Phoenix PD's Killing of Rumain Brisbon Sparking More Protests
A protester holding a sign during a demonstration against police brutality on Friday.
Protests are continuing to take place over the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon by a Phoenix police officer last week.
Brisbon was fatally shot Tuesday night at an apartment complex after a scuffle with a Phoenix police officer who was investigating a drug-dealing complaint. Police say the officer thought Brisbon was reaching for a gun in his pocket, although he turned out to be unarmed.
The third protest of the shooting is being organized for tonight, as activists and Brisbon's family attempt to call on the police department for information about the yet-unnamed officer.
"We're really going to demand justice for Rumain Brisbon," Reverend Jarrett Maupin tells New Times. "I spoke two days ago to his 9 year-old daughter, and she said, 'Reverend Maupin, I want to know who killed my daddy.'"
According to police, the confrontation between the officer and Brisbon came about after the officer was told by a witness that people in a black Cadillac SUV were selling drugs at nearby 7-Eleven store. The officer ran the license plate number, and the address came back to an apartment complex where, separately, someone had made a noise complaint to police.
Police the officer planned to deal with the noise complaint first, then check out the complaint about the Cadillac.
The radio call for the noise complaint was canceled by the time the officer got there, but the officer spotted the black SUV and called for backup, police say.
At that point, Brisbon got out of the SUV and opened a back door, apparently taking something out of the vehicle. The officer told Brisbon to put up his hands, but Brisbon ran instead, police say.
The officer told investigators that when he was in the physical struggle with Brisbon, he thought he felt the butt of a gun in Brisbon's pocket, which led to the officer shooting Brisbon, according to police.
The officer had lost his grip on Brisbon's hand shortly after the two literally stumbled into an apartment when an occupant opened the door. The occupant was later discovered to be Brisbon's girlfriend, who had her 2- and 9-year-old kids in a back bedroom. The object in Brisbon's pocket was a vial of pills.
"Let's be very clear: The officer was doing what we expect him to do, and that is, investigating crimes that neighbors are telling him are occurring in that apartment complex," Phoenix Police Sergeant Trent Crump said at a press conference last week. "This one went bad, from the standpoint of how it ended, but the officer was doing exactly what we want him to do."
Maupin says police are acting like they've "done the community a favor -- that couldn't be further from the truth."
Maupin pointed out that witness statements have varied a lot from the officer's account, which is something police have acknowledged.
"We're out marching for answers -- the officer's name and his background -- but were also out marching to protest racial profiling and police brutality," Maupin says.
The protest will be a march from the Elks Lodge at 1007 South Seventh Avenue in South Phoenix to Phoenix police headquarters.
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