Mark Daniels’ mother is comforted by family, friends and community members during a press conference just 6 days after her son was shot and killed by police in Pittsburgh. The family continues to ask and search for answers. #pittsburgh @PGVisuals @PittsburghPG pic.twitter.com/R94sna03dY— Jessie Wardarski (@JKayWardarski) February 16, 2018
One Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officer has been involved in several questionable shootings of black men in less than a year.
Earlier this month, officers fatally shot 39-year-old black man Mark Daniels, who allegedly ran from them when they tried to approach him.
However, some of the specifics from the incident have raised eyebrows. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that police were responding to a call after being “alerted to an actor with a gun.” Alas, Anita Williams, Daniels’ aunt, maintained that her nephew didn't own or carry a gun.
She also said that while Daniels was in the hospital after the shooting, he was being guarded by “four or five” officers who would not allow his family to see him.
The case is still under investigation, but it prompts concerns over some of the most recent police shootings involving the same officer in the department.
In a separate article, The Post-Gazette reported that one of the officers who shot Daniels was involved in two other shootings in the last 10 months.
The cop, Gino A. Macioce, is a five-year veteran and field training officer, who was involved in non-fatal shootings in January 2018 and in April 2017.
Last year, Macioce shot Christopher Howard, 20, who robbed two women, and in the midst of being chased by the officer, allegedly pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, prompting Macioce to open fire.
Just last month, the officer fired shots at 26-year-old Eric Farrar, who was also allegedly carrying a shotgun but dropped it when officers told him to. However, he allegedly reached into his waistband for a pistol, which led Macioce and another officer to shoot him, resulting in critical injuries.
While it's certainly possible that Macioce's use of force in each of these instances was warranted and justified, it does seem awfully suspicious. The Post-Gazette noted that it's unclear whether the officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in these cases.
It's important to call attention to such patterns, particularly amid the very real threat of police brutality throughout the nation and how it disproportionately affects black people.
It's equally plausible that Macioce is deliberately targeting black males, and the community needs to be privy to this potential danger.
We can only hope that the ongoing investigations into the shootings Macioce was involved in yield truth and closure for the victims and their families, as well as the African-American population of Pittsburgh.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Flickr, Raymond Wambsgans