gouvonvong, 31, called 911 and claimed to have a bomb he threatened to set off, police said. Officers found him on the street. They said he was wearing body armor and had a backpack and what appeared to be a rifle.

A police SWAT team joined negotiators. One reached Gouvonvong by phone to try to calm him, officials say.

Around midnight, officials say, Gouvonvong moved toward police, and an officer opened fire.

Gouvonvong was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have not said whether he actually had an explosive device.

Gouvonvong had run-ins with police over the years, including a conviction for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, but an aunt said he turned his life around, the Telegram & Gazette newspaper reported.

On Thursday, his mother crumpled onto the street in tears where flowers had been laid at the site of his killing. Marie Gonzalez told the newspaper she had called police Tuesday night to try to connect with her son but they wouldn’t put her through. She believed she could have prevented it.

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“They had no right taking my son’s life,” she said. “They had no right.”

___

The next morning, as people in Minneapolis awakened to a city boarded up for unrest that never materialized, a 42-year-old Black man in eastern North Carolina was shot and killed when deputy sheriffs tried to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants.

An eyewitness has said Andrew Brown Jr. was shot dead in his car in Elizabeth City as he tried to drive away. A car authorities removed from the scene appeared to have multiple bullet holes and a shattered back window.

His slaying sparked an outcry as hundreds demanded the release of body camera footage. Seven deputies have been placed on leave.

Relatives described Brown as a doting father who always had a joke to tell. He also had a difficult life. His mother was killed when he was young, he was partially paralyzed on his right side by an accidental shooting and lost an eye in a stabbing, according to an aunt, Glenda Brown Thomas.

He also had troubles with the law, including a misdemeanor drug possession conviction and some pending felony drug charges. The day before he was killed, two arrest warrants were issued for him on drug-related charges including possession with intent to sell cocaine, court records show.

Officers have so far said little about why they fired, but his family is determined to get answers.

“The police didn’t have to shoot my baby,” said another aunt, Martha McCullen.

___

That same morning, police in Southern California got a call about someone hitting cars with a metal pole. The man ran off when police arrived, but another officer spotted him carrying a 2-foot metal pole in the street.

The white man charged at the officer, who ordered him to drop the pole before opening fire, police said.

Kirk Rivers leads a group of demonstrators as they block Ehringhaus Street, a main retail avenue in Elizabeth City, N.C., Friday, April 23, 2021, as they demand after a fatal shooting that body camera video be released by the Pasquotank Sheriff’s office. Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man from Elizabeth City, N.C., was shot to death Wednesday by one or more deputy sheriffs trying to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants

Police in Escondido, near San Diego, have not released the man’s name, but did say he had been arrested nearly 200 times over the past two decades for violent assaults on police and the public, drug charges and other crimes. Efforts to get him help from mental health professionals hadn’t worked, the police chief said.

___

Whether any officers will face charges in these shootings remains to be seen.

Chauvin was largely convicted based on video that showed him pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Police shootings in a heated moment are notoriously difficult to prosecute. Juries have generally been reluctant to second-guess officers when they claim to have acted in life-or-death situations.

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s verdict, prosecutors on opposite coasts announced opposite decisions on whether to advance charges against law enforcement who killed.

A Florida prosecutor announced Wednesday he would not pursue charges against a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed two Black teenagers; a California prosecutor announced manslaughter and assault charges against a deputy in the eastern San Francisco Bay area in the shooting of an unarmed Filipino man.

None of these cases has focused attention like the trial that came to a conclusion Tuesday. Some people hold out hope that the Chauvin verdict might be a crucial juncture in the national conversation about race, policing and the use of force.

“We are in a moment of reckoning,” said Rachael Rollins, district attorney for Boston and surrounding communities and the first woman of color to serve as a top county prosecutor in Massachusetts.

“If we can be strategic and come together,” she said, “we can make profound changes, profound.”

____

Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland, Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, Julie Watson in San Diego and Juliet Williams in San Francisco contributed to this report, as did Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio. Amiri a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Black Lives Matter

Family to see more footage of North Carolina deputy shooting

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The family of a Black man who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina is expected to view more than 18 minutes of body camera video of the incident on Tuesday.

The footage will to be shown to family members of Andrew Brown Jr. at 3 p.m., according to county officials. Family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said a news conference will likely follow the viewing.

Brown was behind the wheel of his car and outside of his house in Elizabeth City when he was shot on April 21. Sheriff’s deputies working as part of a regional drug task force were serving a drug-related search warrant at the time.

A prosecutor has said that Brown’s car made “contact” with law enforcement officers before the shooting began. But Brown’s family and their attorneys have said Brown was driving away and died from an unjustified “execution.”

The office of Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II scheduled the Tuesday viewing following a judge’s ruling on Thursday that said the family could view the footage within 10 days.

“Because we’re continuing to be as transparent as we can under state law, we will be allowing the family members identified in the judge’s order to view the specified videos much sooner than the judge’s deadline requires,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Friday.

Judge Jeffery Foster ruled that the family will be able to view less than 20 minutes of the nearly two hours of video th at was recorded.

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“The portions of the videos withheld are found to not contain images of the deceased, and thus are not appropriate for disclosure at this time,” Foster wrote in his ruling.

Foster has said that he would not publicly release the footage because it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation into Brown’s death or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage.

Foster said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days, but he would consider releasing it after that point if investigations are complete.

Family members have so far only been allowed to view a 20-second clip from a single body camera. They say it shows Brown was trying to drive away when he was shot.

Brown’s shooting has drawn national attention to the small, majority Black city in the state’s rural northeastern corner. And many city residents — as well as nationally prominent civil rights leaders and attorneys — are demanding full release of the footage.


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Black Lives Matter

‘Get Them Out of Here!’ Man Confronts Black Lives Matter Protesters Blocking Intersection in Viral Video

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A viral video that was recently took in Plano, Texas shows a man getting out of his car and confronting Black Lives Matter protesters who were blocking an intersection in the city.

For weeks, some North Texans have demanded the arrests of the eight officers involved in the death of a 26-year-old black man Marvin Scott III, who died in March while in police custody at Collin County Jail.

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Black Lives Matter

Video released in police shooting of unarmed black man after phone mistaken for gun

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A Virginia sheriff’s deputy shot and severely injured an unarmed black man after mistaking his cell phone for a gun, recently released bodycam video reveals.

At the time of the early morning Wednesday shooting, Isaiah Brown, 32, was speaking to a 911 dispatcher near his home in Spotsylvania County to report a domestic dispute with his brother, according to recently released 911 audio.

Brown can be heard telling the dispatcher that he is planning to kill his brother. Moments later, the deputy spotted Brown.

On Friday, activists gathered outside the sheriff’s office to protest the shooting.Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office

Earlier in the evening, the same deputy had given Brown a ride home after his car broke down.

When the deputy encountered Brown the second time, he ordered Brown to “show me your hands” and “drop the gun” several times before firing several shots, according to the audio.

Virginia Commonwealth Attorney LaBravia Jenkins’ office will be looking into what happened at the shooting.

On Friday, activists gathered outside the sheriff’s office to protest the shooting after law enforcement officials announced a probe of the incident.

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“After viewing the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s deputy bodycam video and listening to the 911 call, it is evident that the tragic shooting of Isaiah Brown was completely avoidable,” said David Hynes, a lawyer for Brown in a statement to the press.

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