The Associated Press reported that Bernard Monroe, a 73 year old black man that was a retired power company lineman was killed on February 9, 2009 outside of his home during a family barbecue after he pointed a gun at a Homer, Louisiana Police Officer.
Officer Tim Cox and another officer, that the Homer Police Dept. has refused to identify, were chasing Monroe’s son, Shaun Monroe, 38, who has an arrest record for assault & battery, but no current outstanding warrants, for his alleged involvement in a drug deal that took place just a few blocks from the home of the Elder Monroe when they saw him run into his father’s house. However, Monroe’s family at the cook-out said he was sitting in a truck talking to his sister when the officers arrived at the home.
The officers followed the suspect into the house and a few minutes later Shaun Monroe emerged from the home with the unidentified officer in pursuit. When the officer caught up to Monroe he tasered him in the front yard prompting the elder Monroe to confront the officer.
As Monroe, with pistol in hand, advanced toward the officer in the front yard, Officer Cox, who was still in the house, fired a shot through the home’s screen door striking Monroe killing him.
Both officers said that Monroe was shot only after he pointed a pistol at the officer in the yard, but witnesses said Monroe was holding only a bottle of water when he was shot. Marcus Frazier, a 32 year old neighbor of Monroe, said he saw one of the officers pick up a gun from a chair on the porch and place it near Monroe’s body. Frazier also said that the elder Monroe kept a gun close by at all times due to drug activity near his home.
Shaun Monroe, despite being chased and tasered, was not charged with any wrongdoing.
Homer Police Chief Russell Mills, whom blacks have accused of directing police harassment at them, declined to be interviewed about the incident and has hired an attorney saying he fears for his job.
Bernard Monroe was married to his wife for more than 50 years and raised 5 children with her.