A Phoenix police officer shot to death an unarmed black man during a struggle and authorities said the officer believed the individual had a gun, in the latest fatal incident amid national turmoil over the policing of black communities.
On Thursday night, some 200 demonstrators protested against the killing of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon, marching to Phoenix police headquarters and blocking streets, broadcaster CBS5 reported.
The Phoenix Police Department said Brisbon was sitting in a SUV outside a convenience store on Tuesday evening, and two witnesses told the officer the occupants of the vehicle were selling drugs.
With police forces across the country under increased scrutiny over killing unarmed black men, Phoenix police said in a statement that its officer called for backup, and then saw Brisbon appear to remove something from the car's back seat.
It said the officer, a seven-year veteran of the department, gave him several commands to show his hands, before Brisbon "placed one or both hands in his waistband area" and fled.
The officer chased and caught up with him, it said, and during a struggle the policeman believed he felt the handle of a gun while holding Brisbon's hand in his pocket.
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