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Twelve things that can get you shot if you're a black person in America

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Picture: Andrew Burton/Getty

1. Carry a toy truck

Charles Kinsey, a therapist who was trying to help his autistic patient, was shot by police on Wednesday. His patient had been holding a toy truck, which police supposedly mistook for a gun.

Kinsey is currently recovering in hospital.

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Picture: WSVN/screengrab

2. Play with a toy gun

Police had been called by onlookers in a park who told them they were not sure if the gun 12-year-old Tamir Rice was playing with was real or not.

The police officers asked him to raise his hands and when he reached into his waistband, the police shot him twice. It is reported that Rice did not threaten the officer or point the "weapon" at him.

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Picture: Family Handout

3. Hold cigarettes on the street

Eric Garner was tackled to the ground by two police officers, who had approached him on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Garner denied it, but police attempted to arrest him anyway.

Garner died after being put in a reported chokehold – which is prohibited by NYPD policy. His last words “I can’t breathe” came to be synonymous with #BlackLivesMatter and anti-gun protests across the US.

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Picture: New York Daily News/YouTube/sreengrab

4. Walk along a residential road

In 2012 Trayvon Martin had been shot and killed by neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Martin had been walking along the residential street with his girlfriend on the phone when Zimmerman approached him, asking why he was there. After an altercation, Zimmerman shot and killed him.

Zimmermann was acquitted of second–degree murder – and in May he auctioned off the gun that killed the 17-year-old boy for over £100,000.

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Picture: Allison Joyce/Getty

5. Hold a phone

In 2015 23-year-old Keith Childress was shot and killed by police after they mistook a mobile phone in his hand for a weapon.

6. Open a door

In Chicago, 55-year-old Bettie Jones was unarmed when she opened a shared front door following reports of domestic violence. Police shot and killed her "accidentally".

7. Have mental health issues

In 2014 police officer Christopher Manney shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times following a call to the police about his behaviour.

However he wasn’t doing anything illegal, nor was he violent, but resisted a pat down that led to him being killed. His family had said he suffered from schizophrenia, but he wasn’t violent.

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Picture: Today's TMJ4/YouTube/screengrab

8. Use the stairs

Twenty-eight-year-old Akai Gurley had been walking down the stairs at his housing estate with his girlfriend when he was shot and killed by NYPD officer Peter Liang.

9. Take anti-pain medication

Rumain Brisbon was shot and killed after an officer approached his car about a suspected drugs deal. The officer told him to get out, and pointed a gun at him; when he reached in his waist band, and after a brief struggle Brisbon was fatally shot.

It was reported he had been reaching for a bottle of oxycodone - a pain reliever.

10. Run

Twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray was stopped because he fled after seeing police nearby. They caught him, and arrested him for allegedly possessing an illegal switchblade. He died one week later in police custody of a spinal cord injury.

11. Ride a bike

In August 2015 Dante Parker had been riding a bike in his neighbourhood. The police, responding to a burglary call tasered him 25 times and allegedly denied him medical care. Apparently he had matched the description of the attempted burglar.

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Picture: CBS Los Angeles/YouTube/screengrab

12. Ask for help

In 2013 Jonathan Ferrell had crashed his car and tried to get help. A woman called the police and when the officer arrived he reportedly didn't identify himself or give any commands, and shot him 12 times.


This article was inspired by a video from Mic featuring celebrities including Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Chris Rock. You can watch it here:



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