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  • Writer's pictureGA STATE NAACP

Georgia NAACP demands Justice for US Airman and Georgia resident Roger Fortson

The Georgia NAACP is demanding justice, and we sincerely hope it prevails for him and his family. There's no justification for this tragedy, and US Airman #RogerFortson should still be among us today.

On May 3, 2024, US Air Force serviceman Roger Fortson was fatally shot by an Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputy in his home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Mr. Fortson was a native of Atlanta Georgia and Senior US Airman.

Earlier that day, at around 4:30 p.m., a disturbance report was made to the police concerning a possible altercation between a male and female at a residential complex. Responding to this, a deputy was directed to Apartment 1401 by a woman who mentioned hearing yelling and the sound of a slap from the apartment two weeks prior.

Body camera footage reveals the deputy initially knocked on Fortson's door without announcing himself. He then moved to the side, out of view from the peephole, before knocking again and identifying himself as law enforcement. Fortson, who had been on FaceTime with his mother and girlfriend, heard the knocks but received no response when he asked who was there. Unable to see anyone through the peephole and fearing a break-in, he armed himself.

When Fortson opened the door with a gun in his hand, pointed downwards, the deputy immediately commanded him to "step back" and fired five to six shots. Fortson fell to the ground, and only then did the deputy instruct him to "drop the gun." Fortson was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

This tragic incident has led to an outcry for justice and transparency in the investigation.

Statement from Gerald Griggs, Georgia State NAACP President

“It is with profound sorrow and a heavy heart that we extend our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Roger Fortson. The tragic loss of Mr. Fortson has left our community in mourning and has reignited the urgent call for justice and accountability.

Roger Fortson was more than just a name; he was a beloved son, friend, and community member whose life was abruptly and unjustly taken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this incredibly difficult time. We stand with you in your grief and pain, sharing in the sorrow of a life cut short.

As President of the Georgia NAACP, I, Gerald Griggs, am committed to seeking justice for Roger Fortson. His death is not just a personal tragedy but a reflection of systemic issues in American Policing that continue to plague our society. We demand a thorough, transparent, and immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. The responsible parties must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Our fight for justice is not just for Roger Fortson but for every individual who has suffered from injustice and systemic inequality. We call on law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and public officials to ensure that justice is served swiftly and fairly. We urge the community to stand together, united in the pursuit of truth and justice.

To the Fortson family, please know that the Georgia NAACP stands with you. We will not rest until justice is served, and we will continue to fight against the systemic issues that led to this tragic event. Roger Fortson's life mattered, and his legacy will drive us to work even harder for a just and equitable society.”

Georgia NAACP issues statement on killing of US Airman Roger Fortson

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