Ever since BSO deputies fatally shot Gregory Frazier while he was eating chicken wings in his Pompano Beach backyard, his sister, Deborah Frazier, hasn’t been able to sleep through the night. In her dreams, she hears the gunshots that killed him ring out over and over.
“They murdered a part of me when they murdered him,” she says. “It’s something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life.”
Close to two months have passed since Frazier’s death, and his family is still struggling to come to terms with what happened. It hasn’t helped that they still haven’t gotten any explanation for why he was shot in the first place — only repeated assurances that the incident is under investigation.
“What we want is an indictment,” his son, Xavier Frazier, says. He recently created an online petition that points out that Zachary Hasson and Andre Landells, the two deputies who shot his father, are on paid leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts its investigation. No one has been charged with a crime.
Information about the shooting has been coming out slowly. Although the names of the deputies were finally released in October after an extended delay, the BSO has so far declined to provide pictures, which has made the Frazier family suspicious.
“All the other people got faces,” Deborah Frazier says, referring to relatives of other victims of police violence. “What are they hiding?”
But even more troubling is the fact that they still haven’t gotten any explanation for why both deputies fired their guns within a minute of arriving on the scene. Based on the fact that both had barely a year on the force, it’s possible to draw certain conclusions: namely, that they were unprepared to handle the situation. But it will likely be months before the FDLE wraps up its investigation and the family gets anything resembling an answer.
Ironically, as the Frazier family has begun speaking up about police brutality, they’ve found themselves to be the subjects of increased police scrutiny. On Sunday, as they marched from the African American Research Library to the BSO’s headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, an unmarked GMC Yukon with tinted front windows tailed them at a distance, then made a quick turn in the otherwise-empty BSO parking lot. Meanwhile, a family friend who was supposed to drive alongside the marchers was stopped and questioned by BSO officers — a coincidence, maybe, but a strange one. To Gregory Frazier’s family members, who were carrying Styrofoam takeout containers as a reminder of the fact that he had been eating when he was shot, the attention felt misdirected.
“They shouldn’t fear us,” Deborah Frazier said. “We fear them.”
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.