James R. Connor University Center

Say Their Names

“I was inspired to create the Say Their Names Exhibit to bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. Being an African American woman, I have researched and witnessed, others like myself, being treated inequitably from police brutality, systematic racism, and mass incarceration. I want to educate others on the burdens and fear that many African Americans may face every day. I hope this exhibit will pay respect to those who have lost their lives to police brutality and also educate UW-Whitewater students.”

- Jaida Shellaugh-Russell
Director of Public Relations for Black Student Union and Director of Student Affairs for Whitewater Student Government

Justin Fields Justin Fields

Justin Philip Fields, 21 years old, was shot and killed by police officer Craig Nawotka on March 2, 2003. The incident started on Water Street in Milwaukee when Fields, known as JP by his friends, went to pick up a friend from a nightclub, but his car stalled. A fire truck pulled up behind him, which prevented him from moving out of the way. Officer Nawotka noticed this and approached JP with his pistol drawn, later switching to his baton to bust out JP’s driver side window. JP managed to start the car and drive off. The officers pursued him and subsequently shot and killed Fields on the corner of MLK and North Avenue. No charges filed against the officer.

Larry Jenkins Larry Jenkins

Larry Jerome Jenkins was 31 when he died tragically at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department on September 19, 2002. Jenkins was in the passenger seat of his friend's car when Officer Jon Bartlett and Officer Kurt Lacina pulled them over for suspected involvement in drug-related activity. The officers searched Jenkins for weapons and went to place him in the back of the squad car, but Jenkins took off on foot. Jenkins entered another vehicle occupied by people he knew, but the officer assumed he was car-jacking the vehicle. Officer Bartlett drew his weapon and shot Larry Jenkins seven times because he claimed Jenkins was going to run him over. Jenkins was in the passenger seat of the car. No charges were filed against the officers, but the family filed a civil lawsuit.

Derek Williams Derek Williams

Derek Williams, at age 22, was arrested for suspicion of robbery and detained in the back of a Milwaukee police department squad car on July 6th, 2011, where he later died. Initially, Williams' death was ruled natural owing to a sickle cell crisis. The officers involved claimed Williams complained he was struggling to breathe from the moment they put him in handcuffs and for the ten minutes he spent in the squad car until he lost consciousness and died. More than a year after his death, a released surveillance video from the officer’s vehicle led the cause of death to be adjusted from natural causes to homicide. The surveillance video shows William gasping for air and pleading with the officers that he could not breathe. However, the officers ignored him for seven minutes and forty-five seconds. No charges were filed against the officers.

Dontre Hamilton Dontre Hamilton

Dontre Hamilton was 31 when he was shot and killed by police officer Christopher Manney, at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee on April 30, 2014. Hamilton had a history of mental health issues and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but his family said he was never violent. On the day of the incident, Hamilton was sleeping on a park bench where two officers checked on him and found he was obeying the laws. Later, Officer Manney arrived at the scene not knowing other officers had already checked on Hamilton. Officer Manney decided to pat Hamilton down and a confrontation began. The officer brought out his baton to subdue Hamilton, but Hamilton got a hold of it and hit Officer Manney. Officer Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times. There was an investigation after the shooting, but no charges were filed.

Tony Bean Tony Bean

Tony Bean died on August 14th, 2010 in the custody of the Milwaukee police department. On the day of the incident, Bean was wandering frantically through his neighborhood, shouting for help. Officers Philip Gagnon and Matthew Claudio arrested Bean and put him in the back of a police van to send him to a mental facility. During the arrest, the officers handcuffed him face down. Bean vomited and said that he was going to die and he needed help. He died from injuries received either from the arrest or sometime on the way to the mental facility. There were more than 20 cuts and bruises on Bean's body, but the medical examiner confirmed the cause of death by excited delirium. The officers were not charged.

George Floyd George Floyd

George Floyd was 46 when he died on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. He was handcuffed on the ground as Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds until he was unresponsive. Other officers stood by and watched and even though one officer suggested turning Floyd over on his back, Chauvin ignored him. Although there are two autopsies ruling it a homicide, they gave different causes. This murder sparked a flame of protest in dozens of countries across the world partly owing to a video that captured the entire incident. The world protested for justice for George Floyd. Later in the summer of 2020, all four officers were charged in this case.

Breonna Taylor Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor was killed in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13, 2020. Taylor died while asleep in bed after officers shot her during the execution of a search warrant over a drug case. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought it was a break in and called 911 and fired a warning shot. Police responded by firing thirty-two rounds, six of those struck Taylor. An officer resigned but was not charged with homicide. Controversy still surrounds the case considering police entered the wrong apartment to execute the warrant and an alleged cover up by police and the Kentucky Attorney General. The FBI continues to investigate her death.

Stephon Clark Stephon Clark

Stephen Clark, age 22 and father of 2 boys, was shot while standing in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18, 2018 in Sacramento, California by two officers, Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet. The officers were searching for the neighborhood for a man who was breaking car windows and hid in a backyard. They believed he was holding a gun, so they shot him 20 times; he was only holding a cell phone. The district attorney declined to file criminal charges. His family reached a $2.4 million settlement.

Botham Jean Botham Jean

Botham Jean was 26 when he was murdered on September 6, 2018. He was eating ice cream on his sofa in his Dallas, Texas apartment. Amber Guyger, an off duty police officer, claimed she mistook his apartment for hers and shot him, thinking he was an intruder. However, witnesses claimed they heard Guyger knocking on his door pleading to be let in. Guyger was found guilty of murder and sentenced to only 10 years in prison even though prosecutors asked for 28 years. She was the first Dallas police officer to be convicted of murder since 1973.

Philando Castile Philando Castile

Philando Castile was 32 when he was pulled over for a traffic stop by Officer Jeronimo Yanez on July 6, 2016. Castile was in his car with his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and 4 year old daughter. Shortly after informing Officer Yanez that he had a legal firearm and verbally telling the Officer he would not pull out the firearm, Officer Yanez fired seven shots killing Castile. The police dash cam captured the incident along with Reynolds who recorded the events on Facebook live. The Minnesota officer was found not guilty after being charged with second-degree manslaughter. The city of Minnesota gave Castile’s mother a $3 million settlement.

Alton Sterling Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling was 36 when he was murdered by officers on July 5, 2016 while selling CDs and DVDs outside of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Officers were called to respond to an altercation; however, Sterling was not involved. Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake confronted Sterling and officer Salamoni threatened to shoot Sterling in the head. The officers tased and pinned him to the ground. While unable to move, one of the police officers yelled, "He’s got a gun!" Within seconds, still pinned to the ground by the officers, Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds from Officer Salamoni’s firearm. The incident was captured by two bystanders. Salamoni was fired for violating the department's use-of-force policies. Lake received a three-day suspension without pay. No charges were filed.

Eric Garner Eric Garner

Eric Garner was 43 when he was murdered by police officers on July 17, 2014. Officers arrested him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island, New York. He was placed in a chokehold by an officer until he was unresponsive. According to a video recording, officer Daniel Pantaleo didn’t release the choke hold despite Eric saying “ I can’t breathe” 11 times. The Garner’s family received a settlement of $5.9 Million from the city and the officer was placed on desk duty and later fired in 2019. Officer Pantaleo was involved in civil rights lawsuits for at least two different incidents. No charges were filed. “I can’t breathe,” and his death was one of several fatal encounters between black people and the police that catalyzed the national Black Lives Matters Movement.

Akai Gurley Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley was 28 when killed by police on November 20, 2014. Officer Peter Liang and a partner were patrolling a housing complex in Brooklyn, New York when Officer Liang opened a door into a dark stairwell and his gun went off. The bullet glanced off a wall and hit Akai Gurley and pierced his heart. Gurley was unarmed and walking down the stairs with his girlfriend. Liang failed to assist Gurley after he was shot and was convicted of official misconduct. He was found guilty of manslaughter and fired from the NYPD. He faced up to 15 years in prison. His conviction was reduced to criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to five years' probation and 800 hours of community service.

Tamir Rice Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice was 12 when shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann. Tamir was playing with a toy gun with his 14 year old sister Tajai at an Ohio park. Officer Timothy Loehmann claimed he mistook the black toy airsoft pistol for a real firearm. Meanwhile, his sister was tackled to the ground, handcuffed, and placed in a police car. Officer Loehmann and Frank Garmbark were not charged for the murder. Garmbark received a 10 day suspension. In 2017, Loehmann was fired for job application discrepancies. The city of Cleveland paid Rice’s family $6 million to settle the civil lawsuit.

Tony Robinson Tony Robinson

Tony Terrell Robinson was 19 when officer Matthew Kenny murdered him on March 6, 2015. Robinson was unarmed when he was shot seven times by the officer after he kicked in the front door where Tony was staying after witnesses called police asking for assistance. They reported Robinson was unarmed but posed a risk to himself. Robinson was on multiple drugs including Xanax, Mushrooms, and Marijuana. Instead of assisting Robinson, officers responded with the use of lethal force. The autopsy showed that Robinson was shot in the head and torso. This was officer Kenny’s second lethal shooting and was not charged in either case.

Andre Hill Andre Hill

Andre Maurice Hill was 47 when shot minutes after a confrontation with officer Adam Coy on December 22, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. An officer was called to the scene after a neighbor reported someone sitting in an SUV. He was dropping off Christmas money and the SUV was in a friend’s garage when he was shot. Hill complied with officer requests for him to exit the garage with his cell phone visibly raised in his left hand but his right hand was not visible. Officer Coy cried there was a gun and shot Hill. Officers cuffed Hill and delayed providing medical assistance. After reviewing the scene, no weapon was recovered. Officer Coy was subsequently fired and the case is under investigation.

Jonathan Price Jonathan Price

Jonathan Price was 31 when shot by Officer Shaun Lucas on October 3, 2020. Price was helping a lady in a convenience store, who was engaged in a dispute, when Police Officer Shaun Lucas arrived at the scene. According to witnesses, the dispute was resolved before Officer Lucas arrived. Price tried to explain the situation and even greeted Lucas. However, Officer Lucas escalated the situation and sought to detain Price without a clear reason, which resulted in Price being tased and then shot. Officer Lucas was arrested and charged with murder.

Elijah McClain Elijah McClain

Elijah McClain was 23 when assaulted by officers on August 24, 2019 in Aurora, Colorado. McClain was walking home from a convenience store when he was stopped by three police officers. In body camera audio, McClain states that he is an introvert and needs some space. Before being tackled by the police officer, he said that he is trying to turn down his music, so he can hear them better. One of the officers put McClain in a carotid hold which prevented blood flow and left McClain unconscious. He was pronounced brain dead on August 27th and died three days later. No officers have been charged in his death but an investigative report determined the officers had no cause to detain or assault him.

Sandra Bland Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland was 28 when she died in police custody on July 13, 2015 in Waller County Texas. Bland was arrested by officers who claimed she resisted officer instructions during a routine traffic stop. Three days later she was found hanged in her cell. Officer dashcam footage and video recordings from phones determined a number of violations occurred during her arrest. State Trooper Brian Encinia was later fired owing to lying to a grand jury. No officers were indicted for her death. Bland's mother settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the county jail and police department for $1.9 million and some procedural changes.

Patrick Warren Patrick Warren

Patrick Warren was 52 when fatally shot by Killeen Police Officer Reynaldo Contreras on January 10, 2021. The family of Patrick first called for a mental health resource officer on Jan. 9 because Warren was having a mental health issue, the day before he was shot. The Killeen Police Department sent a resource officer on Saturday, who was able to speak with Warren. Warren voluntarily agreed to go to the hospital with the officer and return home that Saturday night. On Sunday, however, Lee said Warren continued to experience mental health issues. The family called and asked for a resource officer again. Instead Police Officer Reynaldo Contreras was sent to the scene who was described as "hostile" and not equipped to handle the situation. The situation escalated as a result of Officer Contreras actions that resulted in the officer shooting Warren. The officer remains on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

Darius Tarver Darius Tarver

Darius Tarver was 23 when fatally wounded by Denton, Texas police on January 21, 2020. Tarver had suffered a serious head injury and was recovering at home. Neighbors concerned about his health asked the Police Department to check on his status. He was prematurely released from ICU and exhibited potential signs of significant mental impairment. Footage from four police body cameras that night showed Tarver holding a large knife and frying pan but standing still when police approached him near the outside stairwell of his apartment building. When Tarver allegedly failed to comply with commands to drop the items, an officer shot him with a taser. Another officer subsequently fired at Tarver. The officers returned to regular duty with the department. 

Jamarion Robinson Jamarion Robinson

Jamarion Robinson was 25 when fatally shot by Chico Police Department on August 5, 2016 in Atlanta Georgia. Robinson had no criminal history and was a former Clark Atlanta student. At the time of his death, he was a student-athlete at Tuskegee University. His family said he was schizophrenic. Federal authorities said they went to serve a warrant on him to his girlfriend’s East Point apartment. They believed he fit the description of someone who had pointed a gun at Atlanta police officers days earlier. Autopsy reports show Robinson was shot 76 times by members of a federal task force. According to court filings, it is still unclear whether Robinson was armed, and none of the officers were using body cameras. Robinson’s mother hired private investigators and filed charges against the police department.

Freddie Gray Freddie Gray

Freddie Gray was 25 years old when he was tossed around in the back of a police vehicle without a seat belt. At 8:40am on April 12th, 2015, Gray was arrested and decided to work with the officers civilly. On the way to the police station, Freddie Gray was cuffed at both the hands and the feet in the back of the police vehicle. As the vehicle drove, Gray was tossed around inside, breaking his vertebrae. He was found dead 45 minutes later. Six police officers were charged, with 3 were charged and 3 cases were dropped. The city of Baltimore Maryland settled on a $6.4 million agreement.

Earl McNeil Earl McNeil

Earl McNeil was 40 when he died in police custody on June 11, 2019 in San Diego, California. McNeil voluntarily showed up at the police department saying he wanted to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant. Officers alleged McNeil failed to comply with instructions and an altercation ensued. Officers who first approached McNeil placed him in handcuffs. When he began to struggle, they detained him on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. McNeil was restrained for two hours and a shirt was placed over his head. As a result, McNeil stopped breathing and was not given proper medical attention and psychiatric treatment. While paramedics were able to resuscitate him and get him to a hospital, he never regained consciousness. His family terminated life support two weeks later. The McNeil Family filed a lawsuit that contends McNeil should not have been restrained in the first place and that after he was restrained signs showed he required “immediate medical aid.”

David McAtee Davie McAtee

David McAtee was 53 when he was shot by the National Guard inside of his restaurant on June 1st, 2020. During a protest, police and national guard opened fire with pepper balls, forcing protesters to flee into neighboring buildings. McAtee’s niece, who was at the protest, ran into his restaurant, where McAtee left the kitchen to see if she was okay. David McAtee was then shot on the spot, as the police officers and National Guard claimed they were “returning fire”. No charges were filed and a shooter was not identified.

Daniel Prude Daniel Prude

Daniel Prude was 41 when he died after police restrained him and held him down on the ground in Rochester, New York. During this encounter, officers were seen restraining Prude by pressing their knee to his torso and holding his head to the pavement. After 11 minutes, an ambulance arrived and found Prude dead. Prude was then revived, but later pronounced brain dead. Prude later died after being taken off life support. Video footage of the entire arrest was released by the family.