Protests highlight deaths at hands of police around the US

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Erma Johnson, the mother of Dion Johnson, speaks at a news conference in Phoenix on Friday, June 5, 2020. The family of Dion Johnson, an unarmed man shot and killed by an Arizona state trooper the same day George Floyd died, said Friday they want a federal investigation. (AP Photo/Terry Tang)

Protesters have been galvanized around the world by the death of George Floyd, an African American man who pleaded for air and later died after a white police officer in Minnesota pressed his knee into his neck.

Alongside his story, demonstrators are speaking out about deaths in their own hometowns. Some are years-old wounds, while others happened within days of Floyd’s death. There are cases that made national headlines and others that reverberated mainly through their own communities.

Here’s a look at a few of them by state:

Arizona

In Phoenix, the name of a man who died the same day as George Floyd, May 25, has become a rallying point.

Dion Johnson lay on the ground for several minutes after he was shot and handcuffed, deprived of emergency medical aid before a nearby ambulance drove the short distance to treat him.

At one point, a trooper used his foot to kick or nudge Johnson, according to traffic-camera video recorded by AZFamily.com.

Police say an Arizona Highway Patrol trooper tried to arrest him after discovering his car stopped on a highway on-ramp with beer and a gun inside. Authorities say Johnson tried to grab the officer’s weapon, starting a struggle that ended with the fatal shooting.

Connecticut

Signs are appearing at Connecticut rallies bearing the name of Jose Soto, who died in April after a SWAT team came to help arrest him on an alleged parole violation.

His family has said they asked police to use restraint because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Soto, 27, was acting irrationally but did not have a weapon, family and law enforcement sources have toldthe Hartford Courant. He was shot as he exited his mother’s home in Manchester. His death remains under investigation.

Utah

Salt Lake City protesters are highlighting the case of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who died after officers fired at least 20 shots as he ran away.

His family is calling for the officers to face charges, saying he was afraid and there was no need for them to shoot him so many times.

Body-camera footage doesn’t show him pointing a weapon during the chase, which started as officers investigated reports of a gun threat at a motel on May 23.

Officers said Palacios, 22, did not follow commands to drop an object he was holding and a weapon was found near him after he was shot. Police Chief Mike Brown is standing behind his department and the investigative process.

Texas

The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police in her Kentucky home this spring, evoke memories in Texas of Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot by police while playing video gameswith her 8-year-old nephew in Fort Worth last year.

Jefferson, 28, had recently moved into her mother’s home to help care for her when Officer Aaron Dean came to the neighborhood during the early morning hours in October 2019 to investigate a report about an open front door.

He shot Jefferson through an open window, without identifying himself as an officer or knocking on the door. Dean later resigned and was charged with murder, a rarity. He has pleaded not guilty.

Florida

LGBTQ activists are among those calling for an investigation into the death of a transgender black man who was fatally shot by an officer in Florida in a case they say should not be overlooked.

Tony McDade, 38, was suspected in the stabbing death of his neighbor in Tallahassee, police have said. He was found at a nearby apartment complex, where authorities say he pointed a gun at police before they fired the fatal shots. He often carried a BB gun, according to a previous police report.

Videos posted on Facebook show McDade saying he had been attacked the day before the shooting and was angry. A separate video posted online shows a group of men attacking a person believed to be McDade.

Police have maintained the shooting days after Floyd’s death was not racially motivated or unjustified.

Tennessee

In Nashville, Daniel Hambrick’s name is among those being remembered. He was shot and killed as he ran from an officer two years ago.

The chase began after officer Andrew Delke pulled into a parking lot because he mistakenly thought he spotted a car he had been following. Hambrick happened to be nearby and ran away. Police say he did not follow commands to drop a gun he was holding, though video footage does not show him pointing it before Delke shot him.

The officer has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. The outcry eventually led to the creation of a citizen oversight board for Nashville’s police force.

Indiana

The name Dreasjon Reed has become a touchstone in Indianapolis, where his family hascalled fora federal investigation into the 21-year-old’s death after a highway chase.

Facebook livestream video from after the shooting captured one detective saying, “I think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” a reference to a closed-casket funeral.

The May 6 shooting came after a chase that started on the highway and later continued on foot. Police say they tried using a stun gun before exchanging gunfire with Reed, but family attorneys have insisted he did not fire a weapon.

California

An outcry is growing over the fatal shooting of Erik Salgado at the hands of California Highway Patrol officers on Saturday.

His pregnant girlfriend was also injured in what advocates say was a hail of gunfire. They’re calling for the officers to face charges in the death of Salgado, 23, described as a good father looking forward to his next child.

Authorities have said the officers were “conducting a criminal investigation” but refused to say how many shots were fired, who fired them or what prompted it, The Mercury News reported.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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