List of deadly police encounters
This is a List of deadly police encounters, including any incidents where a person's death was caused by gunfire, tasers or blunt trauma inflicted intentionally by law enforcement officers, regardless of whether the use of force was deemed justified. The list does not include people killed accidentally during encounters with law enforcement, or killed by suspects fleeing from or shooting at police.
All incidents of officer-involved shootings and other deaths from the use of force by police officers are investigated by the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation. In late 2019 Jay Town, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, announced the formation of an "Independent Shooting Review Advisory Council" (ISRAC) that would be equipped to advise local law enforcement agencies investigating police-involved shootings.
Northeastern University's Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, led by director Margaret Burnham, collected news reports documenting 127 incidents of law enforcement officers using deadly force in Jefferson County between 1932 and 1968. Of those killed, only four were white. Only two deadly incidents studies resulted in criminal charges against the officer, with no convictions. One Birmingham Police officer, James Hale Jr, was implicated in five such deaths, after which he was promoted to the rank of detective.
- December 14, 1895: Lizzie Durr, 13, was shot to death by Birmingham Police officer J. Nathan Byers while she and two other youngsters were gathering coal before dawn alongside a railroad track. An arrest warrant was sworn out by Durr's older brother. At a preliminary hearing he claimed that she had been stealing from a coal car and leaped down onto him, accidently causing his gun to fire. Annie Sims said that she and Lizzie were running away when she was shot in the back of the head. Large crowds gathered at Shiloh Baptist Church and at the Jefferson County Courthouse to petition for justice. A grand jury found insufficient evidence to charge Byers with a crime. He was suspended from duty for a few days and later reinstated.
- November 1905: E. L. Owen or L. E. Owens, a railroad worker, was shot and killed in the Dude Saloon. police officer Walter Bennett was charged with manslaughter, but state's witnesses failed to appear at court and Judge (Daniel or Samuel) Greene nol prossed the case. Bennett later found work as a Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company deputy securing the Blue Creek mines.
- March 27, 1948: Ike Madden, 27, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed he was resisting arrest.
- March 29, 1948: John Johnson, 30 or 50, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed he was resisting arrest.
- April 19, 1948: Alma Shaw, 43, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed she was resisting arrest.
- April 27, 1948: Marion Franlin Noble, 19, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed she was resisting arrest.
- August 1948: Joe W. Perkins, 26, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed she was resisting arrest.
- July 29, 1948: Walter Dandridge, 32, was killed by Birmingham police, who claimed he was resisting arrest.
- October 21, 1954: Frank E. Roper, 46, was shot to death by a police officer responding to a homicide in Powderly. Roper had killed a 4-year-old boy by slashing him with a home-made 20-inch knife. Roper reportedly resisted arrest while still armed with the knife. Police later stated that Roper professed the Islamic faith.
- September 15, 1963: Johnny Robinson, a teenager, was shot to death hours after the deadly bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church. He was accused of throwing rocks at cars. Officer Jack Parker claimed that the shooting was accidental, and eyewitnesses were abducted and terrorized by other officers. Jefferson County prosecutors and a federal grand jury both declined to indict Parker. A 2009 FBI review of the case, 32 years after Parker died, found it likely that Robinson was murdered.
- February 21, 1972: Willis "Bugs" Chambers Jr, was shot to death shortly after his arrest by Birmingham Police Officer James Howell for public intoxication. Chambers' wife, Francine Tell, said she had been told that officers targeted him because of a rumor that he had threatened to kill police. Though the coroner detected no alcohol and Chambers had been shot in the back, he concurred with the police account that the cause of death was justifiable homicide. The Birmingham City Council's Committee on Public Safety, Health and Education, chaired by George Seibels, learned that Chambers had been a frequent police informant, that Howell had been the subject of numerous complaints, that the police officers' accounts of the incident were contradictory, and that the coroner ignored evidence. The committee, however, was not empowered to take any action other than forwarding its report to relevant authorities.
- June 22, 1979: Bonita Carter, 20, was shot by Birmingham Police Officer George Sands outside Jerry's Convenience Store in Kingston. Then Mayor David Vann supported the use of force, which contributed to his re-election loss to Richard Arrington, who worked to address police brutality as a Birmingham City Council member.
- January 28, 1995: Dan Davis Jr was shot to death by Birmingham Police Officer Charles Forbes during a struggle. Forbes saw a group of four men around a van on the 1200 block of 29th Street North in Norwood and asked them to disperse. Davis refused to comply and resisted when Forbes attempted to arrest him. During the struggle, Forbes shot Davis, who then fled. Witnesses say that Forbes chased him down and shot him once more in the back. Forbes was charged with murder and convicted at trial on a lesser charge of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but earned early release in 2000 after just over three years served.
- 1996: A Phillips High School student was shot at his own home during an investigation into a reported burglary.
- November 12, 2000: Larry Reddick was shot to death following a struggle with Birmingham Police Officer George Montgomery after he pulled him over in Woodlawn for an expired license plate. The officer claimed that Reddick grabbed his nightstick and struck him on the head. Reddick's family claimed that he was unarmed and had been shot in the back. Jefferson County District Attorney David Barber asserted that deadly force was justified to prevent assault. The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice all investigated the incident without recommending any legal action against Montgomery, who was later promoted.
- December 12, 2001: Carlos Williams, 21, was shot to death by Birmingham Police Officer Lorenzo Hughes during an attempted arrest at a Woodlawn apartment. Hughes originally reported that Williams fired a shot at him, but no shot had been fired. Jefferson County District Attorney David Barber ruled the killing justified.
- February 24, 2003: Billy Dewayne Copeland, 26, was killed during a shootout with police chasing a car allegedly involved in robbery at the Bank of Alabama on Decatur Highway in Fultondale. Multiple agencies joined the chase on I-65, but Copeland was likely struck by a bullet fired by Fultondale Police Officer Louis Snow.
- January 18, 2004: Birmingham Police shot and killed a man who they said emerged from a West End apartment building with a long-barreled gun.
- August 6, 2004: Benjamin Lee "Benny Red" Griggs, 58, was killed after shooting at Birmingham Police SWAT team personnel during a 3-hour standoff on Jefferson Avenue.
- May 25, 2005: Angele Marie Jackson was shot twice by her husband, James Jackson, a Birmingham Police Officer shortly after returning to their Arcadia Road home after visiting a cousin in Tuscaloosa.
- September 26, 2006: Rickey Gross, 38, was shot 14 times (once in the face, once in the chest and 12 times in the back) during an altercation with Birmingham Police Officers on the 3900 block of 44th Street North. The shooting was ruled justified.
- September 29, 2006: Rodney Juddine, 41, was shot to death by Birmingham Police Officers after he tried to ram a stolen truck into their patrol car.
- October 29, 2006: Audie Murphy, 42, was shot to death by Birmingham Police Officer William Raymond after attempting to stab Raymond on the 3300 block of 15th Court North.
- January 19, 2007: Alberto Jackson, 39, was killed by Birmingham Police Officers investigating a report of loud music on the 4100 block of 5th Court North in the Tom Brown Village public housing community. The shooting was ruled justified.
- August 13, 2007: Christopher Ogletree, 47, was shot after confronting a Birmingham Police officer with a knife at 1053 40th Street Ensley.
- September 2, 2007: Clyde Patrick, 44, died shortly after being tasered multiple times by Birmingham and UAB Police while refusing to be transported to a hospital.
- June 5, 2008: Willie Maye, 43, died shortly after being tasered and maced by Birmingham Police Officers during a foot chase from Hibernian Street and Miles Avenue.
- September 26, 2008: Aubrey A. Johnson, 19, was shot and killed by officer trainee Anderson Dunning during a confrontation and foot chase following a hit-and-run at 7921 4th Ave South. District Attorney Brandon Falls cleared Dunning of any wrongdoing on the basis of self defense.
- October 12, 2008: Reginald Wylie Osby, 59, was shot to death by Birmingham Police at his home at 1917 Avenue J. Police claim he was using a barbecue fork to stab his mentally-ill stepson, Deron Cook, who had assaulted other members of the family. Family members said the two were in different rooms when police arrived. District Attorney Brandon Falls cleared Dunning of any wrongdoing on the basis of defense of others. Cook was charged with attempted murder.
- May 22, 2009: Broderick Rashad Dixon, 27, was shot and killed by off-duty Brighton Police Officer Chevis Finley at an apartment at 4816 Sharpsburg Circle in Birmingham.
- 2010: 17, of East Lake, was shot to death by Homewood Police Officers.
- 2011: John White, 30, was shot to death by Birmingham Police responding to a domestic disturbance at 1213 4th Avenue West. White reportedly lunged at the officers with a knife.
- July 12, 2011: Henry Lee Williams, 39, was killed by a Birmingham Police Officer following a foot chase and struggle near 765 1st Street South.
- September 7, 2011: Uteva Monique Woods Wilson, 23, was shot to death by her husband, Birmingham Police Officer Rodney Wilson, who was on active duty, at their apartment at 4816 Sharpsburg Circle in Irondale. Wilson used his police radio to report his action, and then killed himself.
- November 12, 2011: Ronald Anderson, 34, was struck and killed by a Hueytown Police vehicle while fleeing from a collision on the 2700 block of Pike Road in Birmingham.
- August 22, 2012: Calvin Lee Robinson Jr was shot to death by Hueytown Police Officers in a car near the intersection of Hardy Street and Parker Springs Street in Brighton.
- December 15, 2012: Jason Letts, 38, was shot to death by Birmingham Police Officers responding to a report of an armed man at St Vincent's Hospital. Letts fired at officers before being shot down.
- May 9, 2014: Devante Kyshon Hinds, 24, was shot to death by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies when he attempted to run over them with his car at 9248 Parkway East in Birmingham.
- May 10, 2014: Jonathan Lee Asuzu, 32, a security guard at the Foxx Trap nightclub, shot at another guard, Brandon Cephus, who was unarmed. A third guard, who was an off-duty Birmingham Police Officer then shot and killed Asuzu.
- February 20, 2015: Stanley Lamar Grant, 38, was shot by Homewood Police returning fire during a drug raid on the 2200 block of Green Springs Highway.
- February 20, 2015: Douglas Harris, 77, died a month after being shot by a Birmingham Police Officer conducting a welfare check at his home on the 7900 block of 1st Avenue South. Harris had pointed a gun at the officer before being shot.
- June 9, 2015: William Michael Hollis, 34, was killed by Irondale Police after he used his car to drag an officer investigating business thefts, then led them on a chase into Birmingham where he struck another vehicle. Hollis attempted to flee on foot and pulled a gun before he was shot. The State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified.
- June 22, 2016: Isaiah Core III, 20, was killed by Shelby County sheriff's deputies after he attempted to back his car toward them following a chase from U.S. Highway 280 to Oporto-Madrid Boulevard in Birmingham. The State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified.
- July 12, 2016: Danny Cupps Jr, 36, died shortly after being tasered by Birmingham Police Officers responding to a reported break-in on the 5200 block of Lewisburg Road.
- July 29, 2016: Amanda Paige Bivens, 40, was killed by Homewood Police responding to a call that a robbery suspect was present at the Marathon gas station on West Valley Avenue and Vulcan Road.
- August 19, 2018: Thomas Justin Walton, 32, was killed by Homewood Police patrolling the Extended Stay America Hotel on State Farm Parkway. Walton fought with an officer and grabbed his taser, after which the officer shot him. The State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified.
- October 5, 2017: Johnny Roy Stokes, 40, was killed by Leeds Police responding to gunshots heard on Melissa Avenue. Stokes refused to drop his weapon and fired first. The State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified.
- October 12, 2017: John Robert Payne, 35, was killed by Homewood Police responding to a burglar alarm at Allsouth Appliance. Officers attempted to subdue him with a taser and opened fire only after he shot at them. The State Bureau of Investigation ruled the shooting justified.
- October 19, 2017: Steven Wayne Truex, 38, was killed by Birmingham Police Department officers at his home on Dalton Drive in Roebuck. Police were responding to a reported assault nearby. They attempted to subdue Truex with a taser and shot him after he raised a shotgun. The State Bureau of Investigation has not issued a ruling.
- December 28, 2017: Christopher Baird, 37, was shot and killed by Birmingham Police Officers responding to reports of a suspicious person in the parking lot of the Days Inn on U.S. Highway 280.
- January 6, 2018: Jackie Harlan Roberts, 62, was killed by Jefferson County Sheriff's Offfice deputies responding to a reported assault at a home on Vernon Parkway near Grayson Valley. The State Bureau of Investigation has not issued a ruling.
- July 18, 2018: Daniel Thomas Reid, 32, was killed by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office deputies at his home on Clay-Palmerdale Road following a welfare check on his mother. The State Bureau of Investigation has not issued a ruling.
- September 4, 2018: Mitchell Owen Buel, 33, was shot by an Alabama State Trooper on Moncrief Road in Gardendale following a car chase. The State Bureau of Investigation has not issued a ruling.
- November 22, 2018: Emantic "E. J." Bradford Jr, 21, was shot by a Hoover Police Officer responding to another shooting at the Riverchase Galleria. The State Bureau of Investigation determined that the shooting was justified.
- August 4, 2019: Robert Wilsford Sr, 65, was shot to death by a Hanceville Police officer after he began firing at officers attempting to perform a wellness check at his home on Cullman County Road 599 just outside the Hanceville city limits. The State Bureau of Investigation has not issued a ruling.
- January 20, 2021: Eusi Malik Kater Jr, 21 died from gunshot wounds suffered during a shootout with Birmingham Police Officers on the 600 block of Center Place Southwest in South Titusville. The incident is being reviewed by the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation. (report)
- February 26, 2021: Frederick Earl Height II, 26, was fatally shot by a Walker County Sheriff's Deputy responding to a domestic violence report in Empire. The incident is under review by the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation. (report)
- February 27, 2021: Roger Dale Gibson, 27, was pronounced dead at Walker Baptist Medical Center after being shot by a Dora Police officer during a confrontation on the 500 block of High Street in Dora. Two officers were injured in the incident, which is being reviewed by the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation. No charges have been announced. (report)
- March 20, 2021: Gerald Wayne Marlin Jr, 41, was shot to death after leading several law enforcement agencies on a chase that ended near the Piggly Wiggly on St Clair County Road 174 in Odenville. Marlin fired at officers approaching his pick-up truck, which had been disabled by spike strips. He was killed by return fire. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating the shooting. (report)
- "Preliminary Postponed" (November 5, 1905) Montgomery Advertiser
- Brooks, Staci B. (March 17, 2009) "Two Birmingham police officers cleared in fatal shootings." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (April 21, 2011) "NAACP, Birmingham City Council committee want more review of police action" The Birmingham News
- Kessler, Bryan (2012) "White, Black, and Blue: The Battle Over Black Police, Professionalization, and Police Brutality in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963-1979" Master of Arts thesis, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Robinson, Carol (November 29, 2018) "Police have killed 11 people across Jefferson County in past 3 years" The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (November 21, 2019) "U.S. Attorney Jay Town creates police shooting advisory council" The Birmingham News
- Thomsen, Ian (July 30, 2020) "The Untold Stories of 123 Black People Killed by White Police Officers in One Alabama County". [email protected]
- Baggett, James L. (February 18, 2021) "Lizzie Durr was 13. Shot to death in Birmingham (AL). What happened next is familiar" The Birmingham Times
- Fatal Encounters Database website by D. Brian Burghart
- "Police Killings in Jefferson County, Alabama 1930–1970" at crrj.northeastern.edu