October 5, 2018 / 9:01 PM / 17 days ago

Factbox: Trials of U.S. police officers charged with killing black men

(Reuters) - A Chicago jury on Friday found a white police officer guilty of second-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of a black teenager, making him the first law enforcement officer in decades to be convicted of murder while on duty in the third-largest U.S. city.

Jason Van Dyke was the latest in a series of police officers to face criminal charges in recent years after killing African-American men under questionable circumstances, fueling a national dialogue over police use of deadly force against minority groups.

Here are some of the cases that have come to trial:

* Officer Betty Shelby shot dead black motorist Terence Crutcher, 40, as he stood near his car in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Sept. 16, 2016. Shelby, who is white, said she feared for her life, believing Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was reaching into his vehicle for a weapon. A state jury acquitted her of first-degree manslaughter in 2017.

* Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile five times during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, on July 6, 2016. The officer said he had feared for his life when Castile said he was carrying a firearm and reached for his wallet when Yanez asked to see identification. Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter in 2017.

* University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing fatally shot black motorist Samuel DuBose, 43, after stopping him for a missing front license plate in July 2015. Tensing, who is white, said he feared for his life during the traffic stop when DuBose refused to leave his vehicle, which started rolling forward slowly as Tensing pulled his gun and fired once.

In the end, the state jury was unable to reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared in Tensing’s murder trial in November 2016.

* Officer Michael Slager was caught on video shooting an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, in the back five times as he fled a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, on April 4, 2015.

A jury deadlocked in Slager’s state murder trial, but he pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights and a federal judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

* Volunteer Deputy Sheriff Robert Bates said he confused his handgun for a stun gun in an accidental shooting of Eric Harris, 44, in Tulsa on April 2, 2015. Harris, who was unarmed, was fleeing from deputies during a sting targeting illegal gun sales.

A state jury convicted Bates of manslaughter. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 but was freed in October 2017 after serving little more than one-third of the term.

* Officer Jason Stockley approached the car of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, and shot him five times on Dec. 20, 2011, in St. Louis. The shooting followed a car chase after an alleged drug deal, and prosecutors said police dashcam video from the pursuit showed the white police officer saying that he was going to kill Smith.

A judge in 2017 acquitted Stockley of murder charges.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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