Phoenix officer who shot unarmed black man identified

Dec 9, 2014, 2:28 PM | Updated: Dec 10, 2014, 7:31 am

PHOENIX — The Phoenix police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man was identified Tuesday.

Mark Rine, a seven-year veteran of the force, was the officer who killed 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon on Dec. 2 at an apartment complex. Police said Brisbon had been reaching in his pants and the officer thought it may have been a weapon. It was later revealed he had a bottle of pills in his pocket.

Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick on Monday said the autopsy conducted over the weekend by the Medical Examiner’s Office determined Brisbon died from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and his death was ruled a homicide.

Gerchick said the homicide classification was not an indication whether it was a crime.

“There’s a lot of information and investigation that we’ll still have to do,” Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia said. “I know there’s a lot of emotion out there. There’s a lot of emotion across the country. But we really need to deal with the facts as they come in.”

Police are conducting an internal investigation, and prosecutors will determine
whether Rine, 30, will face criminal charges. He was placed on non-enforcement duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Jim Waring said city officials are concerned Rine and his family could be targeted.

“We feel for the officer and his family, and don’t want anything to happen to them,” he said. “Hopefully, this will be resolved peacefully.”

Brisbon’s death sparked a protest in Phoenix.

The shooting happened one day before a New York City grand jury did not indict a white officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

KTAR’s Bob McClay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Phoenix officer who shot unarmed black man identified