Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and Freddie Gray are just three of at least 2,611 people killed by police since August 9, 2014, the day of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Fatal Encounters, a nonprofit, has tracked these killings by collecting reports from the media, public, and law enforcement and verifying them through news reports. Some of the data is incomplete, with details about a victim’s race, age, and other factors sometimes missing. It also includes killings that were potentially legally justified, and is likely missing some killings entirely.

Vox’s Soo Oh created an interactive map with data from Fatal Encounters. It shows some of the killings by law enforcement since the Brown shooting:

A huge majority of the 2,611 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared with other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. In some cases, people died from stab wounds, medical emergencies, and what’s called “suicide by cop,” when people kill themselves by baiting a police officer into using deadly force.

The FBI already collects some of this data from local and state agencies, but as Vox’s Dara Lind explained, that data is very limited. Reporting homicides for participating agencies is mandatory, but reporting the circumstances of homicides is not. So we might know that thousands of people die in a certain state, but we won’t always know why those homicides happened and whether they involved police. Participation in the FBI reporting programs is also voluntary, making the number of reported homicides in the federal data at best a minimum of what’s going on across the country.

Since the historical data is so bad, it’s hard to gauge whether these types of killings are becoming more common. But the Fatal Encounters database is much more complete than the FBI figures, giving perhaps the best context we have for the wide range of police use of force — especially as the issue continues to capture national attention in the aftermath of Brown’s death.

Police shootings and brutality in the US: 9 things you should know

1. American police shoot and kill far more people than their peers in other countries
2. There are huge racial disparities in how US police use force
3. Cities across the country have been riddled with accusations of police abuse
4. There’s no good data on how many people police kill each year
5. Police can use deadly force if they merely perceive a threat
6. Cops are almost never prosecuted and convicted for use of force
7. Killings of police officers on duty are near record lows
8. The federal government has helped the militarization of police
9. Reforms have focused on community policing and accountability — but that may not be enough


Man dies during church deliverance in Benin

Osayande Ekhator

There was confusion on Okwanga Street, around Uselu Quartres, in the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State on Tuesday when a 45-year-old man, Osayande Ekhator, died during a deliverance session at a Pentecostal church in the area.

It was gathered that the man had been taken to the church, Hope Ministry, also known as Holy Ghost Deliverance Centre, by his relatives for spiritual cleansing on Monday, due to an undisclosed ailment.

He was also said to haveINDICATEDinterest in the spiritual exercise.

It was, however, learnt that tragedy struck when some residents heard a loud cry from the church only todiscover the lifeless body of the deceased on the floor of the church.

The death of the man was said to have attracted a loud crowd of curious residents and mourners.

Some angry youths were said to have stormed the church and vandalised property.

ONEof the residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Osayande “probably fell on a hard object”, as there were blood stains on his head.

“I think he must have hit his head somewhere. I saw blood on his head when his body was placed in avehicle,” the resident said.

The father of the deceased, Pa Ekhator, said he knew that the deliverance session had gone wrong when his late son was thrown to the ground, with his hands and legs tied.

“They tied him up and threw him to the ground. Then, they poured a bucket of water on his body.

“When his mother queried the action, they said that was the usual practice. Then, they said they wanted him to rest; but after about five minutes she came out crying that Osayande was dead.”

Osayande’s sister, who did not give her name, lamented that her brother was “beaten to death by his deliverers”.

She said, “They beat him to death. They removed theCLOTHES he wore, bathed him and gave him another clothes.”

The Resident Pastor of the church, Mrs. Isoken Ekundaye, denied beating the sick man to death.

“We don’t killHERE. We don’t beat here. If they bring insane people, we heal,” Ekundaye said.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Stephen Onwochei, said the pastor had been arrested.

The police spokesperson added that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department for investigation.

Copyright PUNCH



The late Abigail Zananda

Mourners at a funeral in Nembudziya, Gokwe, were left speechless after the “deceased” miraculously rose from the dead recently.

The teenager at the centre of the drama had been believed to be “dead” for THREE DAYS before she woke up and got out of the coffin. She ate porridge before drinking water. She later on died for good after being admitted to hospital that same day.

The drama around the death of Ashel Abigail Zananda (14) of Sigali Village has since been talk of the area. The teenager had died on 8 June and she woke up three days later, when her “corpse” had been put in a coffin.

The chief, village heads and villagers, who witnessed the incident, are still perplexed. It could not be established if a medical practitioner or police had initially certified the girl dead.

Villagers also told this reporter that the incident occurred in the same village where a black bird snatched a toddler and flew away with him before dumping him alive in the fields.

Gokwe-Nembudziya Member of Parliament, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, confirmed the incident, saying it was indeed shocking.

“The chief and village heads need to help this family look for solutions from traditional healers. It’s true that the girl died but she woke up, ate and drank some water. The chief and village heads should make a plan as far as this matter is concerned,” said Wadyajena. Cousin to Ashel, Admore Mashonganyika (46), narrates what happened.

“My sister was complaining of a headache for about three months. She died at our aunt’s residence in Empress where she was being prayed for by a certain prophetess. After she died, we asked for her body for burial. Three days later, the prophetess told us that the girl was alive and asked why we wanted to bury her alive,” he said.

“Surprisingly after three days, her body was not cold and rigid as expected of a corpse. The prophetess from African Apostolic Church, with the help of other congregants, prayed and the corpse started making movements before raising a hand in the coffin. The girl was then taken out of the coffin,” he added.

Mashonganyika also said Ashel was taken out of the coffin and her body was put against a wall with her hands balancing on both sides.

“She was taken out of the coffin and was placed near the wall which she leaned against with her hands balancing on both sides. They cooked porridge for her and she had five full spoons before drinking half a cup of water”, said Mashonganyika.

Parents, headman testify
The father to the deceased, Esau Zananda (40), said he was at a loss for words with regards to happened to his daughter.

It is true that my daughter woke up after being dead for three days. She woke up, sat and ate porridge and she also drank water. We then took her to hospital and she later on died permanently,” said Zenanda. Precious Muringo (35), mother to the deceased, believes that it’s an act of witchcraft.

“This is a pure act of witchcraft. The people here do not get tired of pilling misery on me. They want to kill all my children, my husband and I as well. My daughter used to tell me that there are people who wanted to kill her”, she said.

The headman of the village Misheck Sigali (67) also confirmed the incident.

“I wasn’t there when it happened but I was told that Chief Nembudziya had to call a traditional healer known as Dhumba to attend to the situation. The traditional healer got there and he pressed Ashel’s tummy and she nose bled.

The police were then called in and she was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead,” he said.

The body was later taken back home and she was buried the following day. But more drama was still to come.

On the same day, the police went and exhumed the body saying it was supposed to undergo post-mortem so that the cause of death could be determined. The body was taken to Nembudziya hospital where it awaited a car to take it to Bulawayo for post-mortem. The relatives later asked for the body for burial as no car had been secured for transportation of the boby to Bulawayo.

The uncle to the deceased, William Zananda (66), also narrates the shocking incident.

“I saw her waking up with my own eyes. This is just a pure act of witchcraft. There are a lot of witches and wizards in this village. Sometime in 2003, a certain boy also died and woke up just like my niece. So as a family we want to consult traditional healers”, said William Zenanda.

Contacted for comment, ZRP Midlands spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko confirmed the incident saying he got the report and that police officers went to attend to the incident. “I can confirm that I got such a report and that there are police officer who actually went to the scene of the incident”, said Inspector Goko. — Additional reporting by Kwayedza.