(Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings speaking at a news conference on Monday. Photo: WESH-TV, NBC Local News Orlando)
A Black 23-year-old man was critically injured on Monday after being shot by a white deputy in Orlando, WESH 2 reports.
According to investigators, Cedric Bartee and Henry Lee Chaney, 28, were entering a car that had been reported stolen. The deputies who located the car reportedly instructed the two men to exit the vehicle. Authorities alleged that Chaney got out of the vehicle, while Bartee “made extensive furtive movements."
Sergeant Robert McCarthy fired three shots, one of which struck Bartee, Reuters reports. He underwent surgery at the Orlando Regional Medical Center and remains in critical condition, as of Tuesday morning.
Capt. Angelo Nieves of the Sheriff’s Office told reporters that Bartee had not complied with the deputies commands. "The deputy feared for his safety, that he was going to be harmed,” Nieves said.
But, as Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings announced at a recent news conference, investigators found that the accounts of the officer involved in the shooting conflict with that of several eyewitnesses.
“They kept telling the boy to put their hands up. Their hands were already up. There was no tint on the car, so you could see in the car and the police just kept saying, ‘Put your hands up.’ Before you know it, they shot three times in the car,” Ernest Miles Jr., a resident of the area, told WESH 2.
An investigation led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is currently underway. A review by the state attorney will follow. Sergeant McCarthy has been placed on administrative duties for at least a week.
In light of the ongoing public outcry against police shootings and the treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement, Sheriff Demings — who is himself African-American — urged everyone “not to rush to judgment.”
He reportedly decided to hold a press conference on the police-involved shooting to be transparent "because of the backdrop of everything happening in the country at this time.”
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