DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Davie Police held a press conference, Thursday, in response to accusations that they are holding back information on the shooting of a young man.
“It is befuddling to me how somebody with none of the facts can hold a press conference and bring everybody together and say, ‘The Town of Davie is not doing their job. The police department’s not doing their job,’ and it’s befuddling to him,” said Davie Police attorney Gregg Rossman.
Police are responding to allegations made Wednesday during a press conference held by the family of 20-year-old Andre Derek Smith.
“We’re gonna do a thorough job, and we’re gonna do our job,” said Davie Police Maj. Dale Engle.
High-profile attorneys Jasmine Rand and Jose Baez are currently representing Smith’s family after he was shot and killed inside a Davie CVS Pharmacy on Nov. 1.
“What we’re doing is we’re waiting on some type of professional police work,” Baez said.
Wednesday, Baez and Rand criticized the police work, and the department’s refusal to let the family see the surveillance video from the shooting. They had a choice of words for the way the department was handling the case like “pathetic,” “unprofessional,” “unacceptable” and “unconscionable.”
“To date, this family’s right to view that video to see what happened to their son has been denied,” Rand said.
“I need to see it,” said Andrea Goulbourne-Smith, the victim’s mother. “I need to know.”
Police said Smith was killed by 38-year-old Matthew Barry after a Craigslist transaction resulted in an argument that led to a shooting. Investigators said Barry feared for his life. He has not been arrested.
His lawyers said it was a justified shooting. “My client was defending himself, plain and simple,” said Barry’s attorney, Kenneth Padowitz.
The Smith family attorneys said their next move may be to ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Justice Department to step in, and if the video is not made available, they will file a lawsuit under the public records law.
“The Florida Public Records law is 1-19, the Victim’s Right law is 9-60. Neither of those give a victim’s next of kin an absolute right to see anything prior to the investigation being done,” Rossman said.
Police said once the investigation is complete, all of the evidence, including the surveillance video will be released to the family before it’s released to the public. It will also be presented to the Broward State Attorney’s Office to determine if charges will be filed.
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