Payton Rogers was a beautiful and vibrant, eighteen year old high school senior just a week before her graduation.
She was an honor roll student, having already obtained 30 college credits, with dreams of being a forensic pathologist. Payton is described as a sweet and loving young lady, who was very close to her family, especially her younger siblings.
But her life was tragically cut short on the evening of May 11, 2018 when her car was struck by officer Brian Davis of the Marion Police Department in Indiana while responding to a non-emergency call for a suspect who was already in custody.
Payton was killed on impact while her best friend, Baleeve Gregory, was critically injured.
I’ve been following Payton’s story since the beginning and have spoken with her mother, Brandy Rogers, whom I befriended on Facebook to support after hearing of this tragedy.
As if losing Payton wasn’t enough, the fatal crash was just the beginning of a living nightmare for this family.
Brandy learned of her daughter's death through a phone call in the middle from a chaplain who told her Payton did not survive her injuries.
The call caused her to scream in devastating agony, waking her other children with the horrific news that their big sister was dead.
Brandy said her mother’s intuition kicked in after she began to uncover lies, deceits and corruption like many of us experience when our loved ones are killed by police.
The story released by the Marion Police Department is that officer Davis had his sirens on and that Payton ran through a red light and that she was ultimately at fault for this horrific accident.
Accidents happen though, right?
According to Marion Police Department, they made no mistakes as they pinned the guilt on this young lady by fabricating a narrative; a common tactic used by departments across the country when their officers kill.
However, the truth surfaced through dashcam footage and witness testimony which revealed that Payton had a green light and that the cop's sirens were not on as he flew through the intersection causing this fatal collision.
The eyewitnesses at the scene, were not asked for statements but were blocked off from view and ordered to leave.
Witness John Owen, who was stopped besides Payton at the intersection, attempted to give a statement the following day but was not followed up with by the Marion Police Department or Indiana State Police, who investigated the incident.
Another witness, who goes as Kate Dudley on Facebook, confirms that there were no sirens, that the officer was speeding and that the department's version of the incident was completely wrong.
Immediately after being told of Payton’s death, Brandy demanded to see her daughter’s body but was denied until the body was released to the funeral home, which is also common (not rightfully) when police kill.
A red flag I found is that the Grant County Coroner Chris Butche, who immediately took Payton’s body from the scene and also performed the autopsy is also Marion Police Officer.
I confirmed with the Marion Police Department that he is currently a Captain in the department. A Marion officer has absolutely no business doing an autopsy for an officer-involved death. That is conflict of interest.
In addition, Chris Butche’s brother Todd Butche, has publicly spoken bad about this family, including the deceased Payton, as well as seeming to know vital information, that shouldn’t have been known to the public.
However, Todd Butche has a reputation as a "liar" and a "cheat" so he has no credibility.
That is also another thing that happens to families after their loved ones are killed by police; family and friends of law enforcement attack and attempt to intimidate those who are speaking out.
Officer Davis was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing involving the death of Payton Rogers and will face no criminal charges or repercussions and law enforcement is still sticking to their original story.
The speed he was going has been withheld from the family and the public with officers telling Brandy the speed is not recorded, therefore not available. According to Sgt. Mike Thomas of Indiana State Police, the “speed is irrelevant”.
At the end of the day, no one is is claiming that officer Davis deliberately murdered Payton. What is being said is he was negligent and caused her death.
Had this department owned up and treated Payton and her family with some dignity, it would be one thing but how this family has been treated is just shameful and wrong. This is the type of activity that only makes the divide between the community and police officers even bigger.
Brandy has done an amazing job as a grieving mother to push for Justice For Payton, not only with obtaining evidence and tracking her interactions with law enforcement to get to the truth, but also by honoring Payton and spreading truth. Every Saturday and Sunday she still goes to location of the incident holding signs and reminding the community and those involved that she is not going away. I admire her fight and support Justice For Payton.
You can support as well by joining her Facebook Group here.
Rest in Power Payton Rogers