March 3, 1991 – LAPD officers beat motorist Rodney King after he leads police on a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. George Holliday videotapes the beating from his apartment balcony. The video shows police beating King more than 50 times with their batons. Over 20 officers are present at the scene, mostly from the LAPD. King suffers 11 fractures and other injuries.
March 15, 1991 – A Los Angeles grand jury indicts Sergeant Stacey Koon and Officers Laurence Michael Powell, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno in connection with the beating.
May 10, 1991 – A grand jury refuses to indict 17 officers who stood by at the King beating and did nothing.
May 1, 1992 – King makes an emotional plea for calm, “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”
August 4, 1992 – A federal grand jury returns indictments against Koon, Powell, Wind, and Briseno on the charge of violating King’s civil rights.
April 17, 1993 – Koon and Powell are convicted for violating King’s civil rights. Wind and Briseno are found not guilty. No disturbances follow the verdict.
August 4, 1993 – US District Court Judge John Davies sentences both Koon and Powell to 30 months in prison. Powell is found guilty of violating King’s constitutional right to be free from an arrest made with “unreasonable force.” Koon, the ranking officer, is convicted of permitting the civil rights violation to occur.
April 19, 1994 – The federal court awards King $3.8 million in compensatory damages in a civil lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. King had demanded $56 million, or $1 million for every blow struck by the officers.
June 1, 1994 – In a civil trial against the police officers, a jury awards King $0 in punitive damages. He had asked for $15 million.
1992 – Detroit – Malice Wayne Green
November 5, 1992 – Two white police officers approach Malice Wayne Green, a 35-year-old black motorist, after he parks outside a suspected drug den. Witnesses say the police strike the unarmed man in the head repeatedly with heavy flashlights. The officers claim they feared Green was trying to reach for one of their weapons. Green dies of his injuries later that night.
November 16, 1992 – Two officers, Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn, are charged with second-degree murder. Sgt. Freddie Douglas, a supervisor who arrived on the scene after a call for backup, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and willful neglect of duty. Another officer, Robert Lessnau, is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.
November 18, 1992 – The Detroit Free Press reports that toxicology tests revealed alcohol and a small amount of cocaine in Green’s system. A medical examiner later states that Green’s head injuries, combined with the cocaine and alcohol in his system, led to his death.
December 1992 – The Detroit police chief fires the four officers.
August 23, 1993 – Nevers and Budzyn are convicted of murder after a 45-day trial. Lessnau is acquitted. Nevers sentence is 12 to 25 years, while Budzyn’s sentence is eight to 18 years. The charge against Douglas had been dismissed before the trial.
1997-1998 – The Michigan Supreme Court orders a retrial for Budzyn due to possible jury bias. During the second trial, a jury convicts Budzyn of a less serious charge, involuntary manslaughter and he is released with time served.
2000-2001 – A jury finds Nevers guilty of involuntary manslaughter after a second trial. He is released from prison in 2001.
2006 – Nevers’ book about the incident and the trial, “Good Cops, Bad Verdict: How Racial Politics Convicted Us of Murder,” is published.
2013 – The city demolishes a structure with a memorial for Green, a mural painted on the building near the street where the fatal confrontation took place.
1997 – New York – Abner Louima
August 9, 1997 – Abner Louima, a 33-year-old Haitian immigrant, is arrested for interfering with officers trying to break up a fight in front of the Club Rendez-vous nightclub in Brooklyn. Louima alleges, while handcuffed, police officers lead him to the precinct bathroom and sodomized him with a plunger or broomstick.
August 15, 1997 – Police officers Justin Volpe and Charles Schwarz are charged with aggravated sexual abuse and first-degree assault.
August 16, 1997 – Thousands of angry protesters, many waving toilet plungers, gather outside Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct to demonstrate against what they say is a long-standing problem of police brutality against minorities. Throughout the day, protesters, many of them Haitian, taunt police, chanting, “No justice, no peace.” At some times, protesters stand toe to toe with officers watching the protest from behind a barricade, and call the officers racist and fascist.
August 18, 1997 – Two more officers, Thomas Wiese and Thomas Bruder, are charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
February 26, 1998 – Volpe, Bruder, Schwarz and Wiese are indicted on federal civil rights charges in Louima’s case. A fifth officer, Michael Bellomo, is accused of helping the others cover up the alleged beating, as well as an alleged assault on another Haitian immigrant, Patrick Antoine, the same night.
May 1999 – Volpe pleads guilty to beating and sodomizing Louima. He is later sentenced to 30 years in prison.
June 8, 1999 – Schwarz is convicted of beating Louima, then holding him down while he was being tortured. Wiese, Bruder, and Bellomo are acquitted. Schwarz is later sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison for perjury.
March 6, 2000 – In a second trial, Schwarz, Wiese, and Bruder are convicted for conspiring to obstruct justice by covering up the attack.
September 2002 – Schwarz pleads guilty to perjury and is sentenced to five years in prison. He had been scheduled to face a new trial for civil rights violations but agreed to a deal with prosecutors.
1999 – New York – Amadou Diallo
February 4, 1999 – Amadou Diallo, 22, a street vendor from West Africa, is confronted outside his home in the Bronx by four NYPD officers who are searching the neighborhood for a rapist. When Diallo reaches for his wallet, the officers open fire, reportedly fearing he was pulling out a gun. They fire 41 times and hit him 19 times, killing him.
March 25, 1999 – A Bronx grand jury votes to indict the four officers – Sean Carroll, Edward McMellon, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy – for second-degree murder.
February 25, 2000 – The officers are acquitted of state murder charges.
January 2001 – The US Justice Department announces it will not pursue federal civil rights charges against the officers.
January 2004 – Diallo’s family settles a wrongful death lawsuit for $3 million dollars.
2005 – New Orleans – The Danziger Bridge shootings
— Brothers Ronald and Lance Madison, along with four members of the Bartholomew family, are shot by police officers. Ronald Madison, 40, who is intellectually disabled, and James Brisette, 17 (some sources say 19), are fatally wounded.
December 28, 2006 – Police Sgts. Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius and officers Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso are charged with first-degree murder. Officers Robert Barrios, Michael Hunter and Ignatius Hills are charged with attempted murder.
August 2008 – State charges against the officers are thrown out.
July 12, 2010 – Four officers are indicted on federal charges of murdering Brissette: Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso. Faulcon is also charged with Madison’s murder. Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon and Villavaso, along with Arthur Kaufman and Gerard Dugue are charged with covering up the shooting.
April 8, 2010 – Hunter pleads guilty in federal court of covering up the police shooting. In December, he is sentenced to eight years in prison.
August 5, 2011 – The jury finds five officers guilty of civil rights and obstruction charges: Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso and Kaufman.
October 5, 2011 – Hills receives a six and a half year sentence for his role in the shooting.
April 4, 2012 – A federal judge sentences five officers to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years for the shootings of unarmed civilians. Faulcon receives 65 years. Bowen and Gisevius both receive 40 years. Villavaso receives 38 years. Kaufman was not involved in the shooting, just the cover up, so he receives a lighter sentence than the others do.
March 2013 – After a January 2012 mistrial, Dugue’s trial is delayed indefinitely.
September 17, 2013 – Bowen, Gisevius, Faulcon, Villavaso and Kaufman are awarded a new trial.
2006 – New York – Sean Bell
March 2007 – Three of the five officers involved in the shooting are indicted: Detectives Gescard F. Isnora and Michael Oliver are charged with manslaughter, and Michael Oliver is charged with reckless endangerment.
April 25, 2008 – The three officers are acquitted of all charges.
February 16, 2010 – The Department of Justice announces that it will not pursue federal civil rights charges against the police officers.
July 27, 2010 – New York City settles a lawsuit for more than $7 million filed by Bell’s family and two of his friends.
2009 – Oakland, California – Oscar Grant
January 7, 2009 – Footage from station KTVU shows demonstrators vandalizing businesses and assaulting police in Oakland during a protest. About 105 people are arrested. Some protesters lie on their stomachs, saying they were showing solidarity with Grant, who was shot in the back.
January 27, 2010 – The mother of Grant’s young daughter receives a $1.5 million settlement in her lawsuit against BART.
July 8, 2010 – A jury finds Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter. At the trial, Mehserle says that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.
November 5, 2010 – Mehserle is sentenced to two years in prison. He will be able to apply 292 days of time served and may be released in seven months. Outrage over the light sentence leads to a night of violent protests.
June 2011 – Mehserle is released from prison.
July 30, 2013 – A federal appeals court rejects Mehserle’s claim of immunity. This allows Grant’s father to file a civil lawsuit against Mehserle.
July 12, 2013 – The movie, “Fruitvale Station” opens in limited release. It dramatizes the final hours of Grant’s life.
July 7, 2014 – The federal jury does not award any damages in the civil lawsuit brought by Grant’s father.
2011 – Fullerton, California – Kelly Thomas
July 5, 2011 – Fullerton police officers respond to a call about a homeless man looking into car windows and pulling on handles of cars. Surveillance camera footage shows Thomas being beaten, clubbed and stunned with a Taser by police. Thomas, who was mentally ill, dies five days later in the hospital. When the surveillance video of Thomas’s beating is released in May 2012, it sparks a nationwide outcry.
May 9, 2012 – Officer Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force.
May 16, 2012 – The City of Fullerton awards $1 million to Thomas’ mother, Cathy Thomas.
January 23, 2017 – Department of Justice officials announce they will not pursue federal charges against the three officers for civil rights violations.
2014 – New York – Eric Garner
July 17, 2014 – Eric Garner, 43, dies after Officer Daniel Pantaleo tackles him to the ground in a department-banned chokehold during an arrest for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. Garner is restrained on the ground by several officers. “I can’t breathe,” says Garner, who has asthma. The incident is recorded via cellphone video. Garner dies later that day.
August 1, 2014 – The New York City Medical Examiner rules Garner’s death a homicide.
2014 – Ferguson, Missouri – Michael Brown
August 9, 2014 – During a struggle, a police officer in Ferguson fatally shoots an unarmed man, Michael Brown, 18.
August 15, 2014 – Police identify the officer as 28-year-old Darren Wilson. Wilson is put on paid administrative leave after the incident, and he is required to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty. Governor Jay Nixon decides to put the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge of security.
August 18, 2014 – Governor Jay Nixon calls in the Missouri National Guard to protect the police command center.
November 24, 2014 – A grand jury does not indict Wilson for Brown’s shooting. Documents show that Wilson fired his gun 12 times. Protests erupt after the hearing in Ferguson and nationwide.
November 29, 2014 – Wilson resigns from the Ferguson police force.
2015 – North Charleston, South Carolina – Walter Scott
April 4, 2015 – North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shoots Walter Scott, 50, an unarmed motorist stopped for a broken brake light. Slager says he feared for his life after Scott grabbed his Taser.
April 7, 2015 – Cellphone video of the incident is released. It shows Scott running away and Slager shooting him in the back. Slager is charged with first-degree murder.
October 8, 2015 – The North Charleston City Council approves a $6.5 million settlement with the family of Walter Scott.
January 4, 2016 – Slager is released on a $500,000 cash bond.
November 3, 2016 – Opening statements begin in Slager’s trial.
November 29, 2016 – Slager testifies on the stand.
2015 – Baltimore – Freddie Gray
April 24, 2015 – Baltimore police acknowledge Gray did not get timely medical care after his arrest and was not buckled into a seat belt while being transported in a police van.
May 21, 2015 – A Baltimore grand jury indicts six officers in the death of Freddie Gray. The officers face a range of charges from involuntary manslaughter to reckless endangerment. Goodman, the driver of the transport van, will face the most severe charge: second-degree depraved-heart murder.
December 7, 2015 – Due to a medical emergency, the judge dismisses a juror. The jury is now comprised of seven women, four black and three white, and five men, three black and two white. The alternates are two white men and one black man.
December 16, 2015 – The judge declares a mistrial in Porter’s case after jurors say they are deadlocked.
June 23, 2016 – Goodson is acquitted of all charges.
2015 – Chicago – Laquan McDonald
April 13, 2015 – Federal and state authorities announce that they will conduct a joint investigation into McDonald’s death spearheaded by the Chicago branch of the FBI.
April 15, 2015 – The city reaches a settlement with McDonald’s family, agreeing to pay $5 million, though the family had not filed a lawsuit.
November 19, 2015 – A judge in Chicago orders the city to release the police dashcam video that shows the shooting. For months, the city had fought attempts to have the video released to the public, saying it could jeopardize any ongoing investigation. The decision is the result of a Freedom of Information Act request by freelance journalist, Brandon Smith.
June 27, 2017 – Three officers are indicted on felony conspiracy, official misconduct and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying to investigators.
2016 – Falcon Heights, Minnesota – Philando Castile
2016 – Tulsa, Oklahoma – Terence Crutcher
September 16, 2016 – Tulsa Police Officer Betty Shelby fatally shoots Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man, after his car is found abandoned in the middle of the road.
November 29, 2016 – Shelby is ordered to stand trial for first-degree manslaughter.
October 25, 2017 – A Tulsa County District Court judge grants Shelby’s petition to have her record expunged.
2018 – Pittsburgh – Antwon Rose II
2018 – Arlington, Texas – O’Shae Terry
September 1, 2018 – During a traffic stop, O’Shae Terry is gunned down by an Arlington police officer. Terry, 24, was pulled over for having an expired temporary tag on his car. During the stop, officers reportedly smelled marijuana in the vehicle. Police video from the scene shows officer Bau Tran firing into the car as Terry tries to drive away. Investigators later locate a concealed firearm, marijuana and ecstasy pills in the vehicle.
October 19, 2018 – The Arlington Police Department releases information about a criminal investigation into the incident. According to the release, Tran declined to provide detectives with a statement and the matter is pending with the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Tran is still employed by the police department but is working on restricted duty status, according to the news release.
May 1, 2019 – A grand jury issues an indictment charging Tran with criminally negligent homicide. Arlington police announce that Tran has been placed on leave.
May 17, 2019 – The Arlington Police Department announces Tran has been fired.
2020 – Louisville, Kentucky – Breonna Taylor
2020 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – George Floyd
May 27, 2020 – Gov. Tim Walz signs an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard after protests and demonstrations erupt throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.
2020 – Atlanta, Georgia – Rayshard Brooks
June 12, 2020 – Rayshard Brooks, 27, is shot and killed by Atlanta police office Garrett Rolfe outside a Wendy’s restaurant after failing a sobriety test, fighting with two officers, taking a Taser from one and running away.