NewsAdvocates of Slain Florida Airman Claim Gun Did Not Justify Killing

Advocates of Slain Florida Airman Claim Gun Did Not Justify Killing

Fortson was a senior Air Force airman before a Florida deputy shot at him six times.

Experts weigh in on the fatal shooting of Florida Airman Roger Fortson, stating his holding of his gun did not justify his death. A Sheriff deputy shot Fortson after he opened his apartment door with a gun in hand.

The May 3 incident occurred after the deputy appeared at Fortson’s doorstep to respond to a complaint about an argument. Fortson was allegedly by himself at his residence, also on FaceTime with his girlfriend. His advocates believe the killing was yet another instance of an officer using excessive force. It also lies as a case in which police fatally shoot a Black person in their own home, as reported by ABC News.

On the other hand, authorities argue that the deputy, who remains unidentified, had to make the timely decision if he felt a deadly risk. To some experts, however, the presence of a gun is not merely enough to justify the officer’s actions.

Ian Adams, an assistant Criminology professor, explained how the increase legal ownership of guns makes the matter tricky. Adams also has a past history as a police officer.

“The speed of the shooting is pretty intense. It’s happening very, very fast,” explained Adams on the footage. “He presence of a gun enhances the risk. But mere presence is not at all justification for using deadly force.”

He added, “We also live in a nation with more guns than people. If the mere presence of a gun were the standard for reasonable use of deadly force, we would be awash with police shootings.”

The incident garnered national attention due to the body-camera footage and the man’s rank in the Air Force. In the video released on May 9, the deputy banged on Fortson’s door, yelling that he was from the sheriff’s office. Seconds after the 23-year-old appeared at the door with his gun allegedly at his side, the deputy fired in his direction six times. He then proceeded telling him to drop his weapon.

Ben Crump, the Fortsons’ attorney, argued that the lack of verbal warning by the deputy led to this preventable death. Fellow supporters of Fortson within the Air Force also believe his killing was unjustified.

“When he just opens the door, sees him with a gun, and unloads six rounds on the senior airman, to me that just screams unjust right away,” said Scott Lacey, a retired Air Force Special Operations Command Officer. “The airman didn’t raise his gun and showed no kind of hostile intent.”

In regards to Fortson’s fatal shooting, investigators expect to make a decision soon on whether the officer should be charged.

RELATED CONTENT: Black Air Force Airman Killed By Florida Deputies Who Were At The Wrong Apartment, Attorney says

Source: Black Enterprise

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