On Friday, police in Broward County, Florida released footage of intense, violent moments that lead up to a fatal police shooting. In the video, 42-year-old Jean Pedro Pierre can be seen kicking, and even dragging, Deputy Sean Youngward outside a condominium.
The officer was responding to a disturbance at the residential building when the violence broke out. Pierre can be seen dragging Youngward by his leg, while Youngward calls for backup.
The deputy tried to subdue the suspect by tasing him, but the attempt was in vain. Then, another deputy, Steven Briggs, shows up on the scene to help.
“Tase him, tase him; don’t shoot him,” a concerned citizen yelled at Briggs. Just like Youngward, Briggs was unsuccessful in his tasing attempt.
“Let it go, bro. They’re gonna shoot you, man,” a bystander yells at Pierre, who responded by letting go of Youngward only to charge at Briggs.
Pierre was then shot three times, and he can be seen falling in the parking lot. Briggs pulled the trigger. Pierre was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
“Youngward tried to stop the violent attack by deploying his Taser and using his ASP [extending baton.] Neither form of less-lethal force stopped Pierre from assaulting him,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “[Deputy] Briggs ordered Pierre to stop. Instead, Pierre charged at [Deputy] Briggs and several shots were fired. Pierre was not armed.”
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel revealed at a press conference that the purpose of releasing the footage was to end any speculation about the circumstances surrounding the fatal police shooting.
“Unarmed assailants take guns away from police officers and they are many police officers in the United States of America who tragically have died at the hands of their own weapons,” Israel said.
Pierre’s family said that they are reeling from their relative’s death. His sister Giuliane Jean told CBS Miami “This is not my brother. He was not a violent person. He was a good guy.”
His daughter Shania said Pierre suffered mental health issues caused by a stroke.
“I know my dad didn’t mean it. He didn’t mean it at all. My dad, he had a mental health issue that nobody knew about and I wish the police knew about it before killing him.”
[Photo: Broward Sheriff’s Office]