The facts surrounding Rumain Brisbon’s death in Phoenix follow a narrative familiar to a nation still reeling from the racially charged police incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and elsewhere, says the Arizona Republic. On Tuesday evening, a white police officer who was feeling threatened used lethal force on an unarmed black man. The incident left the officer unharmed and Brisbon, 34, with two bullet wounds in his torso at an apartment complex.
Phoenix police quickly released a detailed account of the killing for the media in what officials said was an effort to promote transparency, especially in light of the unrest that has played out in Ferguson and New York City after the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers. Portions of that account have already been challenged by some witnesses and community activists who say that the officer’s use of force was excessive and that Brisbon’s death was unwarranted.