*This is a headline we are starting to see way too often. Who was it, Dr. Boyce Watkins, who recently said the value of a black man’s life is zilch, and that is why police do it so effortlessly. Now another mother has lost her child. No, it was not a kid, but a man, an unarmed man, shot to death by an officer during a struggle, according to Reuters. Authorities say the officer “thought the man had a gun.”
The Phoenix Police Department said Rumain Brisbon, 34, was sitting in a black Cadillac SUV outside a convenience store on Tuesday evening, and that two witnesses told the officer the occupants of the vehicle were selling drugs.
Even though police forces across the country are under increased scrutiny over killings of unarmed black men, officers appear to not give a damn, and continue to shoot first, and ask questions later. In this case, Phoenix police claim the officer called for backup, but then saw Brisbon appear to remove something from the car’s back seat.
And automatically assumed it was a gun?
The seven-year veteran of the police department is said to have given the “suspect” several commands to show his hands, before Brisbon “placed one or both hands in his waistband area” and then fled.
The officer chased the suspect and once he caught up with him, a struggle ensued. It was during the struggle that the officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the individual’s hand in his pocket.
According to a police statement issued on Wednesday, “The officer gave the suspect several commands to get on the ground but he refused to comply, yelling profanities at the officer.”
At that point a resident opened an apartment door and both men stumbled into her home, it said, adding that the officer was unable to keep a grip on the suspect’s hand.
“Fearing Brisbon had a gun in his pocket the officer fired two rounds striking Brisbon in the torso,” it said.
Brisbon died at the scene, although the police department said the back-up officers arrived after the shooting, and treated him.
Police said Brisbon was carrying a vial of oxycodone pills, and that a semi-automatic handgun and a jar of what is believed to be marijuana were found in the SUV. The 30-year-old officer was not injured during the incident, the statement added.
This is just one more incident in what appears to be an unfortunate trend between U.S. law enforcement and the communities in which they operate. Two grand jury decisions not to indict officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City have triggered racially charged protests throughout the United States.
No word on the poor resident whose home this killing apparently happened in.