Victor Steen, 17, Pensacola, Fla.—October 3, 2009
Case: Late one night, a 17-year-old on a bike was chased by a police officer in a cruiser. When the boy refused to stop, the officer aimed his Taser out the driver’s window and fired. The boy fell off the bike and the cruiser ran over him, killing him.
Verdict: The Pensacola police officer cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the death of a teenage boy will return to patrol duty after serving a two-week suspension. Chief John Mathis suspended Ard for “violating department policies” regarding vehicle pursuits, Assistant Chief Chip Simmons said. The policy states that a pursuit should be stopped when an officer determines the risk of injury is outweighed by the necessity of a suspect’s arrest. Lawyers for the Steen family have indicated Ard could have abandoned the chase in his cruiser and taken other actions.
Raheim Brown, 20, Oakland, Calif.—January 22, 2011
Case: 20-year-old Raheim Brown was shot and killed by the Oakland Unified School District’s police force outside Skyline High School. Police statements and media have reported that Brown tried to stab an officer with a screwdriver, and a second officer shot Brown five times – once in each arm, once in his chest and twice in his head – in defense of his partner.
Verdict: As initial police statements contrast sharply with Stewart’s account of Brown’s killing, further investigation into this case might also be warranted. Raheim Brown’s family is asking for financial support in order to claim his death certificate from the coroner as well as to pay for funeral and burial costs, which will total over $4,500. The Coroner’s Office refuses to release the death certificate without a $320 payment.
Miriam Carey, 34, Washington, D.C.—October 3, 2013
Case: While attempting to make a U-turn at a White House checkpoint, Carey allegedly hit a barricade and a secret service officer in front of the White House. After a high-speed chase, police surrounded her and weapons were drawn. She was shot five times in the chase and died at the scene. She was unarmed. Her daughter was in the car with her and was also unharmed.
Verdict: U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.’s role was to determine whether to charge the officers who fired at Carey with using excessive force in violation of Carey’s rights. Assisted by the Metropolitan Police Department, investigators interviewed more than 60 witnesses and reviewed ballistics reports, the autopsy, video footage and other evidence. “There is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal civil rights or local charges against officers from the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police,” the release said.