Florida Cops Allegedly Bust Into Wrong Home, Kill US Airman

Ben Crump, who is representing the family, wants bodycam video released
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2024 12:30 AM CDT
Deputies Bust Into Wrong Home, Kill US Airman: Attorney
This photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, shows Senior Airman Roger Fortson in a Dec. 24, 2019, photo.   (U.S. Air Force via AP)

Roger Fortson, a 23-year-old US Air Force airman, was alone in his off-base apartment in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, around 4:30pm on Friday when someone knocked on his door. Shortly after, he was dead. A woman who was on a FaceTime call with Fortson at the time says he asked who was there and no one answered, but a few minutes later, there was a louder knock, the AP reports. This time, Fortson looked through the peephole. Seeing no one, he got worried and went to get his legally owned gun, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who spoke to the woman and gave an account of Fortson's death Wednesday. As the airman returned to his living room, deputies burst through the door and, seeing the gun, shot him six times. He later died at a hospital, Northwest Florida Daily News reports.

Deputies were responding to a disturbance call at the apartment complex, which is about five miles from Hurlburt Field, where Fortson was stationed at the Special Operations Wing, CBS News reports. But the woman who was on FaceTime with Fortson says he had caused no disturbance during the call, and suggests deputies went to the wrong apartment. The deputy involved is on administrative leave pending an investigation. "We are calling for transparency in the investigation into Roger's death and the immediate release of bodycam video to the family," says Crump, who has also been involved in cases involving the law enforcement shootings of Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Tyre Nichols, and George Floyd. "His family and the public deserve to know what occurred in the moments leading up to this tragedy." (More police shooting stories.)

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