Air Force airman shot dead by police in his home

OKALOOSA COUNTY, FL – A bodycam footage was publicly released by a Florida sheriff, capturing the fatal shooting of a Black Air Force airman in his residence last week. The sheriff also debunked allegations from the victim’s family that the officer entered the wrong unit.

The bodycam video was presented in a news conference by Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden on Thursday. The release came shortly after the family of the 23-year-old victim, identified as Roger Fortson, called for the video’s public outing. Fortson’s girlfriend claims that the deputy was at the wrong unit as she was on a FaceTime call with him during the incident.

Fortson’s family, represented by attorney Ben Crump, held a media conference earlier on Thursday. They described him as a patriot and active-duty senior airman. His mother related his aspirations of buying a house for her and his younger siblings.

Earlier, Sheriff Aden met with Fortson’s family and appealed to the Florida Law Enforcement Division to conduct the criminal investigation necessary in such cases. Aden stated that while the investigation is still in progress, there hasn’t been a conclusion as to whether the actions of the deputy were justified. The deputy in question is currently on administrative leave.

Addressing the incident, Aden stated that the deputy announced himself twice, which was acknowledged by Fortson. He also confirmed that the officer knocked on the correct door and did not obscure the peephole in any way. However, the family maintains their stance that the authorities arrived at the wrong apartment door.

Following the video’s release, the family issued a statement reasserting their conviction that the police had mistaken the apartment. During a significant part of the time leading to the shooting, Fortson was on the phone with his girlfriend, and no one else was in the apartment, they emphasized.