The attorney for the family of a man shot and paralyzed by a Palm Beach County deputy says that newly released dashcam video confirms what they have always suspected: 20-year-old Dontrell Stephens did not have a weapon and was never given an order to get on the ground.
In dashcam video from 2013, Dontrell Stephens is seen on his bicycle being followed deputy Adams Lin. When Stephens realizes that he’s being followed, he pulls over and appears to confront Deputy Lin.
Next, Stephens momentarily vanishes from the video. As soon as he reenters the frame, he is being shot by Lin. Stephens attempts to flee from the bullets, but he is struck four times. As was later revealed, Stephens had a cell phone, but no weapon.
In the video, Deputy Lin is heard telling another deputy:
“He starts backing away. I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground.’”
The second deputy attempts to calm Lin, saying:
“I got your back, man. I got your back. Hey, you hear me?”
“Yeah, I know.”
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has always maintained that the reason Stephens was shot is because he refused to comply with a direct order from a law enforcement officer. But the newly released video would appear to dispute that claim.
Deputy Lin was cleared of any wrongdoing within four days of the shooting and returned to active duty.
West Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola, who is suing on Stephens’ behalf said:
“There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens. The deputy’s recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.”
Stephens is now paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair.
Watch The Dashcam Video!
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.