Here are the last words of 10 black people killed by law enforcement

There’s a dual nature to high-profile events such as the recent shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri. Almost always, they’re a manifestation of a much deeper and widespread problem. And while they bring attention to the problem, we tend to forget the vast swath of nameless people who have already become victims.

Statistics also have a tendency to let us forget the humanity that happens in each of these tragedies. But a powerful way to drive the point home is to ponder the last words of someone at the moment just before death.

(via Shirin-Banou Barghi)


1. New York City police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Kimani Gray in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. last 1
2. Diallo was shot outside his Bronx apartment. The police officers had mistaken him for a serial rapist, who was later apprehended. last 2
3. Jonathan never had an opportunity to reply. He had bullets in him before he could ever hit the ground. last 3
4. They said they thought McDade was armed because … he clutched his waist band as they chased him onto a dimly lit neighborhood street. last 4
5. Mehserle testified that he meant to zap Grant with his Taser in an Oakland station – but instead pulled his .40 caliber handgun and blasted the man. last 5
6. At one point, Guzman says, he spoke to Sean Bell and said, “S, I love you, son.” He says Bell said, “I love you too.” Then Guzman says Bell “stopped moving.” last 6
7. The officer demanded that the two “get the f—k on the sidewalk, Johnson says. “His exact words were get the f—k on the sidewalk.” last 8
8. “A man was watching him,” said Rachel Jeantel, 19, who was on the phone with Martin just before he was fatally shot. “He said the man kept watching him. He kept complaining that a man was just watching him.” last 9
9. The medical examiner’s office later ruled Garner’s death a homicide, caused by the officer’s chokehold as well chest and neck compressions and prone positioning “during physical restraint by police.” (Garner’s last words were on July 17th, not July 7th as the graphic indicates.) last 10
10. “He was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were. And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’ but he was already on the ground because they had shot him. And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.”last 11

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