A Missouri sheriff's deputy shot and killed a young white female motorist on Saturday night (6/13/20) after claiming she threatened to shoot him during a traffic stop. According to news reports yesterday, no gun -- or any other weapon -- was found in the car Hannah Fizer, 25, was driving.
Police violence has been happening so frequently of late that many Americans probably are growing numb to it, with victims tending to be black men -- most notably George Floyd in Minneapolis and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. But this shooting, near Sedalia, MO, falls outside the norm. Hannah Fizer wasn't black, wasn't male, and family members said they never knew her to carry a gun. Now, that we know she wasn't carrying a gun, the cops' version of events tends to fall apart. From an Associated Press report:
Investigators found no weapon inside a vehicle driven by a Missouri woman who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy over the weekend, authorities said Tuesday.
Hannah Fizer, 25, died Saturday night after being shot by a Pettis County deputy following a traffic stop.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the shooting, initially said Fizer was shot after she said she had a gun and threatened to shoot the deputy.
Investigators who searched her car did not find a weapon, patrol spokesman Bill Lowe said Tuesday. He said no new information was available to explain why the situation escalated into a shooting. No one else was injured during the confrontation.
Fizer was stopped after she ran a red light as she drove to work Saturday night, the patrol said. She kept going even as the deputy tried to stop her, but she eventually pulled over.
Fizer’s family and friends expressed doubt that she had a gun. Her father, John Fizer, said Monday that his daughter never carried a gun and she was not likely to become belligerent with law enforcement officers.
No body camera or dashcam video of the encounter exists. Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told TV station KOMU that the department’s deputies stopped wearing cameras about three years ago because of technical difficulties and a lack of funding.
Lowe said the Fizer investigation is a priority for the patrol, but that it could be up to a month before all reports are complete and information is compiled to send to the district attorney, who will determine if anyone will be charged.
All of this leaves these questions: What's the real reason Hannah Fizer was pulled over? Why was she killed, when its unlikely she threatened an officer with a gun she did not have? From an early AP report on the incident at the Columbia Daily Tribune:
The father of a Missouri woman who was killed by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop said Monday that nobody who knew his daughter believes she had a gun or threatened the deputy before he shot her.
Hannah Fizer, 25, was killed Saturday night in Sedalia, a city of 21,700 residents about 90 miles southeast of Kansas City.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is investigating the shooting, said Fizer was shot Saturday night after she said she had a gun and threatened to shoot the deputy.
“The suspect allegedly threatened the deputy by stating she was armed and going to shoot him,” the patrol said in a news release. “The incident escalated and the deputy discharged his weapon, striking the suspect.”
Fizer’s father, John Fizer, said Monday that she never carried a gun and he doesn’t believe she became belligerent with the officer. He suspects his daughter had her phone in her hand “because she always had her phone in her hand.”
Hannah Fizer was driving to her job as an assistant manager at a convenience store when she was stopped. She was pulled over because she ran a red light while speeding and kept going as the deputy tried to stop her, patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said Monday.
Further details about why the situation escalated have not been released. John Fizer said law enforcement officers haven’t yet discussed the shooting with the family.
Hannah Fizer "always had her phone in her hand"? Is it possible she recorded the officer doing or saying something crude, and that got her killed? Was the real threat to the officer from a cell phone, not a gun?
This seems to be pretty clear: Someone in the sheriff's department is lying.
Below is a video, with comments from Sheriff Kevin Bond about no gun being found in Fizer's vehicle.