Recently-released dashboard camera footage shows a Florida police officer shooting an unarmed four times, paralyzing him from the waist down.
According to WPTV, Dontrell Stephens, 20, was riding on his bike and talking on his cell phone when a deputy Adams Lin of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office shot him four times in West Palm Beach County, Fla. in Sep. 2013. It was originally reported that Stephens was running from police, and, following ,the shooting Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw justified the shooting to the media:
Stop what you're doing and comply with us, he told reporters. There's nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed.
What's more, Lin reportedly claimed that Stephens reached for something in his pants prior to she shooting. None of this can be seen in the video. Lin was permitted to return to work just four days after the shooting, which was deemed justified by the sheriff's and State's Attorney's offices. However, attorney Jack Scarola of West Palm Beach is filing a lawsuit on the behalf of Stephens:
There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens, explained Scarola. The deputy's recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence, he said.