One family member believes the shooting incident stems from mistaken identity. They’ve enlisted the aid of Ben Crump.
Police camera footage has been released in the case of two Black teenagers who were killed last week by Florida authorities.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office released dashcam footage in the officer-involved shooting that resulted in the deaths of 16-year-old A.J. Crooms and 18-year-old Sincere Pierce.
The teens were fatally shot Friday morning when two deputies were attempting to conduct a follow-up investigation on what they believed was a possibly stolen car.
It was 2020’s fifth officer-involved incident in Brevard County resulting in death.
The two deputies involved, Jafet Santiago-Miranda and Carson Hendren, have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, according to local reporting.
“I ask that you keep the family of the two young men in your thoughts and prayers and also our deputies, as an incident of this magnitude impacts everyone, including our entire community,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a news release.
Both of the dead teens’ families have enlisted the help of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, known for his high-profile work in police abuse cases across the nation, to seek answers to their very-pointed questions.
Pierce’s aunt, Cynthia Byrd-Green, raised him as her son, and she believes the entire incident stems from mistaken identity and a mix-up over the car in question. But her family has been lifted by a loving community, she says, buoyed by cards received in the mail and meals dropped off by folks who care.
“I don’t really know all of them, but I love my neighbors,” she told Florida Today. “They showed me that neighbors can be neighbors.”
The 18th Judicial Circuit’s State Attorney’s office released the following statement regarding the teens’ shooting: “We want to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of these two young men as they struggle to deal with this painful tragedy.”
“We understand and share their desire to know what took place, and that every aspect of this incident will be carefully reviewed,” it read. “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued a statement that upon conclusion of their investigation into the use of deadly force by Brevard County Deputies, they will present their findings to the State Attorney for review.”
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