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Wrong Apartment: US Cop Fatally Shoots Black Air Force Officer

Photo : X / @PoliticsOnX

A tragic incident unfolded as 23-year-old Roger Fortson, a Black airman in the US Air Force, was fatally shot in what has been described as an "excessive" use of force by a Florida sheriff's deputy. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, known for representing families of African American victims of police violence, has been retained by Fortson's family and is demanding a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death, which occurred on May 3.

According to Sheriff Eric Aden of the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, the deputy involved was responding to reports of a "disturbance in progress" at an apartment. However, Crump countered this narrative during a press conference, asserting that the disturbance did not originate from Fortson's apartment. He emphasized that Fortson was in his own residence, a place where he had every right to feel safe and secure, when law enforcement forcibly entered, employing what Crump labeled as an "excessive" use of force.

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Crump revealed that Fortson was on a FaceTime call with his girlfriend, a nurse, at the time of the incident. His girlfriend, who was witness to the events, recounted hearing aggressive banging at the door, followed by Fortson's inquiry of "Who is it?" with no response. Despite looking through the peephole and seeing no one, Fortson retrieved his legally registered firearm. As he was returning, the door suddenly opened, and shots were fired, ultimately striking Fortson six times.

Demanding transparency and accountability, Crump urged for a comprehensive investigation to ensure that justice is served for Fortson, whom he described as a "good man." In a statement, Sheriff Aden confirmed that a deputy encountered an armed individual in response to a disturbance call and subsequently fired shots, resulting in Fortson's tragic death. Investigations into the incident will be conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the state attorney's office.

This unfortunate event adds to the ongoing national conversation about police violence and racial injustice, reignited by the protests that swept across the United States in 2020 following the death of George Floyd. Floyd's murder underscored systemic issues within law enforcement and prompted widespread calls for police reform and accountability.

May 10, 2024 2:54 p.m. 406

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