Police Abuse

Jury Awards $23 Million to Man Shot by Cop Who Didn't Recognize Him, Thought His Cellphone Was a Gun

Cop shot the unarmed man four times in four seconds

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WPTV

Officer Adams Lin shot Dontrell Stephens four times in four seconds—the fourth bullet paralyzed Stephens, who had pulled out his cellphone while riding his bike and being followed by Lin.

The shooting happened in West Palm Beach in 2013, and now a Florida jury has awarded Stephens $21 million. The sheriff's office said the verdict was "shocking and disappointing." Police insist Adams was justified in shooting Stephens because he reasonably feared for his life.

An internal investigation cleared Lin to go back to work just four days after the shooting, and later the the state attorney's office also cleared Lin, who said he was suspicious of Stephens because Stephens was allegedly riding his bike the wrong way and Lin said he did not recognize him from the neighborhood. Stephens pulled over when he realized he was being followed and walked toward the officer before being shot.

The jury didn't buy the argument. The sheriff's office is protected by law from paying more than $200,000 out in a settlement, so the Florida legislature will have to approve the larger payment.

Watch video of the shooting below:

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  1. The sheriff’s office is protected by law from paying more than $200,000 out in a settlement,

    Just like any other group or individual in Florida, one presumes.

    1. “Beat it, kids! Come back when you got connections!”

      1. By the way, this a perfect illustration of your point that you can be minding your own business, doing absolutely nothing wrong, and you can still be arbitrarily killed by a cop.

    2. But this wasn’t a settlement, was it?

  2. “The sheriff’s office said the verdict was “shocking and disappointing.”

    Getting shot and paralyzed for checking your voice mail is also shocking and disappointing.

    1. When a pants-wetting man can’t defend himself from a threat like that without having the taxpayers of his community pay out big, we’ve got a big problem!

    2. Of course the cops and public see no contradiction in that the cops are to be considered “heroes”, while the default assumption to justify these shooting is that the cops are pants-shitting cowards.

  3. Since when is a police officer not recognizing you from a particular neighborhood grounds for suspicion?

    (rhetorical)

  4. Daily nutpunch. Note that the reaction of the police isn’t – OMG an innocent man was shot and paralyzed by one of our own. This ends now. Never again. Not on our watch. Instead, it’s full on denial and CYA mode.

    Last I saw, still no justice for the cop that shot the 4 year old in Ohio last summer.

    Cowards.

    1. The cop who shot the 4 year old has to live the rest of his life with the mental anguish of shooting a child. That in itself is justice. Every day he looks into the eyes of his own child, he will be reminded of that four year old he shot. His life must be a living hell.

      1. HA HA HA! Good one!

        Sociopaths don’t experience social emotions like empathy or shame! You one funny guy, egould!

      2. I’m going to assume this is sarcasm.

        1. Right from the mouths of police union reps.

        2. I don’t know. “His life must be a living hell” doesn’t mean he’s the one suffering. What better excuse for being a raging asshole and a self-justifying sociopath than “problems”?

          1. You’ll just never understand, kbolino.

            The real victim of my assholiness is… *sniff* myself!

      3. The cop/s gangbanger who shot the 4 year old has to live the rest of his life with the mental anguish of shooting a child. That in itself is justice. Every day he looks into the eyes of his own child, he will be reminded of that four year old he shot. His life must be a living hell.

        Then why are so many of them in jail for shooting kids?

      4. The cop/s gangbanger who shot the 4 year old has to live the rest of his life with the mental anguish of shooting a child. That in itself is justice. Every day he looks into the eyes of his own child, he will be reminded of that four year old he shot. His life must be a living hell.

        Then why are so many of them in jail for shooting kids?

        1. Fuck it. I give up. YOU WIN, SQUIRRELZ! THIS TIME.

    2. Admitting that one of their own did something wrong could harm the public trust. So they must justify everything that they do, no matter what it is. Because people will trust them more when they shoot innocent people and refuse to admit fault.

  5. Wage garnishment of all the police in the department to cover these sort of settlements might be a good idea.

  6. Listen, it’s quite simple. You don’t want to be paralyzed? Don’t ride your bike like a thug.

  7. Pure Linsanity.

    1. But…this isn’t Fast and Furious 8!

  8. The jury didn’t buy the argument. The sheriff’s office is protected by law from paying more than $200,000 out in a settlement, so the Florida legislature will have to approve the larger payment.

    Legislators To Jurors: Drop Dead

  9. Can somebody just fire this guy already so that Irish can take his job?

    1. How do you know that black guys riding bikes and checking their voice mail don’t commit a disproportionate number of cop murders?

    2. Please. Not only was he not fired, he’s been promoted in the time since the shooting.

  10. Police insist Adams was justified in shooting Stephens because he reasonably feared for his life.

    Reasonably. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    1. Yeah, well the verdict doesn’t necessarily say the shooting wasn’t “justified”, it just says that somebody needs to pay Dontrell for shooting him in a “justified” way.

    2. You try spending 19 hours a day on heightened alert because of the uniform you wear. Then you’ll understand reasonable.

    3. By reasonably they mean emotionally. Check your privilege.

  11. That was more like 2 seconds, btw.

  12. Walking toward a police officer is always spun as an aggressive act. Out heroes in blue shit their pants every time it happens.

    1. And walking away makes you a fleeing felon. Funny how that works.

      1. There really is no foolproof method of dealing with the cops when they want to give you a hard time. Even “stand there and do nothing” doesn’t guarantee you won’t get tazed. And “just follow instructions” is laughable. Which set of aggressively shouted, barely comprehensible, and completely contradictory instructions?

  13. AWESOMENESS!!! This case ABSOLUTELY PISSED ME OFF when I saw that video – utterly fucking egregious and unjustified. I hope that boy is enjoyin him some hookers and blow tonight – HE EARNED IT!!!

    1. It should have come from the cop’s pocket.

  14. Glad he got something. Another totally egregious shooting. He just started rolling up on some guy on a bike? And amazing that he was able to “not recognize” a man from the back.

  15. Could that not be more obviously a cell phone in his hand? Even in a grainy, brief glimpse of it on video, there’s no way to mistake it for a weapon.

  16. Nut punch du jour.

    A guy is doing nothing, riding a bike. Officer runs his car at the guy. Instead of panicking and running – which would have been a totally natural reaction, he slowly comes toward the officer to respond to what he wants.

    And the cop, the trained professional, who entirely created the situation as it was, pumps out panic fire because he felt all scary about the situation that he created.

    Its like the bozos who responded to a report of a suicidal guy locked in his room with a knife by breaking down the door, entering the room, then killing the guy because he had a knife.

    It’s a funny Monty Python skit, except that someone is dead and we live in a country where police think it is totally reasonable and the courts will back them up on that.

  17. How could that faggot cop fear for his life when the skinny black kid was running away from him?
    Come on, Afri-mericans. Man up. After Rodney King you burned out the Koreans. Now we see blacks getting shot by pigs on a weekly basis. Do something about it. Except this time choose your target a little more judiciously.

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