Roger Fortson Funeral Details Revealed As Airman’s Body Returned To Family After Florida Police Shooting

Senior Airman Roger Fortson of the U.S. Air Force

Senior Airman Roger Fortson. | Source: U.S. Air Force

The family of an active duty U.S. Air Force officer who was shot to death in his own home earlier this month by a police officer in Florida under questionable circumstances is preparing to bury their loved one at a funeral just days after receiving his body from authorities.

The body of Senior Airman Roger Fortson was delivered to his family via a dignified transfer on Tuesday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, not far from where the 23-year-old’s funeral is scheduled to be held in the Georgia city of Stonecrest.

MORE: Roger Fortson’s Police Killing And The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office’s History Of Brutality, Recklessness And Crime

The dignified transfer took place just three days before Fortson’s funeral is set to be held on Friday at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, is listed as the funeral’s officiant. The funeral is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time.

Ahead of the funeral, a public viewing and visitation is set to take place on Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.

Following the funeral, Fortson’s body is expected to be laid to rest at the Lincoln Cemetery in Atlanta, according to a death notice posted online.

What happened to Roger Fortson?

Fortson was gunned down in his own apartment on May 3 within seconds of opening his front door when an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy responded aggressively to a report of a “disturbance” that an eye- and earwitness claims never existed at that location.

Less than a week after Fortson was killed, the initial shooting narrative provided by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has been undermined by that witness – Fortson’s girlfriend – who said the police responded to the wrong apartment.

Bodycam video footage made public last week shows the deputy banging loudly on an apartment door. When Fortson – possibly suspecting an intruder – answered the door while brandishing a legally owned gun that was facing down, the deputy immediately opened fire and shot the young Airman six times.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office claimed the deputy and other cops on the scene rendered medical aid, but Fortson’s girlfriend suggested otherwise and shared video footage proving it, attorneys said. The footage is from a FaceTime call she and Fortson were having when he was shot.

Fortson’s family suggested in a statement after watching the bodycam video of the shooting that the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office was not being entirely truthful.

“In the four-and-a-half-minute, heavily redacted video, it is very troubling that the deputy gave no verbal commands and shot multiple times within a split second of the door being opened, killing Roger,” the family said in a statement shared with NewsOne last week. “Despite the redactions, the video has provided some answers, but it’s also raised even more troubling questions: As the officer didn’t tell Roger to drop the weapon before shooting, was the officer trained to give verbal warnings? Did the officer try to initiate life-saving measures? Was the officer trained to deal with law-abiding citizens who are registered gun owners?”

Fortson’s family added that they “remain adamant that the police had the wrong apartment as Roger was on the phone with his girlfriend for a substantial amount of time leading up to the shooting, and no one else was in the apartment.”

Fortson’s family also shared the nearly four-minute-long video footage from the FaceTime call. The video, which is graphic and should be viewed with discretion, can be watched by clicking here.


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The post Roger Fortson Funeral Details Revealed As Airman’s Body Returned To Family After Florida Police Shooting appeared first on NewsOne.

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