Marshals seize deputy’s property to pay off shooting victim

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — U.S. Marshals seized personal belongings of a Florida sheriff’s deputy to help pay the expenses of a 23-year-old man he shot and paralyzed.

Attorney Jack Scarola tells the Palm Beach Post he got permission from a federal magistrate to take property from Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Lin to help pay a $22.4 million jury verdict awarded to Dontrell Stephens last year.

Stephens was unarmed when he was shot and paralyzed by Lin after he was stopped for riding his bicycle into traffic in 2013.

“This case cries out for compassion. There’s no doubt Dontrell Stephens, for the rest of his life, will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair,” said Stuart Kaplan, former FBI special agent, to Fox 29.

On Saturday, marshals took Lin’s car, clothes, television and furniture.

The move outraged Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association president John Kazanjian who says in 37 years he’s never heard of an officer’s belongings being taken to sell on the auction block.

“Is this going to start a precedent now? Now, law enforcement officers are going to be watching over their back for any type of civil suits and you’re going to lose your property?” Kazanjian said. “All across the country law enforcement officers are, you know, losing their lives, getting ambushed, getting run over, getting stabbed, all this and now this. Who is going to want to do this job? Pretty soon nobody.”

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