In Phoenix, Arizona a 7 year veteran of the police force fatally shot Rumain Brisbon after mistaking a pill bottle for a gun.
Sgt. Trent Crump said that “shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, officers were in the area of Interstate 17 and Greenway Road for a burglary investigation when a resident of an apartment complex told them that men inside a black Cadillac SUV were engaged in a drug deal.”
“Witnesses indicated to us that the suspect was verbally challenging to the officer,” Crump said.
But another witness reports:
“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.
The police have a different story.
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.”
Apparently the officer felt a gun in the suspects pocket although it was really a pill bottle filled with oxycodone.
“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.”
Brisbon was shot two times in the torso and killed.