Anguish for young daughter of man shot dead by police officer in Arizona

Anguish for young daughter of man shot dead by police officer in Arizona

First, it was the killing in Ferguson, Missouri, of Mr Michael Brown. Then came the death in New York, of Mr Eric Garner.

Now, there has been another shooting of a unarmed black man by a white police officer, this time in in Phoenix, Arizona.

The victim, Mr Rumain Brisbon, 34, was shot dead on Wednesday after the officer feared that the suspect was armed during the struggle, Mail Online reported.

The police officer apparently mistook a pill bottle for a gun in Mr Brisbon's pocket.

In an emotional interview with local TV station Fox 10, his young daughter talked about how unnecessary the killing was and of how her father will never see her grow up.

Said nine-year-old Aiyana Raines: "I felt like that it really didn't need to happen. He's going to miss our birthdays and how my little sisters grow up.

"My dad's not going to be here for our happy and sad moments."

Describing the moment she found out that her father had been killed, Aiyana said: "I started crying because I really didn't believe that my dad got killed."

She now has a message for the officer who killed her father: "To the officer that killed my dad, let me tell you something: You hurt three little girls who looked up to their dad."

More importantly, she wants people to know that above all else, her dad was a "good dad" and that "the officer did not have the right to shoot my dad or kill him".

The officer believed that Mr Brisbon was reaching into his pocket for a gun in the flashpoint in which the man was shot twice in the chest after a struggle. It was later found that Mr Brisbon had only pills in his pocket.

The shooting occurred when the officer went to investigate reported drug-related activity outside a convenience store, AFP reported.

The Phoenix police department said in a statement that the officer gave the suspect several commands to get on the ground, but he refused to comply and even yelled profanities at the officer.

DIED AT SCENE

Paramedics treated Mr Brisbon, but he died at the scene. The officer was not injured.

Ms Marci Kratter, a Phoenix lawyer representing the family, told the Arizona Republic newspaper: "There are numerous witnesses who will challenge the police officer's account of what transpired. It was a senseless tragedy. He (Mr Brisbon) was unarmed and not a threat to anyone. We intend to pursue this to the full extent of the law."

Police said Mr Brisbon was carrying oxycodone painkillers and that a semi-automatic handgun and a jar of marijuana were found in his car.

Court documents show that he had a criminal record including burglary, driving under the influence, and drug-related charges.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters clogged streets in New York and other major US cities for a second straight night on Thursday to condemn police killings of young black suspects.

Dozens of people were arrested in these rallies, the New York Times reported, quoting police.


This article was first published on Dec 6, 2014.
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