Unarmed Black Man Rumain Brisbon Killed After Cops Mistake Pill Bottle for Gun
According to Sgt. Trent Crump, a Phoenix police spokesman, this past Tuesday (Dec 2) evening, two officers were investigating a burglary complaint when a resident of a nearby apartment complex reported a drug deal inside a parked Cadillac SUV.
The officers were going to the SUV to ask questions when they observed the driver—34-year-old Rumain Brisbon—get out of the car and appear to be removing something from the rear of the vehicle. He was allegedly ordered to show his hands, but according to the police, Brisbon put his hands into his waistband, and verbally challenged the cop—witnesses said.
The unidentified (but described to be a 30-year-old, seven-year veteran) officer then drew his service weapon and demanded that Brisbon get on the ground but the 34-year-old instead took flight to a nearby apartment. His actions prompted a short foot chase and when the officer caught up with Brisbon, a struggled ensued.
"During the struggle, Brisbon put his left hand in his pocket and the officer grabbed onto the suspect’s hand, while repeatedly telling the suspect to keep his hand in his pocket," The Pheonix police spokesman said. "The officer believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding the suspect’s hand in his pocket."
At that moment a woman opened her door apartment door and both the cop and victim fell inside, two children ages 9 and 2 were in there as well, in a back bedroom.
According to the officer, he lost his grip on Brisbon’s hand and fired two shots, killing the man instantly. However, the weapon he assumed Brisbon had in his pocked was a pill bottle.
An eye witness, Martin Rangel, recalls hearing the gun shots ("It was so loud, I heard the vibration through the floor,") and when he looked out his window he "saw the cop running out, or like, walking out, and he was cussing, you know, he was screaming, 'F-ck! F-ck!' — like upset that he shot the guy."
The other person in the SUV, Brandon Dickerson, witnessed part of what occured and he says Brisbon was dropping food to his children at the apartment complex. He also says the officer never tried to talk to Brisbon and also denies his friend yelled at the officer.
"Who’s going argue with police?" Dickerson said. "He had no death wish (Tuesday)."
Photo Courtesy of Rumain Brisbon's Family