Another day, another fatal shooting by a white police officer of a black male whom he believed — erroneously, as it turns out — to be carrying a weapon.
The name of the dead man this time is Rumain Brisbon. The name of the officer has yet to be released. The deadly confrontation occurred Tuesday in Phoenix, shortly before 6 p.m.
According to AZ Central, the patrol officer was investigating a burglary. A resident of an apartment complex in the area told the cop he had seen two men inside a black Cadillac SUV engaged in a drug deal. The officer asked the driver, later identified as Brisbon, to step out of the vehicle, whereupon the man fled. The officer gave pursuit on foot, eventually catching up to Brisbon and ordering him to get on the ground. A struggle ensued, during which the officer thought he saw Brisbon reaching for a gun in his pocket. Fearing for his life, the officer squeezed off two rounds, both striking Brisbon in the midsection.
Upon inspection, all investigators found in the dead man’s pocket was a bottle of oxycodone pills.
According to the police report, eyewitnesses claim that Brisbon was verbally challenging the officer before the two grappled.
[Sgt. Trent] Crump, [a Phoenix police spokesman,] said the officers are aware of the delicate nature of the case and are asking the community to allow investigators to gather all the facts.
“I would like to think that in our officer-involved shootings, that we are transparent as we can be as an organization,” Crump said. “We always have been and always will be concerned about what it is that our residents think about our role in this community and the levels of force that we use.
“Let’s be very clear: The officer was doing what we expect him to do, which is investigate crimes that neighbors are telling him are occurring in that part of the complex.”
Crump said the department was not identifying the officer, a 30-year-old with seven years on the force.
Needless to say, this latest shooting, coming on the heels of the Ferguson case and its aftermath and the grand jury decision in the death of Eric Garner, will only add fuel to the current racial tensions that are sweeping the nation.
Ann Hart, chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory for South Phoenix, said of the Phoenix shooting:
It gives the impression that it’s open season for killing black men. We need to take a deeper dive into why police officers are feeling compelled to shoot and kill as opposed to apprehend and detain, arrest and jail.
Nothing about this statement is new or different any more than is the death of Rumain Brisbon.