The black victims honoured in Naomi Osaka's US Open masks

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Naomi Osaka has been creating a commentary together with her face coverings whilst competing in the USA Open: for each and every spherical, she wears a brand new masks bearing the identify of a black sufferer of alleged police or racist violence in the USA.

The Jap tennis megastar made the pledge initially of the event. Now, she’s reached the semi-finals.

The households of a few of these sufferers have publicly thanked her for dressed in the mask, recording video messages which have been performed for her at the set of sports activities broadcaster ESPN.

Osaka stated the messages left her “actually thankful and… actually humbled”.

“I used to be simply making an attempt actually exhausting to not cry,” she instructed a press convention. “It’s kind of surreal. It is extraordinarily touching that they’d really feel touched by way of what I am doing. For me, I think like what I have been doing is not anything. It is a speck of what I may well be doing.”

Osaka has worn mask bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and George Floyd. Those are their tales.

Breonna Taylor

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On 13 March, cops in Louisville, Kentucky, used a battering ram to damage down the door to Breonna Taylor’s condo.

They suspected her flat within the town’s South Finish used to be getting used to obtain medicine by way of a gang based totally at a special cope with about 10 miles (16km) away.

Probably the most suspects used to be an ex-boyfriend of hers, and he or she used to be one in every of 3 other people named at the warrant, native media reported previous this yr. She used to be now not the primary topic of the investigation.

However breaking down her door caused a chaotic sequence of occasions and a barrage of police gunfire that left Ms Taylor – an unarmed, 26-year-old emergency clinical technician – fatally shot.

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Breonna Taylor, 26, used to be a adorned emergency clinical technician

Ms Taylor’s identify, and a choice to “arrest the law enforcement officials that killed Breonna Taylor”, become a rallying cry for justice on this summer season’s international Black Lives Subject protests.

In June Brett Hankison, one in every of 3 officials concerned within the capturing, misplaced his badge. Louisville Police meantime leader Robert Schroeder stated his habits that night used to be “a surprise to the moral sense”, and accused him of “blindly” firing 10 rounds into Ms Taylor’s condo.

Legal professionals for Ms Taylor’s circle of relatives stated on the time that they sought after to peer the opposite officials – Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove – fired as neatly.

“We additionally stay up for those officials being prosecuted for his or her roles in her premature demise,” they stated.

Whilst Mr Hankinson misplaced his process, the cops concerned within the capturing have now not been arrested or charged.

Elijah McClain

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Elijah McClain used to be a 23-year-old black guy who died in police custody in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado, on 24 August 2019.

He used to be strolling, unarmed, when he used to be stopped by way of 3 white cops. A district lawyer file later stated there were an emergency name a couple of “suspicious particular person” matching his description.

There used to be a combat because the officials attempted to look him for a weapon. On frame cam pictures, Mr McClain may also be heard announcing: “I am an introvert, please appreciate my barriers that I’m talking.”

Probably the most officials then says, “he’s going on your gun” – at which level they strive against him to the bottom and put him in a chokehold.

The file says Mr McClain misplaced awareness, used to be launched from the chokehold and started to combat once more.

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CBS / Mari Newman

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Elijah McClain died after police put him in a chokehold and a medic injected him with ketamine

The officials referred to as for help, with firefighters and an ambulance responding. A fireplace medic injected Mr McClain with 500mg of the drug ketamine to sedate him.

Mr McClain used to be then installed “cushy restraints” on a stretcher and put within the ambulance. The medic who had administered the drug then spotted that Mr McClain’s chest “used to be now not emerging by itself, and he didn’t have a pulse”. He used to be declared mind useless on 27 August.

Mr McClain’s circle of relatives allege that the officials used over the top drive for approximately 15 mins as Mr McClain vomited, begged for them to forestall and many times instructed them he may now not breathe. The officials additionally threatened to set a police canine on him, the circle of relatives stated.

Right away after the incident, the 3 officials concerned have been put on paid administrative depart. 3 months later, prosecutors introduced that they wouldn’t carry fees in opposition to the officials, they usually then returned to customary responsibility.

In June this yr, the officials have been reassigned to “non-enforcement tasks”.

Ahmaud Arbery

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Ahmaud Arbery, 25, used to be jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, on 23 February when he used to be shot useless by way of two white males – a father and son.

Within the moments sooner than the deadly war of words, Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis, 34, armed themselves with a pistol and shotgun and pursued Mr Arbery in a pickup truck in Brunswick’s Satilla Shores neighbourhood.

Gregory McMichael later instructed police he idea Mr Arbery appeared like the suspect in a chain of native break-ins.

A 36-second video shot by way of some other guy, William Bryan, leaked on-line on five Might, producing a national outcry that used to be rapidly adopted by way of homicide fees. Mr Bryan filmed it from his car whilst he used to be using in the back of Mr Arbery.

The clip seems to turn Mr Arbery working down a tree-lined boulevard because the McMichaels wait forward for him of their car.

A tussle follows between the more youthful McMichael and Mr Arbery, who then falls to the bottom.

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Media captionJoggers out in cohesion with Ahmaud Arbery

The 3 defendants weren’t charged till greater than two months after Mr Arbery used to be killed. It used to be simplest when pictures of the killing went viral that state police started investigating.

Travis McMichael, his son Greg, and William Bryan have been indicted by way of Glynn County’s Grand Jury on fees together with malice and criminal homicide. They’ve pleaded now not responsible, and are expecting trial.

In a message to Osaka, Mr Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr, stated: “Thanks for the toughen of my circle of relatives and God bless you for what you are doing and also you supporting our circle of relatives with my son. My circle of relatives actually, actually appreciates that and God bless you.”

Trayvon Martin

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The killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, in 2012 – and the acquittal of the person who killed him – sparked the beginning of Black Lives Subject.

Trayvon Martin, 17, had simply been to the store to shop for some Skittles and a cushy drink when neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman noticed him.

Believing the unarmed youngster used to be as much as no just right, Mr Zimmerman tackled him.

No person witnessed what took place between them however a neighbour’s name to the emergency services and products picked up cries for lend a hand, adopted by way of the deadly gunshot.

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Getty Photographs

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Trayvon Martin used to be killed in 2012, on the age of 17

Mr Zimmerman’s legal professional maintained that his consumer were viciously assaulted by way of Martin. Gun regulations in the USA permit those that personal firearms to shoot anyone in the event that they really feel they are at risk of being killed or critically injured.

On account of this, Florida police did not arrest Mr Zimmerman for 6 weeks after the capturing, upsetting mass rallies in Florida and all through the USA.

US legislation allowed him to mention he shot Trayvon in self-defence however the youngster’s friends and family all the time insisted it used to be homicide.

Martin’s mom, Sybrina Fulton, stated in a message to Osaka: “I simply wish to say thanks to Naomi Osaka for representing Trayvon Martin in your custom designed mask, and in addition for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

“We thanks from the ground of our hearts. Proceed to do neatly. Proceed to kick butt at the USA Open.”

George Floyd

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The killing of George Floyd reignited the Black Lives Subject motion this yr, sparking what is assumed to be essentially the most common civil rights protest motion in US historical past.

Mr Floyd, 46, used to be stopped by way of police on 25 Might in Minneapolis.

Officials have been investigating the acquisition of cigarettes with counterfeit cash.

Photos, which used to be later broadly shared on-line, confirmed Mr Floyd’s arrest – right through which an officer pinned him to the bottom.

  • ‘Pandemic of racism’ ended in George Floyd demise

A white police officer, Derek Chauvin, used to be observed kneeling on his neck for just about 9 mins. Mr Floyd used to be heard many times pleading with him to forestall, announcing: “I will be able to’t breathe.”

He used to be pronounced useless in health facility.

Because the pictures unfold globally, protests erupted in Minneapolis – the primary of a summer season of Black Lives Subject demonstrations internationally.

The 4 officials serious about his arrest have been fired the next day, and later charged over his killing. They’re anticipated to face trial subsequent yr.

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Media caption“I take into accout George Floyd as me”

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