Kevin Marshall

Marshall, KevinName: Kevin Marshall.
Died: July 4, 2019.
Age at death: 20.
Cause of death: Murder (Run down with car).
Location: Newton County, Georgia, USA.

Kevin was at a 4th of July celebration. He was talking to a neighbor when the neighbor’s boyfriend, enraged that she was talking to a black man, began beating him up. Marshall walked away; but the man got in his car and ran him down, killing him.

Kevin’s mother says he will be remembered for “his selfless acts, radiant smile, and warm spirit.” He “loved family and… little kids, and he loved going to church.”

Kevin’s killer was arrested after fleeing across state lines and charged with malice murder.

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Suspect fled Georgia after allegedly killing an autistic man, later found in NY

Osaze “Ozzie” Osagie

Osagie, OsazeName: Osaze Osagie.
Died: March 20, 2019.
Age at death: 29.
Cause of death: Police shooting (Armed with knife).
Location: State College, Pennsylvania, USA.

Osaze’s parents, worried about his mental health, called police and asked them to check on their son, then got in their car to drive to their son’s apartment and meet the police there. But when they arrived, they found that the police had shot their son because he was holding a knife, and that he was dead.

Osaze’s friends created a memorial web site. On the site is this biography:

“Osaze was born on August 2, 1989, in Ithaca, NY. He gave his life to Christ when he was three. He walked faithfully with the Lord all the days of his life. He is survived by his parents Sylvester and Iyunolu Osagie, a sister, and two brothers. Osaze attended Corl Street Elementary School, Park Forest Middle School, CLC Charter School, State College Area High School. Diagnosed with autism while attending Penn State University, he finally had to withdraw when mental health challenges became too difficult to manage.

“For the next ten years, Osaze wrestled with complications arising from these challenges. However he was able to use his many skills to work and volunteer with various organizations in the community. His life was cut short when he was killed by police on March 20, 2019, in State College, Pennsylvania. He is home with Jesus, his Lord and Savior.

“Osaze was often referred to as “gentle” by those who knew him. Ever faithful, he considered himself a New Yorker for life. His favorite NBA team was the New York Knicks, no matter how badly they did, and his favorite NFL team was the New York Giants. He was an avid Penn State Nittany Lions Football fan, keeping track of stats, interviews, and everything in between.

“Osaze was a quiet young man, soft-spoken, and personable. He loved to read his bible and loved to go to church. He attended State College Assembly of God and State College Access Church and enjoyed being around his church family. He loved music. He loved to pray. He was considerate and kindhearted. He cared deeply for others. Osaze loved his family dearly.

“He will be missed.”

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Osagie family establishes scholarship in memory of Osaze Osagie | Penn State University
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Community mourns after Osagie shooting – Centre County Gazette, 3/28/2019
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Tamira Billingslea

Photo of Tamira Billingslea, a toddler girl with dark-brown skin and black hair in braids decorated with pink beads. She is wearing a colorful sweater, and eating chips from a bag of Doritos.Name: Tamira Billingslea.
Died: July 9, 2018.
Age at death: 3.
Cause of death: Neglect (Left unsupervised; drowned).
Location: Valparaiso, Indiana, USA.

When Tamira went missing, her mother waited more than an hour before she called the police. Tamira was found drowned in a pond.

She loved TV, McDonald’s, and chicken nuggets and fries, and she gave kisses only to her father.

Editor’s note: I consider this a borderline case. Tamira’s mother is African-American, and among American blacks, waiting an hour or more before calling the police is not unsurprising. However, an hour’s delay before calling the police to help find a three-year-old could very well have sealed the little girl’s fate. Tamira’s mother was charged with neglect of a dependent.

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Abdirahman Abdi

Photo of Abdirahman Abdi, a man with very dark skin and short curly black hair. He is wearing a white T-shirt and has earbuds in his ears.Name: Abdirahman Abdi.
Died: July 24, 2016.
Age at death: 37.
Cause of death: Death in police custody; during beating/restraint.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abdirahman was a Somali-Canadian Muslim. Along with his family, he had traveled to Canada as a refugee from Ethiopia in 2009.

Abdi kept to himself. He was shy, especially around women or people he didn’t know well. He had worked at a car wash, but lost the job when the business shut down.

On the day he died, Abdi went to a coffee shop he often visited. He approached a couple sitting at a table and began to talk to them, then reached out toward the woman to shake her hand. When she drew back, Abdi left, and she called the police, apparently unnerved by his odd behavior and thinking that Abdi had intended to assault her.

Police arrived and Abdi ran from them, trying to get home. They chased and caught him, using batons and pepper spray and beating him with fists and billy clubs. Abdi began begging, but he spoke in Somali and the police could not understand him and most likely did not care to listen even if they could have understood. A bystander tried to tell the police that Abdi was mentally disabled, not a criminal, but because he was also Somali, he translated the Somali “mentally ill” incorrectly and told the police officer that Abdi was “a crazy man”. What he had meant to say was that Abdi was only confused, not a criminal; the officer heard that Abdi was dangerous. Despite the bystanders’ attempts to help and Abdi’s pleading, the officers continued to hit him.

Abdi passed out from the beating after about ten minutes, and instead of administering first aid, the officers handcuffed him. Another ten minutes passed before they tried CPR, but Abdi was already dead. An ambulance was called to take his body to the hospital, leaving blood stains on the pavement.

Abdi’s probable autism was never publicly acknowledged because people from Somalia, where he comes from, often don’t openly talk about mental health, and there is no word for autism in Somali. Socially awkward and disabled, he always greeted people with the exact same “Hi, how are you today?” He was polite and quiet. He was variously described as “mentally ill”, “mentally disabled”, and “autistic”.

Abdi’s Somali Muslim community has held vigils and protests and placed memorials to him. They report they have become more afraid of police since Abdi died.

“He was very nice, very peaceful,” a local shopkeeper said. “I think he will go to heaven.”

The man who beat Abdi to death was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted. A civil lawsuit is planned.

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Mzee Mohammed

Photo of Mzee Mohammed, a teenager with brown skin and black hair in cornrows.Name: Mzee Mohammed Daley.
Died: July 13, 2016.
Age at death: 18.
Cause of death: Death in restraint.
Location: Liverpool, England, UK.

Mzee was a black Jamaican teen living in Liverpool. He was part of a big Jamaican clan, with family all over the world. He had ADHD and autism, and was a college student.

Like many black people in England, he often had to deal with racial prejudice when he went out. When he was sixteen, a racially motivated attack left him hospitalized; after that, Mzee never left home on foot, always taking taxis when he went to buy food. He spoke of returning to Jamaica, where he could escape from prejudice and rejoin his extended family.

On the day he died, Mzee had run from his home to a nearby shop, upset and telling the shopkeeper that people were chasing him. The shopkeeper called a cab to take him to his father’s house, but somehow Mzee ended up at Liverpool One, a big shopping center, instead. There, the barefoot and overwhelmed Mzee was called in to police as “a black person threatening people with a knife”. Police responded to the call and restrained Mzee face-down. Mzee stopped breathing, and could not be revived.

After weeks of waiting for post-mortem tests and investigations and navigating bureaucracy, Mzee’s family finally gained custody of his body and brought him home to Mandeville, Jamaica for burial.

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