Damning new video of the Nov. 13 shooting of two Black teenagers has been released that clearly shows Florida police officers unleashing a hail of bullets at a car in the latest high-profile case of excessive police violence.
On Tuesday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office released dashcam video footage that shows deputies firing on the car in last Friday’s incident that claimed the lives of Sincere Pierce, 18, and Angelo “AJ” Crooms, 16.
The shooting occurred in the suburban Cocoa neighborhood at around 10:30 a.m., but officers didn’t confirm the killings until Monday.
The sheriff’s office released the footage after the attorney for the bereaved families, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, demanded further information about the events leading up to and including the shooting.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office claimed that the teens were being pulled over to ascertain info about a “possible stolen car” before the teens attempted to flee, which “forced” a deputy to begin firing at the car. Officials tried to frame the video as offering clear proof of the necessity of using lethal force.
In the Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said that Deputies Jafet Santiago-Miranda and Carson Hendren were following the car in two different squad cars during a follow-up investigation into the robbery of a car. The events unfolded when the car pulled into the driveway of a home.
The edited and incomplete dashcam video shows Santiago-Miranda repeatedly barking “stop the vehicle” and demanding that they exit the vehicle as the car is backing out of the driveway. The car then halts, backs up a bit, and drives toward Santiago-Miranda.
Santiago-Miranda “was then forced to fire his service weapon in an attempt to stop the deadly threat of the car from crashing into him,” the sheriff’s office said. However, It remains unclear whether the teenagers heard the commands.
The families of Pierce and Crooms claim that the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has given them no information regarding the killings, according to Florida Today.
“I was angry about it, I was angry because I miss him,” Crooms’ mother Tasha Strachan told WKMG. “I want answers to why that was done, it didn’t have to be done like that.”
However, the incomplete video released by authorities raises further questions about the botched traffic stop, and suggests that the teens’ attempt to flee occurred only seconds before the officer decided to use lethal force.
On Wednesday, Crump said in a tweet that the video suggests that the teens were terrified and were only trying to drive around the deputies. Meanwhile, Santiago-Miranda – who was clearly out of harm’s way – moved closer to the car to get a better shot, he added.
Crump further encouraged viewers to “Believe your own eyes” when watching the disturbing dashcam video.
“Claiming that this deputy discharged 10 shots to get himself out of harm’s way is a clear attempt to justify the killing of these teens. If anything, the deputy appears to have moved closer to the vehicle to get a better shot,” Crump told NewsOne in a statement. “The video shows that the deputy continued to fire shots into the side of the vehicle as it was passing him, after he was out of harm’s way. This disturbing incident, which cost the lives of two Black teens, again documents the dangers of driving or even riding while Black — since the deputy also shot into the backseat, killing a passenger.”
Furthermore, public records on Deputy Santiago-Miranda show that the officer has a disturbing rap sheet of his own.
Records from the Osceola Clerk of Courts reported on Wednesday by local news website The Space Coast Rocket show that in 2008, Santiago-Miranda was found guilty of burglary to a dwelling unarmed and aggravated assault with a firearm. On April 20th of this year, Deputy Miranda was also charged with domestic violence with children.
The two deputies involved in the killing of the teens have since been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In the meantime, the local community has rallied around the family of the two slain teens and demanded justice and an end to police violence against Black residence.
The teens’ cousin, Charity Baxter, told WKMG that she wants to know why the officers determined that the only solution to the situation was through deadly force.
“When you did approach him, why was the first thing to shoot?” Baxter said.
The family of Pierce have also said that they are only seeking justice for their lost loved ones.
“I’m looking for a little closure,” Pierce’s mother Qausheda Pierce said. “We want some answers.”
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has yet to announce whether the car the teens were in was actually stolen or if any weapons were recovered from the vehicle.
In the meantime, attorney Crump is demanding that local authorities release the raw footage in its entirety while requesting that “anyone with additional video evidence, including neighbors with home surveillance cams, to come forward so that we can have a clearer picture of the facts in this case.”
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.