Immediately following an unprecedented “Stand Your Ground” ruling in favor of a deputy who killed a civilian, community members express outrage.
A gathering of over one hundred people from the local community and several different organizations across South Florida packed the auditorium at the African American Research Library. Led by the Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, frustrated people demanded answers and planned next steps for action. The group highlighted the injustices that happen right here in Broward County, with Jermaine McBean being the focus.
Attorney for the McBean family, David Schoen said this is the “biggest travesty of justice I have seen in over 30 years practicing law.
“Scott Israel called the death of McBean an ‘American tragedy’. If he truly believes that, then he will stand with the community in demanding that the State’s Attorney appeal the Stand Your Ground decision; he should also rescind the award that he gave Peter Peraza for the killing of Jermaine,” said Asa Shaw, community organizer with the Alliance. “We will not be silent while cops act recklessly and then live above the law,” he continued.
The group planned demonstrations, actions, and protests, galvanizing the community in response to this ruling and connecting it to the lack of any ruling in the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
“Sheriff Scott Israel routinely says that uprisings similar to those that happened in Ferguson and Baltimore would ‘never happen in Broward.’ Well here we are again, scoffing at his statements because we’ve known for a long time that injustice is at the foundation of Broward County. We are not immune from the national demands for an overhaul of the police system, and it needs to happen now.” The group also noted that at a recent event, Sheriff Israel noted that he was the first sheriff in the state to stand with the family of Trayvon Martin, condemning Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law. Organizers demanded that Sheriff Scott stand with the family of Jermaine McBean, once again condemning the law.
The group also expressed condolences to the family of McBean, who was present at the meeting.