BSO Shoot Unarmed Black Male Without Cause
No, this story is not about Trayvon Martin. However, with all the media attention, publicity, and rallies surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting, other similar cases are garnering a little more attention than they normally would have. In Pompano Beach, an unarmed black male was napping in a vehicle when he was shot multiple times by Broward Sheriff’s deputies – one of which was a star on the reality TV show “Police Women of Broward County.” It an open investigation and although the story is still unclear, at the end of the day, an unarmed black male was shot by a police officer, giving the case some room in the media spotlight.
Shooting in Broward County
According to an article in WPTV News, Brandon Johnson, 21, says he was napping in a car when Broward sheriff’s deputies shot him multiple times on March 8.
A complaint affidavit says Detective Ron Miller and Detective Andrea Penoyer Tianga, a “Police Women of Broward County” reality TV show star, were patrolling Pompano Beach in an unmarked Chevrolet Tahoe when they observed a “suspicious vehicle” backed into a parking space on Northeast 29th Street. They observed “a black male in the driver’s seat,” “attempting to duck down in an effort not to be seen,” the report states. Miller pulled the SUV in front of Johnson’s car “to initiate a stop” and turned on police lights. The detectives, in tactical gear as part of a Metro Broward Drug Task Force sweep, approached from the driver’s side of Johnson’s car, the report states.
The deputies said they fired after the vehicle accelerated in an aggressive manner toward them, according to WPTV News. Johnson said the officers never ordered him out of the car. After he was shot in the mouth he tried to drive away when shots continued firing, according to the article.
Johnson has a record that includes three convictions for cocaine possession, twice with intent to sell or distribute. As a juvenile, he resisted arrest with violence. He served about 18 months in jail, Assistant Public Defender Joanna Nagy said, and on March 24, he was charged by BSO with cocaine possession. Johnson was released on bond and said the drugs belonged to a friend.
Regardless of his past, Johnson and his parents say, he does not carry weapons and the circumstances surrounding his shooting did not warrant such firepower. BSO prohibits deputies from firing warning shots or intentionally placing themselves in the path of an oncoming vehicle. Deputies must make every attempt to move from a vehicle’s path, rather than discharge a firearm at it and also cannot fire at a moving vehicle, unless the occupant is using deadly force, or shooting is needed to prevent death or serious bodily harm to a deputy or another person.
Johnson will be arraigned April 17 for the March 8 incident. If convicted, he could face 35 years in prison.
Being accused of any type of crime can be difficult, especially when both parties involved have completely different sides of the story. If you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer, he will be able to investigate your case and skillfully articulate your side of the story to make sure your voice is heard. When it comes down to your word against the word of a law enforcement officer, you will be hard pressed to make a good case for yourself. Have a criminal defense lawyer take that kind of pressure off of your shoulders and help you through the legal process.