Back in September 2016, Gregory Frazier was shot dead by police while he sat and ate chicken wings. He was drunk and had been fighting with his family. At one point, he even pulled out a Swiss Army style pocket knife, according to his family. When police arrived, the altercation was over and Frazier was sitting in his backyard eating chicken wings. Moments later he was shot dead. The mainstream news media failed to cover this story, and despite overwhelming problems with the case, no one has been brought to justice.
The shooting occurred, according to officers, after Frazier refused to drop the pocket knife. With the little detail that has been released, it’s difficult to scrutinize the shooting, however, we can make several safe assumptions. All parties have stated that Frazier was seated in the backyard when confronted by police. He was eating chicken wings, however, per the police narrative “he produced a knife.” This statement offers no insight into what manner the knife was produced. Police use of force laws are so liberal that they can shoot anyone in possession of a weapon without warning or consequence. No one has explained Frazier’s transition from eating to wielding the knife or if the knife was simply in view.
According to police apologist website bluelivesmatter.blue, they offer magical insight into the shooting that for some reason isn’t in the public narrative, and mostly contradicts the official police story. According to the site, Frazier was standing and pulled a knife on officers as they approached him, thus justifying the shooting. The problem is that his confrontation with a knife doesn’t jive with what the Broward County Sheriff has told us. The Sheriff acknowledged that Frazier was eating chicken wings when approached, which doesn’t leave much room for him to stop what he was doing, face an officer and pull a knife. The reality was that Frazier was not eating with the blade in his hand, and statements made by police do not mention anything other than him “producing” a weapon. If he had threatened officers it would have been front page news. Yet, it wasn’t.
The information presented by bluelivesmatter.blue seemingly came out of thin air, as no other news site has reported any of the alleged facts of the case as they present them. The single most telling sign that this shooting is amid a cover-up is the altering of standard policy to exclude outside investigators from observing the scene. In the previous 8 officer-involved shootings, the Sheriff called for independent investigators from state law enforcement to respond. This is standard procedure to avoid the appearance of impropriety. That procedure ended with the death of Gregory Frazier – instead of calling for these independent investigators, they made the conscious decision not to.
One of the biggest problems with this case is the jump to use deadly force by two officers who are basically rookies. Neither officer made the right decision to shoot, yet the Sheriff has to have their back, seemingly. The officers were identified as Zachary Hasson, age 22, and Andre Landells, age 26. The inexperience of these officers absolutely played a role in Frazier’s shooting death, however, this fact will never be addressed by the Sheriff. To address it means to expose problems with, not only their recruitment policies, but their actual training programs as well.
Protesters’ cries for justice have fallen on deaf ears. No information has been released on the case in months, and both officers are currently enjoying a paid vacation for their role in the execution. This is yet another case that addresses cops’ desire to jump to deadly force without taking the time to thoroughly examine the circumstances and make intelligent decisions.
Sources: Blue Lives Matter, Sun Sentinel.
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