- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

The shooting deaths of two black men within five days by law enforcement officers are the latest in a spate of such cases that have made headlines nationwide in recent months.

Police in Montgomery, Alabama, on Wednesday charged 23-year-old Officer Aaron Smith, who is white, with murder in the shooting death last week of 58-year-old Gregory Gunn. A neighbor says Gunn wasn’t armed when he was shot.

On Friday, a funeral is set for Akiel Denkins, 24, who was shot and killed in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday as an officer chased him to serve a felony arrest warrant. Police have said Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy, who is 29 and white, fired multiple shots. He is on administrative leave.

A look at other recent cases involving law enforcement officers:


Six Baltimore police officers face charges ranging from misconduct to second-degree murder in the death last April of Freddie Gray. Gray, who was 25 and black, died when his neck was broken in the back of a police transport van. He had been restrained with handcuffs and leg irons, but not a seat belt. The death set off several days of rioting in Baltimore. The involuntary manslaughter trial of the first of those charged, Officer William Porter, ended in December in a hung jury. Maryland’s highest court was hearing arguments Thursday on whether Porter can be compelled to testify against his colleagues.



Michael Slager faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott, who was shot and killed running from a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, last April. Scott was unarmed.

The shooting was captured on cellphone video by a man passing by and reignited the debate over how blacks are treated by law enforcement officers.

Slager, 34, who is white, was fired by the North Charleston Police Department and stands trial in October. He was released earlier this year on a $500,000 bond and is under house arrest at an undisclosed location in South Carolina. Last October, the City of North Charleston approved a $6.5 million settlement with Scott’s family.



Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was charged in November on the same day that the city, on the orders of a judge, released the explosive dash cam video showing the 17-year-old McDonald being shot 16 times. Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond. The video has prompted local and federal investigations of both the shooting and the police department. No trial date has been set and it’s not clear whether the Cook County State’s Attorney will have to hand over the case to a special prosecutor.



Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is awaiting an October trial on murder and voluntary manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose, who was unarmed when he was pulled over for a traffic stop. Tensing pulled over DuBose last July near campus for a missing license plate. Tensing’s attorney has said the former officer feared being dragged under the car as DuBose, 43, tried to drive away. Tensing, who is white, is free on $1 million bond. DuBose was black.



Peter Liang, a rookie New York City police officer, was convicted Feb. 11 of manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Liang was patrolling a public housing high-rise with his gun drawn in 2014 when he fired and a bullet ricocheted off a wall, hitting Gurley, who was black. Liang said he had been holding his weapon safely when a sound jarred him and he accidentally fired. Liang, who will be sentenced next month, faces up to 15 years in prison.



The November shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark sparked weeks of protests in Minneapolis. Authorities say Clark was killed during a struggle with police, and while some have said he was handcuffed at the time, the police union contends Clark had his hands on an officer’s gun. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says he hopes to make a decision on whether or not to charge two officers in the case by the end of this month. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is still investigating the case.



Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in January recommended criminal charges be brought against an officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in the back.

The shooting last May of 29-year-old Brendon Glenn in Venice sparked angry protests. It was the first time Beck recommended charges against an officer in a shooting, although there have been more than 100 since he became chief in 2009.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is investigating and will ultimately decide if Officer Clifford Proctor is charged.

Police investigators concluded Glenn was on his stomach trying to push himself up when Proctor shot him, and that Glenn wasn’t trying to take a gun from the officer or his partner.

Proctor’s attorney says Proctor thought Glenn was reaching for his partner’s gun and that surveillance video doesn’t show both of Glenn’s hands. Police have not released the video.



Texas prosecutors are reviewing the police investigation into the August shooting death of an unarmed black Angelo State University football player during a suspected burglary at an Arlington car dealership. There is no timetable for presenting the case to a grand jury.

Christian Taylor, 19, was shot after Arlington police officer Brad Miller, who is white, was called to the dealership. While security footage shows Taylor breaking out the windshield of a car and driving his vehicle through the showroom window, there is no video of the shooting itself.

Miller was fired from the department. Police Chief Will Johnson said Miller pursued Taylor without telling his supervising officer. The chief said Miller fired at Taylor from between 7 and 10 feet away. When Taylor continued approaching, the officer fired his gun three more times.

An autopsy determined Taylor likely used a synthetic psychedelic drug and marijuana before the deadly confrontation.

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