“A BuzzFeed News review of police killings during the month of May found that 15 of them began with anything from a broken taillight to a call for police to break up an outdoor barbecue to a plea for help from a man who told the police he was starving.
“Footage from incidents across the country has undermined police accounts of shootings. In 2015, the release of dashcam footage in Chicago unraveled a police tale that 17-year-old Laquan McDonald lunged toward Jason Van Dyke, prompting the officer to fire 16 shots. McDonald had not made any threatening movement toward the officer.
““Every time a person has a record, it’s implicit, that person was killed for a reason,” said Jocquese Blackwell, the Johnson family attorney. “It’s the Black tax. Why did Dion have to die? That he had a past didn’t matter.”
“The death of a Black man asleep in his car after a night of drinking only to encounter law enforcement shares the storyline of Atlanta’s Rayshard Brooks. his death ... moved Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to enact new use-of-force restrictions. Dion’s family has yet to even learn the name of the officer who shot him. Brooks’s shooting was captured on video. Dion’s was not.
“There was one sliver of video capturing her son’s final moments. A TV station managed to record a video feed from traffic cameras installed around the city. The video doesn’t show the shooting but it captured Erma’s son, writhing on the highway. Two troopers appeared to hold him to the ground. In view of the camera, an ambulance idled just yards away. Nearly six minutes passed — as Dion bled on the road — before the ambulance approached and medics tended to him.
“Pat’s friend, Micah Roberts, wondered if his friend had to die that night. “He was having a mental health episode....” Experts estimate 1 in 4 people who have been shot and killed by police have mental health issues.”