April 23, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) Palm Beach County, Fla. — Footage released Thursday afternoon from an incident involving a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Officer back in September of 2013 contradicts the official story released by the Department at the time. The video, which has not been seen by the public until today, shows 20-year-old Dontrell Stephens being shot in the back multiple times by Deputy Adams Lin.
On the recording, Stephens can be seen riding his bicycle as Deputy Lin trails behind in his police cruiser. As Lin hastily closes in on the young man, Stephens pulls over and dismounts from his bike. Holding only his cell phone, the 20-year-old briefly steps out of the vision of the camera. As he steps back in view, four shots ring out, and Stephens collapses out of frame.
Stephens, who had previously been arrested for cocaine possession, showed zero signs of aggression as the event played out.
Today, Stephens is paralyzed from the waist down.
Deputy Lin made sworn statements that he called out to Stephens before firing his weapon. According to the footage, that never happened.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw spoke with TV reporters on the day of the shooting and defended his officer’s actions.
“Stop what you’re doing and comply with us,” Bradshaw said. “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.”
Lin returned to work four days later. Internal investigators, along with the State Attorney’s Office, officially ruled the shooting as justified a few short months after the incident.
West Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola is now suing the sheriff and deputy on behalf of Stephens.
“There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens,” explained the attorney. “The deputy’s recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.”
Sheriff Bradshaw, who was quick to make a statement the day that his officer shot an unarmed man, is not talking now that the footage has been released. The Sheriff’s office cited their policy of not commenting on pending litigation.
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