Lie No. 1: The officer who shot and killed McBean, Deputy Peter Peraza, said multiple times that he saw nothing in McBean’s ears.
A transcript shows that Deputy Peter Peraza, who fired the fatal shots, repeatedly told sheriff’s investigators that he did not see anything in McBean’s ears.Nothing, the officer swore under oath, prevented Mr. McBean from hearing the screaming officers.
Truth: The headphones are clearly in McBean’s ears in a picture taken by a nurse who lived in the neighborhood.Also, according to the New York Times:
The deputy who shot him, Peter Peraza, said he had feared for his life, convinced that Mr. McBean was about to start firing. Deputy Peraza was asked at least five times whether there was any reason that Mr. McBean would not have heard the officers’ commands, such as whether there was anything in his ears. Each time, Deputy Peraza said no.
Lie No. 2: The lead investigator also insisted that McBean was not wearing the headphones and that they were in his pocket:
And the homicide detective who led an internal review told McBean’s relatives in an email that officers on the scene “confirmed” he was not wearing a earpiece — after the family explained that he always had them on when he was out walking. The detective said the buds were found in his pocket, with his phone, at the hospital.”I was highly upset,” McBean’s mother, Jennifer Young, said of the moment she learned about the photo. “I said, ‘They lied to me. What else have they lied about?'”
Truth: If the headphones were ever in his pocket, they were placed there long after he was shot and killed by police.Not only does the photo clearly show the earbuds in his ears, but the nurse who took the photo claimed that she pointed them out to the officers after they refused to allow her to provide any first aid to McBean.
The witness who took it, a nurse who asked to remain anonymous, says she pointed out the earbuds to police at the scene, after they rebuffed her offer to provide first aid to the dying man.
We know McBean was still alive after being shot because another officer there claimed that McBean actually told them the gun was just a BB gun after he was shot.
Another officer at the scene, Sgt. Richard LaCerra, told investigators that McBean “spun around” and brought the rifle over his shoulders. “I thought at that point and time he was gonna swing and point the rifle at us,” he said. “And the next thing I know there was gunshots.”LaCerra said that after McBean fell, the wounded man said to him, “It was just a BB gun.”
Lie No. 3: The police said that McBean aimed the gun at them in a menacing manner.
“I felt like my life was threatened. I had that feeling like if I would not go home that day,” said Peraza, who has been on the force for 14 years but spent a decade of that working in the detention center.”I felt like I could’ve been killed. My sergeant could’ve been killed. He could’ve shot somebody in the pool area. So as soon as he did turn and point his weapon at us, that’s when I fired my duty weapon.”
Truth: A key witness who saw the entire ordeal and actually called 911 stated clearly that the gun was never aimed at police.
Michael Russell McCarthy, 58, told NBC News that McBean had the Winchester Model 1000 Air Rifle balanced on his shoulders behind his neck, with his hand over both ends, and was turning around to face police when one officer began shooting.”He [McBean] couldn’t have fired that gun from the position he was in. There was no possible way of firing it and at the same time hitting something,” McCarthy said. “I kind of blame myself, because if I hadn’t called it might not have happened.”
Police, now 23 months later, are claiming that the case is still under “active investigation.” This is a preposterous claim. No case like this takes more than four to six weeks to investigate, and that’s only for drug and ballistic tests to return. The truth is that the officers in Broward County followed a well-executed strategy that protects them from any consequences.
In South Florida’s Broward County, no officer has been charged in a fatal on-duty police shooting since 1980, a period that covers 168 shooting deaths.