A Phoenix white police officer on Tuesday December 2nd, shot dead Rumain Brisbon, a 34 year old father of four, after he mistook Brisbon’s pill bottle for a gun.
According to Phoenix police report, Brisbon was suspected of peddling hard drugs. Following a tip-off, he was approached by a 30 year old white police cop to ask him to come down from his Cadillac SUV for a search which he agreed to.
According to the police version of events, while coming down from his vehicle, Brisbon was said to have ‘appeared to be removing something’ from the rear seat. The officer instructed him to show his hands but instead Brisbon placed one or both hands in his waistband area before fleeing to a nearby apartment building.
The police officer pursued him and they claim he refused the officers command asking him to get on the ground. Then they claim he began insulting the officer who he struggled with after he was caught.
The police report said “During the struggle Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed on to the suspect’s hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket,”.
The two men tumbled inside an apartment after a door was opened. The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspects hand in his pocket”, the statement continued. Having become “unable to maintain his grip on the suspect’s hand”, the officer shot Brisbon twice in the torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A search of Brisbon’s pocket showed the item was a vial containing several oxycodone tablets. Police report said a handgun and a jar apparently containing marijuana was found inside Brisbon’s SUV. Brisbon was found to have a criminal record including a burglary conviction.
The officer, who has worked for the department for seven years, was not harmed. Police said he was in the area to investigate an alleged burglary but was told by two people that men inside a black Cadillac SUV were engaged in a drug deal.
Brandon Dickerson, a friend of Brisbon who was driving with him at the time of the incident told the Arizona Republic that Brisbon was at the apartment building where he was shot dead to deliver fast food to his children. The newspaper reported that “on Wednesday evening, strewn french fries still littered the front porch”.
Marci Kratter, an attorney for Brisbon’s family, told the newspaper they were considering a wrongful death lawsuit.
“It was a senseless tragedy,” she said. “He was unarmed and not a threat to anyone. We intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law.”