23-Year-Old Airman Shot Dead When Police Burst into Wrong Apartment

(TargetDailyNews.com) – Police are investigating the shooting of a 23-year-old U.S. Air Force airman killed during a police invasion of his home; it’s been suggested that the police had the wrong apartment. Senior Airman Roger Fortson operated out of the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field and lived off-base at his apartment in Fort Walton Beach. The incident occurred on Friday, May 3rd.

Lawyer Ben Crump will be representing Fortson’s family; Crump has previously represented and worked on multiple cases where black people were killed by police, including George Floyd, Tyre Nichols, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, and Ahmaud Arbery. Crump is based in Tallahassee and is known for his work on civil rights cases involving black victims.

Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden posted a statement on Wednesday, May 8th, asking the public for patience while they investigate. He called the event “tragic.” Last week, a statement from his office alleged that police reacted in self-defense after encountering a man with a gun at the apartment complex in question. There were no further details about the disturbance call.

Both the local state attorney and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the matter.

Fortson’s death has drawn comparisons to other black people killed during police encounters, some while in their own homes like Breonna Taylor. Former Dallas cop Amber Guyger entered the wrong apartment believing it to be her own and killed Botham Jean in 2018. She was convicted on murder charges and is currently serving a 10-year sentence.

Another former Texas cop killed Atatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth in 2019 during a call regarding Jefferson’s front door being left open. Aaron Dean fired a shot through the home’s rear window which hit and killed Jefferson. He’s serving 12 years on a manslaughter conviction.

Crump focuses on cases involving police and black people. He previously said he feels called to the cases to “increase the value of Black life.”

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