There Is New Evidence In The Florida Police Killing Of Airman Roger Fortson, Ben Crump Says

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

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

The family of a young, Black officer with the U.S. Air Force who was shot to death by a Florida police officer earlier this month is expected to reveal new evidence in the killing that happened under questionable circumstances.

Senior Airman Roger Fortson’s family will be joined by their lawyer, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, at a press conference Thursday morning to formally announce the revelation amid allegations that the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy at the center of the shooting responded to the wrong apartment on May 3.

MORE: Roger Fortson Funeral Details Revealed

The press conference is scheduled to be held in Stonecrest, Georgia, at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where a funeral for Fortson, 23, is taking place on Friday.

This article will be updated following the press conference.

Fortson’s body was delivered to his family via a dignified transfer on Tuesday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta as they prepare to lay him to rest following a funeral in which Pastor Jamal Bryant will officiate and deliver the eulogy. Crump is set to deliver a call to action at the funeral.

Citing a witness, Fortson’s family has maintained that the still-unidentified deputy who killed Fortson went to the wrong apartment on that fateful day.

The witness, Fortson’s girlfriend, claims she and Fortson were on a Facetime call at the time he was killed. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has said the deputy shot Fortson out of “self defense” because the Airman responded to police banging on his front door by arming himself with his legally owned gun.

Police bodycam footage shows Fortson opened his apartment door with his gun facing down, indicating that there was no immediate threat to the deputy. Still, the deputy shot Fortson six times at point blank range within a split second of the Airman opening his door.

A portion of the Facetime video made public by Fortson’s family suggests that the police did not immediately administer medical aid to Fortson, another contradiction with the narrative provided by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The video, which is graphic and should be viewed with discretion, can be seen by clicking here.

“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?”

Hours after Thursday’s press conference, Fortson’s family will host a wake and public viewing at the the Donald Trimble Mortuary in Decatur.

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


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The post There Is New Evidence In The Florida Police Killing Of Airman Roger Fortson, Ben Crump Says appeared first on NewsOne.

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