Archived: Cops Shoot, Kill Black Man Holding 'Rusty' Pocket Knife Eating in His Backyard

Family of the South Florida man who was killed said police used excessive force.


By Sheryl Estrada

Gregory Frazier (Twitter)

Deborah Frazier called 911 for police to help mediate an argument between her brother, Gregory Frazier, and her daughter at the home they all shared in Pompano Beach, Florida. Her phone call resulted in her brother being shot at least five times by two white deputies, according to witnesses. He died at the scene.

Frazier explained why she called authorities on Friday night.

“They had a little fight,” she told CBS Miami. “My brother was a little upset. And I was a little scared so I called the police, you know, hoping that they would talk to my brother and constrain him. I didn’t think that altercation would cause death.”

When Frazier called authorities, she told dispatch her brother was holding a small, Swiss Army-style pocket knife that he always carried, according to The Broward Palm Beach New Times.

Officials said Gregory Frazier was armed with a knife when deputies entered the backyard of his home around 10 p.m. responding to the domestic disturbance call.

“A confrontation happened and both deputies fired shots,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.”The subject, tragically, was pronounced deceased on the scene.”

By the time officers arrived, the argument between Frazier and his niece was over and he was eating in the backyard while holding the pocket knife, according to the family of the deceased. Frazier’s nephew, Quartaze Woodard, who was present, told the New Times that Broward County Sheriff deputies ordered Gregory Frazier to get down on the ground when they approached.

“Leave me alone,” Woodard said Gregory Frazier responded.

The deputies repeated the order, and he gave the same response. Woodard said the officers then shot him. He was handcuffed. But, when the deputies realized he was nonresponsive, they removed the handcuffs and attempted to perform CPR. He did not survive.

Both officers have been place on administrative leave as an internal investigation takes place.

Related Story: Unarmed Black Man Shot by Police While Helping His Autistic Patient

Gregory Frazier’s last meal, shown in the following photo, lay on the ground in disarray:

“Yes he had a pocket knife. A rusty pocket knife,” Deborah Frazier said.She added that police could have “sat down, talked to him, used Tasers, anything to constrain him.”

A next-door neighbor, Pastor Miguel Rosa, said he heard what he initially thought were fireworks. He believes at least five shots were fired.

In the following video clip, Frazier says she regrets calling the police for help:

Data on Police-Related Deaths

The Washington Post has an ongoing project of collecting data on deaths during encounters with law enforcement officers. At last tally, in 2016, 675 people in the U.S. have been shot and killed by police officers. In 2015, 990 civilians were killed, of which 71 deaths took place in Florida.

Related Story: Obama Defends Kaepernick’s Right to Protest Even if Message Obscured

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked controversy last month when he remained seated before a preseason game during the traditional rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” saying it was a protest against racial injustice and police brutality. Since then, other NFL athletes have conducted similar protests.

Pompano Beach, where Frazier was shot, is approximately 36 miles north of Miami. On Sunday before their game against the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster, linebacker Jelani Jenkins, wide receiver Kenny Stills and safety Michael Thomas took a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

“They say it’s not the time to do this,” Foster said. “When is the time It’s never the time in somebody else’s eye, because they’ll always feel like it’s good enough.

“And some people don’t. That’s the beautiful thing about this country. If somebody feels it’s not good enough, they have that right. That’s all we’re doing, exercising that right.”

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