brevard county deputy florida black teen shooting

Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official)/Facebook

Video: Sheriff’s deputy shoots and kills two Black teens in car

The deputy killed A.J. Crooms, 16, and Sincere Pierce, 18.

Nov 19, 2020, 2:13 pm



Samira Sadeque

Video posted by a Florida sheriff’s office shows a sheriff’s deputy shooting at least 10 times at a car and killing two Black teenagers inside the vehicle on Friday. The dash camera footage of the Cocoa, Florida, incident was released on Tuesday by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.  

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UPDATE FROM SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY REGARDING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING THAT OCCURRED ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2020As some of you are aware this past Friday two of our Deputies, Jafet Santiago-Miranda and Carson Hendren were involved in an Officer Involved Shooting that resulted in the deaths of 16-year-old Angelo Crooms and 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, both members of our community. Deputy Santiago-Miranda has been employed with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office since February of 2017 and is currently assigned to our West Precinct while Deputy Hendren has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since June of 2018 and is assigned to our West Precinct as well. Currently both Deputies are on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation as is customary in all officer involved shooting investigations. Even though the incident is still under investigation, and as such we are limited in what we can release at this time, I wanted to provide our community an update on what happened during the incident and also a timeline of when we believe the investigation will be concluded and provided to the State Attorney for review. First and foremost please keep in mind that the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is not the investigating agency on this case, as it occurred within the jurisdiction of the City of Cocoa who requested that FDLE investigate the case as they are currently limited on resources that would be required to fully and thoroughly conduct an investigation of this nature. As such, our agency will defer to FDLE all further updates on the investigation as it would be inappropriate for us to comment or field questions on their investigative status to any extent outside of this update to the community. What we know to date is that on Friday morning two of our Deputies were attempting to conduct a follow-up investigation on what they believed was a possible stolen car that had just recently fled from another Deputy in the Cocoa area. The vehicle in question was first observed at Clearlake and Dixon, then moments later in the area of Ivy St. in Cocoa at which time the two Deputies observed it making a left hand turn onto Stetson and immediately into the driveway of a nearby residence. At this point the Deputies exited their vehicles in an attempt to make contact with the occupants, however, as you will see in the attached in-car camera video, the driver of the vehicle backed out of the driveway and turned toward the Deputies and their vehicles that were parked in the roadway. As you can clearly hear and see on the video recording, Deputy Santiago–Miranda gives repeated verbal commands, 7 to be exact, for the driver of the vehicle to stop the car, however, the driver of the vehicle, 16 year old Angelo Crooms turns and accelerates the vehicle towards Deputy Santiago-Miranda who was then forced to fire his service weapon in an attempt to stop the deadly threat of the car from crashing into him. Please pay close attention to the video recording, as you can not only hear the repeated verbal commands from the Deputies for the driver of the vehicle to stop, but you can actually see the tires of the vehicle turn sharply as the car accelerates towards Deputy Santiago-Miranda who is now in immediate danger of being struck by the vehicle. In addition to the video evidence that shows our Deputy in harms way, an occupant from inside the vehicle has provided a thorough statement to FDLE that confirms the occupants of the vehicle heard the verbal commands of the Deputy and that Crooms still turned the vehicle and accelerated. While there are many other forthcoming details and evidence concerning this tragic incident, such as the recovery of two firearms from the vehicle, the case is currently an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who anticipates that the investigative findings will be presented to the State Attorney’s Office for review within the next 60-90 days. In closing, 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!!Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Posted by Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official) on Tuesday, November 17, 2020
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The video, which is less than a minute long, shows a sheriff’s car traveling up a road following another sheriff's car. The two cars then pull up to a driveway, and a deputy from the other car steps out with a gun, pointing it toward a gray Volkswagen.

According to a statement released by Sheriff Wayne Ivey alongside the video, the sheriffs were on the lookout for a stolen car. In the video, after being cornered, the gray car pulls out of the driveway in reverse. “Stop the vehicle,” one sheriff says seven times.

The vehicle starts to drive out the other way when another deputy, identified by the sheriff’s department as Deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda, starts shooting at the car before the car moves out of the view of the camera. 

At least 10 shots are heard in the video. There is some screaming before the video ends. The two teens in the car, 16-year-old A.J. Crooms and 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, were killed. Their families pushed to have the dash camera video released with the support of civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, according to CBS News.  

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The sheriff’s department identified the second deputy as Carson Hendren. Both deputies have been placed on paid administrative amid an investigation. In the statement, Ivey said when the car took a turn after the orders from the sheriffs to stop the car, it put Santiago-Miranda “in immediate danger of being struck.”

On Twitter on Wednesday, people called for justice for Crooms and Pierce. Crump tweeted that the two victims were terrified and “trying to drive around cops who approached w/ guns drawn.”

“Out of harm's way, the deputy moved closer to get a better shot, firing w/ intent to kill, then kept firing as the car passed by,” he wrote, adding in a follow-up tweet that the families demanding the sheriff’s office release any other video evidence, including dash camera footage from others deputy cars and any surveillance camera videos in the neighborhood. 

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A small rally broke out in Cocoa on Wednesday with about 100 people, according to Florida Today reporter Eric Rogers. The rally had a "strong representation" of people supporting Black Lives Matter, Rogers said.

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*First Published: Nov 19, 2020, 2:13 pm