Florida Deputies Who Shot US Airman Burst Into Wrong Apartment, Lawyer Says!

Florida Deputies Who Shot US Airman Burst Into Wrong Apartment, Lawyer Says
Florida Deputies Who Shot US Airman Burst Into Wrong Apartment, Lawyer Says

According to a lawyer, Florida deputies who shot a US Airman mistakenly barged into the wrong apartment. It’s causing quite a stir as people try to understand what happened. Let’s take a closer look at this surprising turn of events and what it means for everyone involved.

Florida Deputies Who Shot US Airman Burst Into Wrong Apartment, Lawyer Says

The Black U.S. Air Force airman was shot and killed by deputies responding to a disturbance complaint at a Florida apartment complex when they entered the wrong unit and discovered the man was carrying a gun, according to the man’s family attorney, who made the statement on Wednesday.

When the incident occurred on May 3, 23-year-old Senior Airman Roger Fortson, who was assigned to the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, was at his off-base residence in Fort Walton Beach.

Fortson was having a Facetime conversation with a woman when the interaction occurred, according to a statement from civil rights lawyer Ben Crump.

Crump claimed the woman, who he did not name, stated Fortson heard a knock on his apartment door when he was alone. He enquired as to who was present but received no answer. Crump quoted the woman as saying that a few minutes later, Fortson heard a harder knock but glanced through the peephole and saw no one.

According to the woman, Fortson went to get his gun—which Crump claimed was lawfully owned—because he was worried.

In Crump’s statement, Fortson was shot six times by deputies who broke through his living room door as he was making his way back. After being shot, the woman claimed that Fortson was on the ground crying out, “I can’t breathe.”

As per Crump’s statement, the woman expressed her belief that the deputies were mistakenly assigned to the wrong apartment and that Fortson wasn’t causing any disruption throughout their Facetime discussion.

Crump said, “The circumstances surrounding Roger’s death raise serious questions that demand immediate answers from authorities, especially considering the alarming witness statement that the police entered the wrong apartment.”

Florida Deputies Who Shot US Airman Burst Into Wrong Apartment, Lawyer Says

“We are calling for transparency in the investigation into Roger’s death and the immediate release of body cam video to the family. His family and the public deserve to know what occurred in the moments leading up to this tragedy.”

Crump is a well-known lawyer from Tallahassee, Florida. He’s handled many high-profile cases where Black people were shot by law enforcement, like Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Tyre Nichols, and George Floyd.

Crump and the Fortson family are planning to talk at a news conference in Fort Walton Beach on Thursday morning.

Last week, the sheriff’s office said in a statement that a deputy reacted to protect themselves when they encountered an armed man while responding to a call about a disturbance at the apartment complex. The office didn’t say what the disturbance was about or who called for help.

The sheriff’s office didn’t say right away who the deputies were or what races they were. They mentioned earlier this week that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the local State Attorney’s Office will look into the shooting.

Fortson worked with the 4th Special Operations Squadron as a special missions aviator. As part of the AC-130J Ghostrider aircrew, one of his jobs was to load the gunship’s 30mm and 105mm cannons during missions.

Fortson’s death is similar to other cases where Black people were killed by police in their homes recently. Those incidents involved officers going to the wrong address or using deadly force when they shouldn’t have during service calls.

Back in 2018, a white ex-police officer from Dallas mistakenly entered Botham Jean’s apartment, thinking it was hers, and fatally shot him. Botham Jean, a Black man, was unarmed. The former officer, Amber Guyger, was convicted of murder the next year and got a 10-year prison sentence.

Then, in 2019, a white ex-officer from Fort Worth, Texas, shot Atatiana Jefferson through a back window of her house. This happened when the officer responded to a non-emergency call about Jefferson’s front door being open. Aaron Dean, the former officer, was found guilty of manslaughter in 2022 and was sentenced to almost 12 years in prison.

Crump has been involved in both cases, supporting the families as part of his ongoing mission to hold police accountable for the deaths of Black people.

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