Unarmed Black Man Shot Dead By Police In Phoenix Mistaking Pill Bottle for Gun

Cop reacts to fatally shooting drug suspect after mistaking pill bottle for gun.

Phoenix Police give details in officer involved shooting of unarmed man.

PHOENIX (KSAZ) – Phoenix Police say they are very aware of the scrutiny they are under in this shooting in light of the events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Police detailed the confrontation that led to a 7-year veteran of the force to fatally shoot 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon at an apartment complex Tuesday night.

One man spoke out and claimed he was in the car with Brisbon, and they had just returned from McDonalds when the officer approached.

“I didn’t hear the police say nothing, I didn’t hear them say freeze or anything of a police nature, I heard it afterwards, but I did not hear it before,” said Brandon Dickerson.

Police say Brisbon ran and was not obeying any of the officer’s commands to stop and show his hands. The officer and Brisbon struggled when they reached the front door of an apartment.

“The officer now has not got his hand grasped around the suspects hand, it is in the suspects pocket, and the suspect’s hand is trying to hold his hand in his pocket,” said Phoenix Police spokesperson Sgt. Trent Crump. “The suspect is trying to remove his hand and ultimately the officers grip breaks, he breaks free and as soon as he does (the officer) pulls out his weapon.”

The officer fired twice fatally wounding Brisbon.

“This one went bad from a standpoint of how it ended, but the officer was doing what we expect him to do, and that is fight crime,” he said.

“You couldn’t handle the situation in a different way besides shooting, I find that a little far-fetched and hard to believe, we stay in America it’s a police state, they’re killin all of us, that’s how it goes,” said Dickerson.

Community activist Jarrett Maupin is mistrustful; he says Phoenix Police have a history that should cause alarm.

“Just the last year with the shooting death of Michelle Cusseaux the mentally ill woman with a hammer in her hand, Daniel Rodriguez a young Latino kid. I preached at his funeral; people are dying, and they are being killed by the Phoenix PD, and it should cause concern in our community,” said Maupin.

Police say they found a pill bottle full of Oxycontin in Brisbon’s pocket and a handgun and marijuana in the vehicle he ran from.

Phoenix Police have placed the officer on administrative leave while they investigate the officer involved shooting, a standard practice in these cases.

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