“We don’t shy away from the tough conversation:” General addresses his Airman being killed by police officer


The loss of an Airman who was killed by a police officer investigating a domestic dispute was tragic for the Air Force and the 31st Fighter Wing’s commander said he wanted to address it with more than just words.

Brig. Gen. Tad Clark made a point to personally address his Airmen and the Air Force as a whole about the death of Senior Airman Roger Fortson.

“We want to be known as a wing that is known for more than just nice words on a slide,” Brig. Gen. Tad Clark said.

“We talk about value, develop, and power; we talk about love connect thrive,” he added. “We don’t want those to just be words.”

“We want our wing to be sincere, genuine, and not shy away from tough conversations and tough topics,” he said -seemingly alluding to the topics of racism, police use of force, and mental health.

Fortson was killed by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy Eddie Duran after he answered his apartment door while holding a firearm at his side.

Duran has since been terminated due to the results of an internal affairs investigation that determined he did not have a reason to use deadly force.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has released bodycam footage that shows one of their deputies shooting Senior Airman Roger Fortson numerous times after he answered the door to his apartment with a handgun in his right hand.

Bodycam footage released by the department shows Duran shooting Fortson numerous times as soon as he opened the door to his apartment.

Fortson was assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, which uses Lockheed AC-130J gunships in support of special operations.

The 31st Fighter Wing held an open discussion on the loss of Fortson at Aviano Air Base on May 17th.

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