Yet another white police officer has shot an unarmed black man who witnesses say was complying with arrest, this time in Orlando, Fla.
Cedric Bartee, 28, is in critical condition after one of the three shots fired by the officer, St. Robert McCarthy, hit Bartee.
The news comes on the heels of a spree of high profile incidents of white American officers shooting unarmed black suspects. A week before, Arizona cops shot and killed Rumain Brisbon, 34, and later admitted he was unarmed. That was on the heels of two grand jury decisions to not try white cops for killing unarmed black suspects: first, Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., for shooting Michael Brown; and then Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island, N.Y., who choked Eric Garner to death on camera.
As was the case with Brown, witnesses to Bartee’s death told local news channel WFTV that contrary to official police statement, Bartee had his hands up when McCarthy shot him.
The Orange County Sheriff’s office said that McCarthy had spotted Bartee in a stolen Honda, and that he felt “threatened” by Bartee. McCarthy has been placed on administrative leave.
Unlike Brown and Garner, Bartee has a long criminal history, having been arrested 45 times in the past 15 years. McCarthy reportedly had no knowledge of Bartee’s past when he shot him.
“I ask everyone to not rush to judgment and allow the investigation to be completed,” Orland County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a press conference. He called the possible public reaction to the shooting “concerning to me.”
H/T WFTV. Photo by Florida State Dept. of Corrections | Remix by Jason Reed