The Broward State Attorney’s Office has always struck a conciliatory tone in the need to prosecute killer cops – but here’s the result from the two highest profile investigations in Broward in 2016 – no trials, and certainly no convictions. Instead we have Jermaine and Calvon, dead for years now, gaslighted and demonized by the justice system and the news media. For the family, friends, and advocates for these dead men, the injustices continue, as someone people knew as compassionate, generous friends, are now “officially” written off as black men who were just too dangerous to go on living.
Earlier this month, a grand jury convened by the Broward State Attorney’s office decided not to bring charges against the Coconut Creek Police Department officers who were involved in the 2015 tasering-death of Calvon Reid. Not long after the shooting, almost all of CCPD was discovered to not be in compliance with training procedures for taser use, resulting in the early retirement of CCPD Chief Michael Mann.
The grand jury found there was not enough evidence to prove the officers committed any wrongdoing. The Sun Sentinel, however, found the coroner’s report finding evidence of cocaine and flakka in Reid’s system as interesting enough to lead their front page story on the case last weekend.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen this far too often. First on a national level, with the demonization of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, etc., and then with the non-trial of Peter Peraza. After Peraza was absurdly acquitted through Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, we watched the news closely – and almost every news station led the story with the defense’s argument, presented as if it were stone-cold fact – that Jermaine was mentally unstable and a danger to the police that killed him. Witnesses and McBean’s attorney have disputed every bit of that and officers have been strongly accused of contributing to a cover-up to faciliate this gaslighting effect.
This has been asked many times before and we must now raise it again – can we seriously consider the State Attorney’s office? They’ve acted like they’re out for justice for the victims of police brutality – but in at least these two, very significant instances – they’ve just made it worse by killing Calvon and Jermaine a second time.
SAO has already given up what responsibilities they had here for future victims by handing them over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Seen in context with these other cases, it seems pretty obvious their interest was not in supporting an “independent investigation” as much as it is a continuance of a consistent policy of not doing much of anything about police brutality.