Democratic Black Caucus Of Florida Is United With Okaloosa Democratic Black Caucus In Its Demand For Justice For Airman Roger Fortson

Meka Fortson and attorney Ben Crump
This photo provided by the U.S. Air Force, shows Senior Airman Roger Fortson in a Dec. 24, 2019, photo. (U.S. Air Force via AP, File)


OKALOOSA – The Democratic Black Caucus of Florida (DBCF), along with the family of Meka Fortson, mourns the untimely and tragic death of her 23-year-old son, United States Air Force Senior Airman Roger Fortson, who was shot and killed by an Okaloosa County Sheriff deputy on May 3, 2024.

Fortson was shot in the doorway of his apartment after a sheriff deputy responded to a call of a domestic disturbance in progress at the apartment complex.

Okaloosa’s sheriff officials said the deputy acted in self-defense.  Ben Crump and the Fortson family feel the shooting was unjustified as the deputy went to the wrong apartment.

The sheriff deputy has been placed on administrative leave and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

The Fortson family and their attorney Ben Crump requested information under the Florida open records act concerning the shooting of Airman Fortson. Almost two weeks after the shooting, the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department still hasn’t released the incident report or any 911 records of the officer’s identity.

Roger Fortson’s Mom said, “Sheriff Aden, you’re going to give me justice whether you want to or not.”

The DBCF is in solidarity with our local Okaloosa County Democratic Black Caucus, “who raises its voice in sorrow and outrage as we confront another tragic loss inflicted by the unchecked violence of law enforcement. In a mere moment, six shots shattered the life of a dedicated serviceman stationed at Hurlburt Field, silencing his heartbeat forever.”

Lykeshia Anderson, President of the Okaloosa Democratic Black Caucus said, “The officer’s rash decision, tainted by negligence and prejudice, has torn apart the fabric of Roger Fortson’s family and cast a shadow of fear over Okaloosa County.”

“The call for investigation from the very agency implicated in the tragedy is an affront to justice.  We reject self-policing and demand an independent inquiry led by State Attorney Ginger Madden and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice,’ concluded President Lykeishia Anderson.

“The people of the State of Florida must demand accountability from our elected officials beginning with Governor Ron DeSantis to our local elected representatives. We want justice for Airman Roger Fortson and his family,” emphasized Trevor Mallory, President of Democratic Black Caucus of Florida.

DBCF Executive Officers Christine Forrest, 1st Vice President, and Jill Daggs Lewis, Treasurer, also attended in a show of solidarity and support for Okaloosa County Democratic Black Caucus and the Fortson Family.