NEAR FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Newly released surveillance and bodycam footage, as well as cellphone video posted on Facebook, captured the escalating chain of events that led a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy to open fire on a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Lauderdale Lakes, Wednesday afternoon, killing him.
Just before 5 p.m., Friday, BSO released footage from the body cameras that Deputies Steven Briggs and Sean Youngward were wearing at the time of the incident.
Footage from Youngward’s body camera shows a man who appears to be 42-year-old Jean Pedro Pierre knocking him down outside the Sunset Hills Apartments, just before 5 p.m. Footage from Briggs’ body camera shows Pierre lying on the ground moments after, investigators said, he was shot.
Earlier in the day, officials had released footage from several surveillance footage at the complex.
The Facebook video, recorded by Romeo Pericles, shows Pierre holding Youngward by his left foot moments before the shooting.
“Turn him loose. Turn him loose, dawg,” Pericles is heard saying to Pierre in the video. “Don’t get yourself in trouble.”
Youngward is seen waving his baton around as he shouted at Pierre.
A woman who said she’s a friend of Pierre’s brother said Pierre was visiting her apartment but wouldn’t leave. “He had to go. I don’t want to leave him by himself in my house,” said the woman, who did not want her face shown on camera.
She then dialed 911.
Caller: “I tell him he’s got to leave because I start working at 5 o’clock. I said I’m not going to leave him.”
Operator: “OK. He’s at your house, ma’am?”
Pierre also called 911 himself:
Dispatcher: “911. What is your emergency?”
Jean Pedro Pierre: “I need the, um, I need the police to do me a favor.”
But Pierre never made clear what that favor was.
“And he tells me, ‘If I have to leave, you have to call the police on me,” said the friend of Pierre’s brother. “I said, ‘Well, I have to call the police on you.'”
Friday afternoon, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel released surveillance video showing an even clearer view of the violent confrontation.
A surveillance camera placed outside the apartment of Pierre’s friend, located at 3610 NW 21st St., shows Youngward standing outside the door, then going inside.
Seventeen seconds later, the footage shows the deputy nearly stumbling outside the first-floor unit then running away as Pierre chases after him. Another cameras shows Pierre continuing to run after Youngward down the corridor, at one point swinging at the law enforcer.
The deputy is then seen using a Taser in an attempt to subdue Pierre, but it doesn’t stop him. Pierre is seen limping as he continues to approach the deputy.
“When the Taser did not work, [Youngward] used an expandable baton,” said Israel during a news conference, Friday afternoon.
The footage then shows Pierre knocking the deputy to the ground, then beginning to hold him by the foot and kicking him.
“He did everything he could,” said Israel.
It was at this point that Pericles, Pierre’s neighbor, took out his smartphone and hit record.
“Brother, ‘Brown,’ ‘Brown,’ let go of his leg, ‘Brown.’ Let go of his leg, man,” Pericles is heard saying. “There’s more coming, bro.”
Surveillance video then shows BSO Deputy Steven Briggs approaching Pierre while pointing his gun at him.
“It was a violent encounter,” said Israel.
In another 911 call, a resident at the complex describes the tense moments.
Caller: “There is a guy fighting with two cops.”
Operator: “With a cop? There’s a guy fighting with a cop?”
Caller: “Two cops, two cops.”
Operator: “Two cops? There’s already an officer there?”
Caller: “Two officers. The guy is fighting with him.”
Pericles’ video shows Pierre dragging Youngward as he lunged at Briggs.
Gunshots are then heard ringing out.
“Oh, my God!” Pericles is heard saying.
Surveillance video shows Pierre dropping to the pavement.
“I just know the force of entry could have killed him, but he has no gun on him,” Pericles said during a phone interview.
“Mr. Pierre chose a path of non-compliance. Deputy Briggs had his firearm; he shot three times, and Mr. Pierre was mortally wounded, still alive,” said Israel.
But Pierre would not survive. He was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
The woman who Pierre was visiting said she didn’t see much of the confrontation because she ran for cover. “If the police are out there shooting, I don’t want to get shot,” she said.
She also questioned why the deputy pulled the trigger, because, she indicated, Pierre was unarmed. “He didn’t have no gun. He didn’t have nothing, nothing,” she said.
Speaking with 7News, Friday night, Pierre’s family said the actions of the man seen on the different videos are uncharacteristic of him.
“All I can tell you, this is not my brother,” said Guilaine Jean, Pierre’s sister. “He wasn’t a violent person. He was a good guy.”
“Even though it is him, I don’t think he would do that if he was in his right mind,” said Ralph Fenelon, Pierre’s son.
Loved ones’ pain has only been compounded by seeing the footage. “I just want to know why. He’s a good person,” said Guilaine. “I just want to know why they did that to him.”
“The way my brother acted, he did not deserve to die for that,” said Enoch Pierre, his brother.
“I don’t like that, and I need justice,” said John Pierre, another brother.
Relatives said Pierre was a former entrepreneur, a father of five, but he had a stroke earlier this year.
Israel said he released the surveillance and bodycam footage because he was determined to combat any rumors or false information surrounding this case.
The woman Pierre was visiting said she believes Pierre was suffering from some sort of mental health episode.
His daughter, Shania Pierre, agreed with the woman’s assessment. “My dad, he had a mental health issue with him that no one knew about,” said Shania. “I wish the police knew that before killing him. I know he didn’t mean to hurt nobody.”
“The fact that we know that we won’t be able to see him or talk to him, or have a hug or anything, it really does hurt us,” said Augustina Mompermier, Pierre’s niece.
Pierre’s family nevertheless praised Youngward for his restraint throughout the ordeal.
Once the Florida Department of Law Enforcement completes their investigation, it will end up with the State Attorney’s Office. Ultimately, a grand jury will decide whether anyone in this case will face charges.
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