In 2013, Jermaine McBean, a thirty-three year old IT engineer, purchased an air rifle from an Oakland Park pawn shop. He was carrying it home over his shoulders when Broward Sheriff deputies approached him. Deputies asked McBean to drop the non-lethal weapon, but McBean did not respond. When McBean finally stopped walking and turned towards the officers, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) Deputy Peter Peraza shot and killed him. In 2016, a Broward Grand Jury indicted Deputy Peraza for felony manslaughter. Peraza is the first Broward County law enforcement officer since 1980 to be indicted for homicide in the line of duty.
The Grand Jury found probable cause that McBean had not heard the officer’s demands. Photographs of the scene show that McBean was wearing ear buds when he was shot. However, after processing by BSO officials, the ear buds were mysteriously relocated to McBean’s pocket. The Grand Jury also found that Deputy Peraza’s other defenses were questionable. BSO has engaged in no meaningful investigation into the shooting death of Jermaine McBean. It has refused to do so on the contentious grounds that this would be prejudicial to Peraza.
Will Deputy Peraza go to trial? Broward Judge Michael Usan said,” No”.
Judge Usan was elected with the endorsement of the Broward Police Benevolent Association. During Peraza’s pre-trial ruling, he dismissed the charges. Judge Usan ruled that Deputy Peraza is protected by Florida’s notorious Stand Your Ground law – a defense that has never before applied to a law enforcement officer.
Broward State Attorney’s Office is appealing this outrageous decision. Oral arguments take place at the 4th District Court of Appeals on Tuesday, June 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The courthouse is located at 1525 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, West Palm Beach 33401.
Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward is conducting an open-air media conference. It will be at 10:15 am outside the courthouse. The Alliance will discuss the alarming aspects of this case and call for justice. The McBean family and their attorney will also speak. The public is urged to attend.
Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward is a group of community organizations and individuals. We aim to abolish institutional racism and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. We believe:
- The appellate court should overrule Judge Usan and order a trial on the facts under an objective judge.
- Broward Sheriff Scott Israel should rescind the “outstanding service” award he bestowed on Peraza three months after McBean’s death.
- Citizens concerned with this injustice should call for a repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Work with Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward to abolish institutional racism and Stand Your Ground. Contact us at blacklivesmatteralliancebroward.org