In Broward County, Florida, the grand jury has indicted Sheriff Peter Peraza, according to NBC News. The charge is manslaughter. On Dec. 11, 2015, the deputy who shot and killed Jermaine McBean surrendered.
The indictment occurred after the jury heard evidence and testimony during the past week. This is the first time an officer has been charged for a “fatal on-duty shooting” in Broward County since 1980.
The victim was killed by deputy Peraza after he responded to 911 calls that a man was walking down the street carrying a rifle. On July 31, 2013, McBean died as a result of being shot in the courtyard of his apartment building after refusing to drop the unloaded weapon.
McBean was 33 years old and worked as a computer engineer. He was walking home from the pawn shop where he purchased the pellet gun. The lawyer who represented the victim’s family discovered there was evidence that contradicted the deputy’s account of the event.
The family has filed a civil suit against the Broward County Sheriff’s office. McBean’s family contends he was racially profiled.
According to the report, the case is also being monitored by the U.S. Justice Department for any civil rights violations that may have occurred.
The officer contends he shot the victim because he thought his life was endangered. Sheriff Deputy Peraza faces a prison term of up to 30 years if convicted of shooting McBean.
By Cathy Milne
NBC News: Florida Deputy Indicted for Killing Jermaine McBean
Featured Image Courtesy of C. Holmes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License