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.
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.
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.
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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