A black man in Florida is dead this weekend after a call for police help for a potentially soon-to-be out-of-hand domestic situation turned into officers shooting dead 52-year-old Gregory Frazier for not putting down a “rusty pocket knife.”
Frazier was eating chicken wings in the backyard of a family home while holding his pocket knife by the time Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.
A short time earlier, he had been arguing with his niece, the daughter of Deborah Frazier, who was the one to place the 911 call.
Deputies, once on the scene, instructed Gregory Frazier to “get on the ground,” but he did not immediately comply, instead saying, “Leave me alone.”
That is when not one, but two, of the apparently three deputies on the scene opened fire, almost immediately killing Frazier, who was pronounced dead on the scene.
The New York Daily News reports that “neighbors and community leaders alleged a racial bias in the shooting because Frazier was black and the officers involved are white.”
Of course, they are right on point.
The only explanation offered by the local sheriff’s office isn’t much of an explanation, reading, according to CBS Miami:
‘[Frazier] was armed with a knife. A confrontation happened and both deputies fired shots. The subject, tragically, was pronounced deceased on the scene.’
“A confrontation.” Frazier had a knife and the officers has guns- and the officers were more than willing to shoot Frazier dead although to suggest that he posed an immediate threat to the officers’ safety is a joke.
He was just sitting there.
Deborah Frazier told CBS Miami:
‘I called the police, you know, hoping that they would talk to my brother and constrain him. I didn’t think that the altercation would cause death. Yes, he had a pocket knife. A rusty pocket knife. I believe those three cops could have sat down, talked to him, used tasers, anything, to constrain him.’
Beyond the acute circumstances, which in no way required shooting a man to death to resolve, the issue of apparent systematic racism against African-Americans on the part of police is also present, since, again, Frazier was black.
According to the Washington Post, although African Americans account for only just over 10 percent of the United States population, black Americans are around 1 in 4 of those killed by police.
Overall, 812 people have been documented as dying at the hands of American police in 2016.
Watch a video report on the incident below via the local Miami affiliate of CBS.
Featured Image via Twitter