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"Say their names": The list of people injured or killed in officer-involved incidents is still growing

Man hit in eye with police round at protest
Man hit in eye with police round at protest 02:33

This morning, the names of three men were separately trending on Twitter. Justin Howell, Sean Monterrosa and Jamel Floyd. All of them are men of color who were injured or killed in incidents involving law enforcement officers this week. 

The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in Minneapolis, served as the catalyst for nationwide protests which began last week. The sorrow and outrage over the disturbing video of his final moments came on top of a long history of black Americans being injured or killed in encounters with police or targeted with violence because of the color of their skin.

The #SayTheirNames campaign encourages publications and social media users to not just identify victims of police brutality by the incidents that killed them but to focus on their individual humanity and use their names. The hashtag is often accompanied by lists of names of black men and women killed in recent years, including Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando CastileBreonna Taylor and many others.

And the list has not stopped growing. Several people have been severely injured or killed by officers during recent protests and unrest.

On Thursday, after about a week and a half of nationwide protests, several more names began trending on Twitter, often with the hashtag #SayTheirName to raise awareness of these new incidents. Here are some of their stories:

Justin Howell

Howell was shot in the head by Austin police officers' "less-lethal" rounds, his brother, Joshua Howell, told CBS Austin affiliate KEYE. In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, protesters are seen carrying the 20-year-old Howell and attempting to get him medical attention.

"Justin is still in critical condition, unfortunately," said Joshua Howell told the station. 

The next day, Austin Police Department Chief Brian Manley said cameras caught a person throwing a water bottle at police guarding their headquarters on Sunday. Manley said one of the officers fired a beanbag round intended for the man who was throwing things towards police. Instead, it hit the 20-year-old victim in the head. "It appears he hit his head when he fell to the ground as well," Manley said, according to KEYE.

"Everyone is in agreement, Justin didn't do anything wrong," his brother said. Howell is hospitalized with a fractured skull and brain damage and his brother cannot see him in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An investigation will be conducted as it's an officer-involved shooting, Manley said. 

Sean Monterrosa

Monterrosa, a 22-year-old San Francisco resident, was shot and killed by an officer in Vallejo, California. The officer thought Monterrosa had a gun in his pocket, but instead, it was a hammer, Police Chief Shawny Williams said Wednesday, CBS San Francisco reports.

Police arrived at a Walgreens in Vallejo as it was being looted on Tuesday, Williams said. Officers chased two vehicles as they fled, and one rammed a police car and injured an officer. 

Officers saw Monterrosa approach the car. "This individual appeared to be running toward the black sedan but suddenly stopped, taking a kneeling position and placing his hands above his waist, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun," said Williams.

"Investigations later revealed that the weapon was a long, 15-inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt. Due to this perceived threat, one officer fired his weapon five times from within the police vehicle through the windshield, striking the suspect once, fatally wounding the suspect."

Monterrosa was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The officer who fired at him is a 13-year veteran with the force whose identity will be made public in the coming days, CBS San Francisco reported.

Wednesday's press conference ended abruptly when some protesters gathered outside City Hall began to shout at Williams, demanding answers as to why the officer opened fire on a man who was on his knees. "At what point do you arrest him and make an example out of all these officers and arrest him?" one woman shouted, according to CBS San Francisco. "Fire him! Not paid leave! Fire him for killing a man that was on his knees!"

Jamel Floyd

Floyd, 35, died in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday after being pepper-sprayed by staff, according to a news release from the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Officials said pepper spray was used when Floyd became increasingly disruptive and it was believed he could be potentially harmful to himself and others. Medical staff tried to revive him but were unsuccessful.

Floyd's mother said her son suffered from asthma and diabetes and that jail officials were aware of his health conditions. "They maced my son," Donna Mays told the Daily News. "They murdered my son."

The news release regarding Floyd's death was widely circulated online, with many sharing it with #SayTheirNames or similar hashtags. 

"The US Bureau of Prisons pepper-sprayed a man to death today at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park (where we have protested inhumane conditions time & time again and will be back, tragically, tomorrow). He was 35.#SayHisName: Jamel Floyd," New York City Council Member Brad Lander tweeted. 

"This report out of the MDC Brooklyn is horrifying! BOP must secure all evidence and videos and we will be demanding an immediate and thorough investigation," New York Congressman Jerry Nadler wrote

"If inhaled pepper spray can cause elevations of blood pressure leading to heart attacks & stroke and exacerbate potentially fatal asthma attacks," tweeted Dr. Victoria Dooley. "#JamelFloyd was pepper-sprayed to death by police. His life mattered."

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