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Hands Up Don't Shoot

Author: Ashley France-Howell

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In today’s world, virtually anything can be captured on video. But it hasn’t always been this way. Ashley France-Howell dives into the stories of Black victims of police brutality in the United States.
29 Episodes
A night out at the bar after work turned into a confrontation. The confrontation turned into a fatal shooting. Listen to the turn of events that ended in Patrick Dorismond’s death.  He intervened to protect and remove his girlfriend from a bad situation. His intervention resulted in her broken ankle. Her broken ankle resulted in the arrival of paramedics and police. That arrival resulted in his death. Listen to the tragedy of Jamar Clark’s death. Support the show (
He complied with officers when they asked him to move. An altercation with a bouncer made officers return to the scene. The partner of the officer said he did not know why his partner opened fire. Listen to the story of Brendon Glenn’s untimely death. Officers say that he was hit by a train which ultimately led to his death. He told his family that he was assaulted by police. Medical records support his story, but contradicts the story of the NYPD. Listen to the controversy and mystery surrounding Deion Fludd’s death.Support the show (
Corey Lamar Jones

Corey Lamar Jones


Corey Lamar Jones was a local drummer for a couple churches and a member of a band. After performing with his band, his car began having issues. Listen to how Corey Jones lost his life while awaiting roadside assistance. Support the show (
Chinedu was a college graduate, father of a little girl, and brother to Facebook’s public policy director for Africa. Deputies of San Mateo County police didn’t know any of that when they tased him multiple times. The end result was his death in October 2018. A city government employee of 29 years is startled when police raid the wrong apartment. Listen to how misinformation caused the death of Alberta Spruill.Support the show (
A twin sister, a mother, and a friend. Yvette was being a peacekeeper when her life was tragically taken from her. Listen to the tragic story of Yvette Smith. A son, a brother, a football player. Jordan was doing what teenagers do -  partying with friends when his life was taken. Listen to how Jordan’s age and the number 15 take on a new meaning for his family.Support the show (
A mother of four was executed while she slept, and an officer was to blame.  Listen to find out what happened to Dominique and the reasons behind her death.  Carlos, a husband and father of eight, was literally scared to death after police raided his home in the middle of the night looking for someone who wasn’t there.   Support the show (
In part two of my interview with Dr. Kimya, she talks about Black mental health and why cops are often found not guilty at their trials.Here is Dr. Kimya's call to action:I (Dr. Kimya) demand a 10-year process resulting in 95% reduction in police funds and 95% reduction in police officers. There must be annual financial audits and annual policies, practices, and behavioral assessments for the remaining 5% of police funds. The researchers conducting the assessment cannot be selected and hired by police officials, law enforcement agencies, and government entities. Stop pretending police can be "reformed." Pretending reformation ignores or downplays the Emancipation Proclamation-based origins of USA police and ignores how Black people have demanded changes and reduction to police. People need to understand that Black people needing police is based on millions of tax payer dollars invested in police departments, inadequate police trainings, and police military equipment rather than millions of tax payer dollars invested in preventive measures--improving school materials and reducing inequities in school tests and school accreditation requirements, improving community holistic-based mental health and physical health services (including health and suicide crisis lines that do not include police--police are NOT first responders), workforce development, family services, and funding and resources for non-wealthy community businesses and non-wealthy community non-profits. Black communities, in particular, are intentionally forced to rely on the 2 Ps: Politicians and Police. This never changes if Black people keep trusting and relying on politicians, political parties, and police departments. We can vote, pay taxes, and demand things from these powerful people without relying on these powerful people for our lives and our resources. It is important for Black people to realize centuries of white people (and token Black people and token non-Black people) punishing Black people when we are non-compliant. Examples include police intentionally not responding to crime incidents in an attempt to punish Black people for demanding defunding of police, etc. Police have never been defunded anywhere in USA. Crime data does not represent reduction in police funds or reduction in police presence (with exception to when police ignore calls for help)This episode is brought to you by Omio. Use the following link for 5% off:*Valid for new customers only.  Terms and conditions apply*Support the show (
In part one of my interview with Dr. Kimya, she discusses her training background, why she no longer does equity training for police departments, and what 'defund the police REALLY means,' among a few other talking points.About Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis:Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis is an activist, sociologist and criminologist, educator, and researcher. As  founder of 365 Diversity, Dr. Dennis provides results-based services for decision makers in K-12  schools, colleges and universities, businesses, and for-profit and non-profit organizations.  Emphasis is placed on supporting and protecting people’s underserved and minoritized identities  and experiences in personal lives and professional lives. A range of demographics and cultures  captured consist of religion, spirituality, race and ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status,  language and communication, mental health, physical health, self-harm and suicide, disability,  reproductive decisions, and sexuality.  Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Dennis lived in North Carolina for 17 years—8 years  in Raleigh to attain doctorate and 9 years in Winston-Salem as college faculty and university  staff. Dr. Dennis lives in Baltimore, Maryland and connects with local, national, and  international schools, businesses, and organizations.Support the show (
A man was heading home with his family, when he was pulled over because he “looked like” a robbery suspect.  Listen to hear how a simple traffic stop ended with his death for all the world to see in real time.  A daughter, a mother, and a friend. A drug raid for her boyfriend with an unexpected end. Hear how a SWAT raid took the life of a mother of six and injured her 1-year old son.Facebook Video of Castile Shooting Reaches Millions Reynolds’ Daughter: “I can keep you safe” the show (
Botham Jean

Botham Jean


On the evening of September 6, 2018, Botham Jean was sitting on his couch eating ice cream and enjoying TV.  At the same time, Amber Guyger was coming home from a 13 hour shift with the Dallas Police Department.  Listen to find out how a case of being in the right place at the wrong time caused Botham to lose his life.RAW VIDEO: Dallas police officer bodycam of fatal Botham Jean shooting the show (
Freddie McCollum Jr was attacked in his own home by police officers because he forgot his wallet while driving.  India was an innocent passenger in a bad situation.  It ended with a hail of bullets killing her, and barely missing her infant son.Support the show (
A teenager with dreams and hopes for the future. Those dreams and hopes shattered like the glass of her car window prior to officers taking her life. Listen to the story of how Tyisha Miller’s cousin's call for help ended in a tragedy. A father with two children and a new job. A man who loved his family and BBQ. Listen to how William Green’s death with all its inconsistency resulted in a Maryland county settling with his family for $20 million.Support the show (
A pair of friends were down on their luck.  They were followed in their car by a police officer, and that turned into a 62-car police chase.  At the end of the chase, 13 officers riddled their bodies with bullets.  Listen to the story of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell.Support the show (
A young black child who was labeled as a man and had his childhood taken from him by police. Listen to hear how a toy caused his death. A college-educated, professional woman who was full of life. Her death was an accident as a cop muttered, “Damn” at her mistake. Listen to how her life was taken from her during a routine traffic stop.Video release of Tamir Rice’s shootingSupport the show (
Henry Dumas

Henry Dumas


Henry Dumas was an up and coming author and poet, with drafts of written work just waiting to be seen by the world.  But that opportunity was cut short when he was fatally killed by a police officer in a train station under mysterious circumstances.  Henry Dumas is a name we should all know, but unfortunately, he wasn’t given the chance to showcase his work himself.  With the help of fellow creative writers, his short stories and poems have been published for the world to experience.Knees of a Natural Man: The Selected Poetry of Henry DumasEcho Tree: The Collected Short Fiction of Henry DumasGoodbye Sweetwater: New & Selected Stories Support the show (
Both of these stories begin with mental illness and end with death.  Listen to find out how Daniel Prude and Natasha McKenna unconventional methods of being restrained led to brain damage and their eventual, untimely deaths.Police release video of Natasha McKenna death - full video Virginia Sheriff Releases Footage of Natasha McKenna's Death - 8 minute videoMental Health ResourceSupport the show (
A simple gas station trip turned traumatizing for Stephanie Washington. Innocent of this alleged crime, she became the target of gunfire due to incorrect information from the dispatch. Listen to how dispatch’s error resulted in her becoming paralyzed. Prince Jones was a father and a friend. His death came at the end of 16 miles. Listen to how he was tailed and gunned down by undercover cops.Videos of the Stephanie Washington Shooting the World and Me (Book) the World and Me (Movie) the show (
A sleeping child with a love of fairy tales and princesses; reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty. On a tragic day, her dreams and her life were destroyed by a single bullet. Listen to learn how Aiyana Stanley-Jones was cast in a role that she couldn’t prepare herself for. The story of Timothy Thomas, Jr. is one of racial profiling. He became a target and the police hit the bulls-eye in his death. Listen to how his death sparked the Cincinnati Riots and Civil Unrest of 2001.Crooked Smile on Amazon the show (
This week has been a tough one for me.  I wanted to go a little off schedule and share my sadness and frustration with what's been going on.  I briefly touch on what happened with Daunte Wright and Caron Nazario.Graphic: Body camera video shows deadly shooting of Daunte Wright fired after drawing gun on Army lieutenant Wright called his mother right before he was shot. This is what he said officer sues Virginia police over violent traffic stop Things to Know Before Recording the Police the show (
Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland


This name was in headlines all across the world: Sandra Bland.  Sandra Bland was a young woman from Illinois who decided to go back to her alma mater in Texas where she had graduated 6 years before.  Listen to find out how what was supposed to be a simple traffic stop ended with Sandra dying in her jail cell.Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland Speaks Bland Arrest Video the show (
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