ORLANDO, Fla. – The attorney representing the people shot by Osceola County deputies outside a Kissimmee Target said Sheriff Marcos Lopez is distorting facts in the case where a young man lost his life. Lawyer Mark NeJame alleges the deputies' policing escalated the situation and that his clients were used as guinea pigs for their own tactical training.
The Mark NeJame legal team held a press conference Tuesday afternoon. During the presser, NeJame accused Sheriff Lopez of not being transparent for the lack of information when it comes to what led up to gunshots being fired.
NeJame and his team also went over the Target surveillance video released by Osceola County Sheriff's office Monday.
Frame by frame, they explained their side of how things went down. They said their clients accused of stealing Pokemon cards and pizza were not taken into custody after leaving the Target store, but later swarmed by unmarked cars. In the video, you can see one unmarked vehicle turn on their police lights about five seconds after the young men attempted to drive off.
NeJame alleges sheriff's deputies who were just finishing up tactical training waited until his clients were in their car, where they attempted a takedown that resulted in the death of Jayden Baez and two more of his clients, Michael Gomez and Edwin Lowe getting shot.
On Monday, Sheriff Lopez shared deputy reports and affidavits from the incident. The incident reports stated the deputies identified themselves, saying, “Stop! Sheriff’s Office,” but NeJame said his clients didn’t hear any of that. The reports are dated May 6th, despite the shooting happening on April 27th, something Nejame said goes against policing standards.
“Reports are supposed to be filed somewhat contemporaneously with the incident. Why? So there is not a chance of cover up, collaboration, misrepresentation or other things that are very questionable. That’s standard police practice… All of these were filed on the same day, at the same time. Where are the original reports? These are 11-days-old that they gave you yesterday. Look at them,” NeJame said.
Body-worn cameras were not were worn by any detectives or deputies on scene, including the two deputies who fired their weapons because Lopez had said they were coming from training exercises.
Sheriff Lopez has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the matter. FDLE said this investigation is still active and that agents continue to review evidence and interview witnesses. For now, FDLE was not able to provide additional information.
Source: Spectrum News 13