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Fri Dec 12, 2014, 03:12 PM


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SummerSnow Dec 2014 OP
G_j Dec 2014 #1

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Fri Dec 12, 2014, 03:14 PM

1. Suspects in 10 cases—most of them black men—wielded an iPod, a cellphone, and a set of keys


Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun

Suspects in 10 cases—most of them black men—wielded an iPod, a cellphone, and a set of keys.

—By Jaeah Lee | Thu Dec. 11, 2014 6:15 AM EST

Last week, 34-year-old father of four Rumain Brisbon was shot and killed by a police officer at an apartment complex in north Phoenix. The officer, 30-year-old Mark Rine, approached Brisbon's SUV while investigating a suspected drug deal. According to police officials, after Brisbon stepped out of his car and Rine ordered him to show his hands, Brisbon reached for his waistband. Then Rine drew his gun, and Brisbon fled. After a short chase the two engaged in a struggle, with Rine firing two shots into Brisbon's torso. Rine later said that he thought he'd felt a gun in Brisbon's pocket, but it turned out to be a vial of oxycodone, a pain reliever. Rine has since been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.

Brisbon's death is just the latest example of police killing suspects—often black men—over guns that aren't actually there. And scientific research has shown that unconscious racial bias can be a factor in these situations. As Chris Mooney wrote recently, in an experiment testing whether an object such as a wallet or a soda can be mistaken for a gun, "police are considerably slower to press the 'don't shoot' button for an unarmed black man than they are for an unarmed white man—and faster to shoot an armed black man than an armed white man."

Below are 10 other cases since 2006 in which an officer shot a suspect after mistaking some other object for a gun. Two of the victims in this list (which is hardly comprehensive) were white, one was Latino, and seven were black. As is common with police shootings, few of the officers faced charges, and none of them were convicted of a crime.

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