A Florida man was riding his bike and talking on his mobile phone when he was stopped by a police officer in 2013 and shot four times in the back, according to new dashcam video obtained by WPTV and The Palm Beach Post.
Dontrell Stephens, 20, says he was unarmed and not causing any trouble when Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy Adam Lin started following him in his police cruiser before getting out to stop Stephens and frisk him — a common tactic employed by Florida officers in high crime areas.
Lin says he mistook Stephens’ mobile phone for a gun when he started shooting, firing four shots and leaving Stephens paralysed from the waist down. Stephens is now suing the officer and the police department, claiming there was no reason for Lin to stop him and no command by the cop before he opened fire.
“Not only was Stephens’ stop without cause, his arrest was secured with excessive force,” Stephens’ lawyer, Jack Scarola, wrote in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states that Stephens was shot in the left hand, elbow, and chest as he was trying to comply with Lin’s orders to put his hands in the air.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has stood by Deputy Lin’s decision to shoot, telling the Palm Beach Post that Stephens kept backing away even as Lin ordered him to stop.
Stephens, who had marijuana on him at the time and had been arrested previously for drug possession, claims the officer used excessive force.
Here is the video:
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