Unarmed Arizona man shot dead by Phoenix cop who mistook pill bottle for pistol
Rumain Brisbon, 34, was shot twice in the chest after a chase and scuffle ended on the floor of a Phoenix apartment where two children were in a back bedroom. Witness accounts of what transpired varied, but what an officer took to be a pistol in Brisbon's pocket was actually a bottle of oxycodone pills.
Police have yet to name the 30-year-old white officer, who fired off two shots that killed Rumain Brisbon, a 34-year-old black man, during an altercation Tuesday night during an investigation into a drug deal, police said.
But witness accounts varied on what actually happened, sparking protests in Phoenix Thursday night as the fever pitch from the police killings of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the chokehold death of Eric Garneron Staten Island, boiled over into the streets of the southwestern United States.
The police-involved shooting gives “the impression it’s open season for killing black men,” Ann Hart, the chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory Board for South Phoenix, told KPNX-TV.
"We need to look into that," Hart told the NBC affiliate. "We need to take a deeper dive into why police officers are feeling compelled to shoot and kill as opposed to apprehend and detain, arrest and jail."