Unarmed Black Man Killed In Phoenix By Police; Protests Ensue
After two grand juries decided not to indict officers in New York City and Ferguson, MO on criminal charges for the deaths of unarmed black men Eric Garner and Mike Brown, another unarmed black man has been killed by a police officer, Phoenix News reports.
On Dec. 3rd, police got a call about two men dealing drugs in a black Cadillac Escalade at a nearby 7-Eleven. When an officer, who has not been identified, noticed a vehicle fitting the description, he approached 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon, who was getting out of the SUV. When the officer ordered Brisbon to get on the ground, he reportedly became defensive and ignored the officer's order. Brisbon then reportedly ran from the officer to his girlfriend's house and when she opened the door the two men fell in and were tussling on the floor. After the officer lost his hold on Brisbon and thought he felt a gun in his pocket, he shot the father of four twice in the torso.
“During the struggle, Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed onto the suspect’s hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket,” said Sgt. Trent Crump, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department. “The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect’s hand in his pocket.”
What the officer thought was a gun was actually a bottle of oxycodone pills. There were no drugs found in Brisbon's vehicle, only a legally registered firearm. Brandon Dickerson, who was in the SUV with Brisbon, said he was taking dinner to his four children and was not combative with the officer.
“Who’s gonna argue with police?” Dickerson said. “He had no death wish yesterday.”
The officer has only been identified as a 30-year-old who has been on the police force for seven years.
A protest ensued after 150 people gathered in downtown Phoenix to march to the police headquarters. The demonstration reportedly remained peaceful as the crowd shouted "Hands up, don't shoot."