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Cop Mistakes Pill Bottle for Gun and Another Black Man Dies

December 10, 2014 in Blogs

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Numerous witnesses challenge the cops' version of events.

The cop who shot and killed an African-American man in Phoenix, Arizona last week after mistaking a prescription bottle in his pocket for a gun has been named, according to Reuters

According to the Arizona Republic, friends and family said 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon was dropping off food at his family's apartment when he was confronted by a police officer. Officer Mark Rine, 30, is a seven-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. Police say that Brisbon had a criminal record and was in the middle of a drug deal. According to the Washington Post:

The events that led to Brisbon’s death began with a tip, Phoenix police spokesman Trent Clump told reporters on Wednesday. The tipster said that a drug deal was going down inside a black Cadillac SUV parked near a 7-Eleven. So a nearby 30-year-old officer, who wasn’t named by police, responded to the call, later approaching the car, reported the Arizona Republic.

Clump claimed the officer saw Brisbon exit the car and remove something from its rear. When the officer asked Brisbon to show his hands, the man allegedly put them in his waistband. That prompted the officer to draw his weapon, and Brisbon took off running. “Witnesses indicated to us that the suspect was verbally challenging to the officer,” the Arizona Republicquoted Crump saying.

Attorney Marci Kratter, who represented Brisbon in a prior DUI case, told the Washington Post that the cops “murdered my client” and that their account doesn't add up. “What the police say happened, it doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said. “There’s something not right with it.”

Numerous witnesses also challenge the cops' version of events, according to reports.

Brisbon somehow made it to the house of his girlfriend who opened the door. Both Brisbon and Rine stumbled inside, according to reports. During the struggle, Rine believed he felt the handle of a gun, Clump said. Rine claims Brisbon was reaching for what he thought was a gun and grabbed his left hand. At some point, Rine fired two fatal shots. It was only after shooting Brisbon that Rine realized the man was not …read more


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