Dontrell Stephens Dies Eight Years After Being Paralyzed In Police Shooting

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2016, file photo, Dontrell Stephens arrives at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a civil suit. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill approving a $6 million payment to Stephens, who was left paralyzed when a sheriff's deputy mistook his cellphone for a handgun and shot him four times. Attorney Jack Scarola says Dontrell Stephens, a Black man who received a multimillion dollar settlement after being shot and paralyzed by a Florida deputy in 2013 has died on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

Dontrell Stephens Dies Eight Years After Being Paralyzed In Police Shooting

He was only 28 years old.

UPDATED ON : SEPTEMBER 4, 2021 / 10:34 AM

Written by BET Staff

Nearly eight years after Dontrell Stephens was shot by police and left paralyzed, the 28-year-old has died.

According to The Palm Beach Post, Stephens died due to complications from paralysis. He reportedly passed away on Sunday, August 29.

His attorney Jack Scarola said to The Palm Beach Post, "It was a variety of issues, including bed sores. Dontrell had a very sad and difficult life. I hope that as a consequence of the resolution of his case that he had some relief. But whatever relief he had was very short-lived."

In June of 2020, Stephens eventually received a settlement for $6 million. Nearly $1 million of his settlement went to outstanding medical bills, WPTV reports.

On Sept. 13, 2013, Dontrell Stephens was riding his bicycle when a police officer's car was following him. The dash cam video, obtained by The Palm Beach Post, showed the police car pull him over. Stephens got off his bike and walked toward the deputy. Seconds later, the deputy shot Stephens four times. Stephens could be seen running away as he was struck by the bullets. Stephens, 20 at the time, was carrying a cellphone and was unarmed.

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According to WPTV, county Sheriff Ric Bradshaw defended the deputy’s actions during a press conference at the time.

"Stop what you're doing and comply with us,” he told reporters. "There's nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed."

West Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola maintained the deputy's account of the incident conflicts with what is shown in the video. "There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens," explained Scarola, according to WPTV.

"The deputy's recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence,” he also said.

Scarola had no details about funeral arrangements.

(Photo: Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)


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