Breaking the Silence on Modern-Day Lynching

A report issued by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement said that one black man is killed in America every 36 hours. Although the crime rate in the United States is going down, the percentage of police shootings is increasing... and the disturbing fact is that the white police are shooting black, unarmed victims.

Since 2008, SpiritHouse has tracked and exposed extrajudicial murders and torture of Black people. In 2008, SpiritHouse traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi to explore and expose the suspicious death of Bliley Jo Johnson, a 17-year-old star athlete who presumably shot himself in the head with a shotgun. The only other person present was a deputy sheriff, who was later identified as having a relationship with the same young white woman. Since that time, SpiritHouse has met with families, educated communities, and preached about these issues nationally.

SpiritHouse has recorded and developed a database to catalogue the suspicious deaths of African-American people. As of the end of 2015, more than 2000 African Americans died in state-sanctioned murders at the hands of police, security guards, or vigilantes. SpiritHouse will issue a groundbreaking report on state-sanctioned murders in 2016. To access in real time the most up-to-date information, visit our Facebook page Breaking the Silence Against Modern-Day Lynching.

Victim's Stories:

  • Henry Glover, 31, New Orleans, LA, 2005. Shot by a white police officer in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Officer David Warren was initially convicted of murder, but early this year, his conviction was overturned. A second officer, Travis McCabe, also white, was accused and convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice, and giving false statements to police, but his conviction has been overturned as well, and he will not face a retrial. After being shot, Glover was driven to a location close to the Danzinger Bridge and the car in which he lay mortally wounded was set afire, allegedly by police. When his charred body was found, his head was missing.
  • LaVena Johnson, 19, Balad, Iraq, 2005. Raped and murdered on an Army base.
    More Info: http://thesource.com/2014/01/21/justice-for-lavena-johnson-raped-murdered-or-suicide-the-evidence-says-one-thing-u-s-military-says-another/
  • Billey Joe Johnson, 17, Lucedale, MS, 2008. Shot by white police. Reports say that Johnson had run a red light and a four-way stop sign. Police pursued Johnson until the young man finally stopped. He allegedly got out of his car and walked toward the police officer, who had been in pursuit; he gave the officer his driver’s license and headed back to his car, as directed. The official account is that when Johnson got back to his car, the officer heard a loud noise; he looked up to see Johnson lying on the ground, mortally wounded with a gunshot wound to the head, apparently self-inflicted. The weapon used was a 12-gauge shotgun, which police say was lying on top of Johnson’s lifeless body. Johnson’s family says the official story is problematic; Johnson was a star athlete with many offers from major colleges to play football and had decided to attend Auburn and would not have committed suicide, they say.
  • Oscar Grant, 22, Oakland, CA, 2009. Shot and killed by an officer at a transit station.
  • Darrick Washington, 16, Indian River, FL, 2010. Shot by white police officers. Washington and some of his friends were riding in a car which Washington was driving and were pursued by white police. The youths were reportedly leaving a pool hall where shots had been fired, and they were afraid and speeding. Police chased the youths into a cul-de-sac; Washington turned the car around, and the police dash-cam showed that he swerved to avoid hitting the police car which was still in pursuit. Police shot into the car, critically wounding Washington. He lay on the side of the road, apparently left to die; his mother, Andrea Johnson, says no less than 84 police officers passed by and saw him, before a white female officer picked him up and took him to an area hospital. Although Washington, who was unarmed, was shot and injured, he was charged with attempted second-degree murder in the case. It took two years for his case to come to trial; he was acquitted of the second-degree murder charge, but still faces the possibility of being sentenced to jail time for eluding police. Although he has been in jail since the incident two years ago, he may get as many as six more years in jail on the lesser charge. Sentencing is set for mid-April.
    More Info: http://www.clickorlando.com/news/NAACP-questions-teen-s-attempted-murder-charge/4691008
  • Travis McNeil, 28, Miami, FL, 2010. Gunned down by Miami police.
    More Info: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/state-regional/prosecutors-clear-miami-officer-shooting-unarmed-m/nPPXz/
  • Jason Smith, 14, Eros, LA, 2011. Found in a lake. Although his death was officially ruled an “ accidental drowning,” his father, Bruce Smith, does not believe it; he says his son did not swim and would have had no reason to be near a lake or any body of water. Once retrieved, Smith’s body was found to have been robbed of all his
    vital organs.
    More Info: http://politicalblindspot.com/african-american-teen-found-dead-in-lake-organs-missing/
  • Keden Ammonette, 0, Florissant, MI, 2011. Decapitated at birth.
  • Joshua Merrit, 17, Chicago, IL, 2011. Three white students put a noose around Joshua's neck and threatened to kill him.
    More Info: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-27/news/ct-met-beverly-hate-crime-20120127_1_three-teens-police-charge-racist-attack
  • Chavis Carter, 21, Jonesboro, AR, 2012. Handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police car when he allegedly shot himself in the head. Although the white police officers who arrested him searched him twice, they found no weapon on him. Their official report says that he had a gun and hid it in the police car before he was handcuffed and was able to retrieve it and shoot himself although his hands were cuffed behind his back. The facts surrounding the case are murky; the family is still seeking answers in the case.
  • Nathaniel Lee III, 20, Waycross, GA, 2012. Shot in the back by two white convicted felons, but neither felon was charged with murder. Although transcripts show significant discrepancies in the stories given by witnesses to the shooting, the prosecutor refused to bring first-degree murder charges against Lee’s assailants.
  • Marissa Alexander, 33, Jacksonville, FL, 2012. Fired a warning shot for her abusive husband; now facing 60 years.
    More Info: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-woman-who-fired-warning-shot-could-get-60-years/
  • Jordan Davis, 17, Jacksonville, FL, 2012. Killed in a convenience-store parking lot for playing loud music.
    More Info: http://www.bet.com/topics/j/jordan-davis.html
  • Milton Hall, 49, Saginaw, MI, 2012. Shot eleven times by officers for stealing coffee.
  • Corey Stingley, 16, Milwaukee, WI, 2012. Strangled to death by three white men.
    More Info: http://fox6now.com/2014/01/14/video-released-shows-customers-restrain-corey-stringley/
  • Donald Maiden, Jr., 8, Dallas TX, 2013. A white man shot an 8-year-old boy in the face as the child played in his yard. Little Donald survived, but is horribly disfigured. His assailant, 46-year-old Brian Cloninger, was arrested. When asked why he shot the child, Cloninger allegedly said, “Because I wanted to.” He was arrested and charged with injury to a child, despite pleas of the child’s family to charge him with attempted murder. His original bond was set at $2.5 million, but was later lowered to $1 million. At the time of the incident, Cloninger was serving a 15-month probationary sentence for DWI.
    More Info: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Boy-Shot-in-Face-Tells-Family-Im-a-Monster-226195771.html
  • Ryan Singleton, 22, Baker, CA, 2013. He was found wandering in a desert in Baker, California after his car broke down. White police officers who found Singleton took him to a convenience store and say that shortly afterward, he was discovered to have left the store. Though he went missing in July, with police saying they had searched within a 5 mile radius, his body was not found until mid-September, organs missing, a mile from that same convenience store. Police have said that they believe his organs were taken by wild desert animals, but his body did not show signs of mutilation; to the contrary, reports indicated his organs had been removed with surgical precision.
  • Jonathan Ferrell, 24, Omaha, NC, 2013. Shot at 12 times, with 10 bullets hitting him, as he ran toward a white police officer seeking help after he crashed his car. Ferrell, who was black and unarmed, had knocked on the door of the home of a white woman, seeking help. The woman called 911 when she saw he was black, because she said she believed he was a burglar. The white officer who shot him, Randall Kendrick, was indicted for voluntary manslaughter after a partial grand jury refused to indict him for anything.
    More Info: http://newsone.com/2731262/jonathan-ferrell-funeral-toxicology/
  • Ma-hi-vist Goodblanket, 18, Clinton, OK, 2013. Shot seven times by two officers.
    More Info: http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/autospy-reveals-cheyenne-arapaho-teen-shot-7-times-deputies/
  • Ramarley Graham, 18, Bronx, NY, 2013. Cops broke into a home without a warrant and killed this unarmed teen.
    More Info: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-breaks-home-warrant-kill-unarmed-teen-judge-dismisses-case/
  • Jesus Huerta, 17, Durham, NC, 2013. Police say teen shot himself in the head, while his hands were handcuffed behind his back.
    More Info: http://www.wral.com/17-year-old-dies-in-durham-police-custody/13128723/
  • Kendrick Johnson, 17, Valdosta, GA, 2013. Killed at school and rolled up into a wrestling mat.
  • Lewis Little, 19, Durham, NC, 2013. Falsely charged with one count of first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of felony conspiracy, and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and intent to kill.
    More Info: http://blacksankofa.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/one-month-a-slave-the-case-of-lewis-little/
  • Renisha McBride, 19, Dearborn Heights, MI, 2013. Shot in the head by a homeowner.
  • Dionne Payne, 16, Dayton, OH, 2013. Raped and murdered by two white men.
    More Info: http://politicalblindspot.com/demand-rape-charges-be-brought-against-the-men-who-raped-and-murdered-16-year-old-african-american/
  • Alfred Wright, 28, Jasper, TX, 2013. Suspicious death.
    More Info: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/doj-investigating-suspicious-death-of-alfred-wright/
  • D'Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, Las Vegas, NV, 2014. Killed by police.
  • Adrian Broadway, 15, Little Rock, AK, 2014. Shot in the head while pranking a friend.
    More Info: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/17/us/arkansas-prank-death/index.html
  • Britney Crosby, 24, Port Bolivar, TX, 2014. Body was found next to a convenience-store dumpster.
    More Info: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=9459411
  • Crystal Jackson, 24, Port Bolivar, TX, 2014. Body was found next to a convenience-store dumpster.
    More Info: http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=9459411
  • Carl Hopkins, 61, Barboursville, WV, 2014. Shot and killed while inspecting previously-purchased property.
  • Garrick Hopkins, 60, Barboursville, WV, 2014. Shot and killed while inspecting previously-purchased property.
  • Darrin Manning, 16, Philadelphia, PA, 2014. Genitals were destroyed during a violent frisking.
    More Info: http://politicalblindspot.com/stop-and-frisk-of-african-american-teen/
  • Luis Rodriguez, 44, Moore, OK, 2014. Brutally beaten to death by five police officers.
    More Info: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/26/justice/oklahoma-arrest-death-video/
  • Ricardo Sanes, 21, Orlando, FL, 2014. Killed for running through a man's yard.
    More Info: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-florida-man-claims-self-defense-in-fatal-shooting/
  • Yvette Smith, 47, Bastrop County, TX, 2014. Shot and killed by police.
  • Kevion Young, 17, Los Angeles, CA, 2014. Shot by officers in a case of mistaken identity.

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