Watch: Crump details VP Harris’ call with mother of slain US Airman Roger Fortson

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Roger Fortson was "executed" and that the VP conveyed to his mother "what a great debt we owed to her for giving us this American patriot.

Vice President Kamala Harris placed a 20-minute phone call to Chantimekki Fortson, the mother of Roger Fortson, the 23-year-old U.S. Airman killed by a Florida officer on May 3. According to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Fortson family, the vice president offered words of sympathy and encouragement to the grieving mother of the deceased senior airman.

During an interview on “The Hill with April Ryan,” Crump praised Harris for using the Office of the Vice President to support the families of and speak out against an “epidemic” of police brutality against Black and brown Americans. The lawyer known as “Black America’s Attorney General” condemned the shooting death of Fortson, who he described as a “patriot” and “law-abiding citizen.” Fortson was fatally shot six times at his off-base residence by former Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy Eddie Duran, who responded to a domestic call at the wrong apartment. Duran was later fired by the sheriff’s department.

In the shooting’s aftermath, Crump tells theGrio that Fortson’s mother and family are “devastated” by his death. Vice President Harris called the family on Thursday while traveling on Air Force Two before her commencement speech at the Air Force Academy. Crump said Fortson was “executed” and that the VP conveyed to Chantimekki Fortson, “What a great debt we owed her for giving us this American patriot.” Harris also encouraged the Fortson matriarch to seek professional mental health services as she grieves. Among many issues on the vice president’s White House portfolio of priorities is a focus on mental health services for those traumatized by gun violence.

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