Around 100 protesters in Phoenix, Az., who marched to police headquarters Thursday night want to know the identity of the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Black man.
On Wednesday, the police department defended the actions of the officer—but did not identify him—who shot Rumain Brisbon, 34, at an apartment complex in north Phoenix.
“This one went bad from the standpoint of how it ended, but the officer was doing exactly what we want him to do,” Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman, said.
The recent police shootings of Black men making national headlines has people like Ann Hart, chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory Board for South Phoenix, concerned.
She told NBC station KPNX of Phoenix that recent events leave “the impression 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,” Hart told the station.
Another protest was scheduled for Friday night, according to NBC News. In Tempe, Az., a “Run From the Cops 5K” sponsored by the Tempe Police foundation, a nonprofit organization, in partnership with the Tempe Police Department, scheduled for Saturday was cancelled, NBC News reported. In a letter to participants, it said that it was necessary to postpone the event “out of sensitivity, respect, and support for all sides of an important debate taking place across our country.”
The 30-year-old officer with seven years on the force, who has yet to be named, was unharmed and Brisbon had two bullet wounds in his torso, according to The Arizona Republic.
“Four children are missing their father, a woman is missing her husband and a mother is missing her son,” Marci Kratter, a Phoenix attorney who has represented Brisbon before, told The Arizona Republic. “It was a senseless tragedy. He was unarmed and not a threat to anyone. We intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law.”
Much like the Brown incident, witness reports and the police account aren’t matching.
“I think the statements given to me by neighbors, friends and family members are in direct contrast to what has been disseminated by the Phoenix Police Department, “Jarrett Maupin, a civil-rights activist, told The Republic. Maupin went to the scene on Wednesday to speak with Brisbon’s family.
The Phoenix police said they released their account of the killing Wednesday morning to promote transparency.
Brandon Dickerson, who said he was in the car with Brisbon before the shooting, said that he was on his way to drop off fast food to his children in the apartment, The Arizona Republic reported.
The police account states that just before 6:00 p.m., officers were in the area of Interstate 17 and Greenway road investigating a burglary when a resident told them that a drug deal was occurring between men in a black Cadillac SUV, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said at the news conference.
The officer went to the SUV to ask questions, Crump said.
Dickerson said that the officer never tried to talk to Brisbon and that he wasn’t yelling at the officer.
When the driver exited the car and appeared to be retrieving something from the rear of the SUV, the officer commanded Brisbon to show his hands. But Brisbon placed his hands inside his waistband, Crump said.
Brisbon ran when the officer pulled his gun and the officer pursued him.
“Witnesses indicated to us that the suspect was verbally challenging to the officer,” Crump said.
“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,” he said. “The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect’s hand in his pocket.”
The two fell inside an apartment when a woman opened a door. Two children, nine and 12, were in a bedroom of the apartment when Brisbon and the officer fell in.
The officer lost hold of Brisbon’s hand and fired two shots, claiming he believed Brisbon had a gun.
A resident who lives above the floor where the shooting occurred, Martin Rangel, told The Republic he heard banging and then a gunshot.
“I ran to the window, and that’s when I saw the cop running out, or like, walking out, and he was cussing, you know, he was screaming ‘F**k, f**k,’ like upset that he shot the guy,” Rangel said.
Crump clarified that the item inside Brisbon’s pocket was a bottle of oxcycodone pills.