Deputy DISMISSED After Fatal SHOOTING of 23-Year-Old Black Airman in Florida


A Florida sheriff’s office fired a deputy on Friday for shooting and killing a Black airman in the United States Air Force, claiming the use of deadly force was unreasonable.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office’s internal affairs investigation into the May 3 killing of Roger Fortson, 23, in Fort Walton Beach has concluded, according to a statement.

The criminal investigation into former deputy Eddie Duran, who shot and killed Fortson, is still ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This tragic incident should never have occurred,” stated Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden. “The objective facts do not support the use of deadly force as an appropriate response to Mr. Fortson’s actions.”

The sheriff continued, “Mr. Fortson did not commit any crime.” By all accounts, he was an outstanding airman and individual.”

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Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Fortson’s family, said in a statement that while the firing was a step in the right direction, it was not “full justice for Roger and his family.” This deputy’s conduct were not just irresponsible, but also criminal.

The deputy’s body camera film, which was published earlier this month, shows him responding to a domestic violence complaint at an apartment complex. When Duran arrived at the building, an employee greeted him and escorted him to Fortson’s apartment.

Duran knocked on Fortson’s door uninvited, followed by further loud knocks and proclaiming twice that he was from the sheriff’s department.

The body camera video shows Fortson opening the door while holding a weapon at his side and pointing downward. He didn’t point his gun at the deputy. Duran quickly fired fire multiple times from close range. Fortson died at the hospital.

Fortson’s family claims the sheriff’s deputy wrongly targeted Fortson’s residence. They have stated that he was on the phone with his girlfriend before the shooting and that no one else was present in the flat.

The sheriff’s department’s inquiry revealed that someone from the apartment complex called a non-emergency sheriff’s department phone line to report hearing a couple fighting in Fortson’s apartment.

But Crump claims Fortson was on a Facetime chat with his girlfriend when he heard a knock on his door. He inquired, “Who is it?” Crump said he did not get a response, citing the girlfriend’s account.

Crump said Fortson then returned to his living room and approached the door with a lawfully held rifle.

The killing was reminiscent of an unannounced police raid in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020, in which police killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker. Police used a “no knock” warrant to raid the apartment, mistaking it for the residence of a suspect.

Taylor’s death, combined with the execution of George Floyd by Minneapolis police weeks later, sparked a global surge of protests against racism in law enforcement in the summer of 2020.

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