A traffic cam video shows the officer’s account of the shooting of the disabled teen was a fabrication, and still, no charges
In October of 2010, Jason Franqui, a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy in Florida, told investigators that a 17-year-old male had tried to run him down with his vehicle during a traffic stop and the officer had no choice but to shoot the boy.
The teenage suspect was Jeremy Hutton, a mentally disabled boy with Down Syndrome who has the mental capacity of a 3- to 4-year-old as well as behavioral issues, had allegedly stolen his mother’s minivan. She worried for his safety and called 9-1-1.
When Officer Franqui says Hutton was driving slowly on a tire that was flattened after hitting a curb. Officer Franqui said he stopped the van by pulling his cruiser in front of it, and got out to approach Hutton.
The Florida deputy says that’s when Hutton looked him straight in the eyes and cut the wheel towards Franqui.
The officer said Hutton tried to run him over and fearing for his life, he fired six shots at the mentally challenged teen striking him in the head, shoulder and hand. Hutton, luckily, survived his wounds.
The officer was cleared of all wrong doing by the Florida State Attorney’s office. Many witnesses came forward and actually corroborated the officer’s account.
However, traffic cam footage tells an entirely different story and even shows evidence that the Sheriff’s office omitted important details from their reports. The traffic cam captured the entire intersection where the stop occurred, from above and there is no denying that the officer’s account, as well as witness testimony is flat-out wrong. Much of what happened on the deputy’s dash cam was off-camera.
From the officer’s dash cam, indeed Hutton clips Officer Franqui’s police cruiser as he tries to steer around the police vehicle, but the traffic cam footage shows that the officer was not in any danger of being “run down,” because he was on the passenger side of the vehicle and fired his shots from behind. It’s also questionable how Hutton had looked him in the eye seconds before “cutting the steering wheel towards the officer,” Hutton had not steered towards the officer, but turned as far away as he could manage.
When Hutton tried to escape around the cruiser, Officer Franqui fired through the teen’s back window and rear passenger’s side window — this was not mentioned in the official report filed by the Sheriff’s office. Another motorist can also be seen by the traffic cam passing by, and their vehicle is struck by two shots but no one was injured — that was also omitted from the report. Hutton crashed into a parked car after being wounded.
Former State Attorney, Elizabeth Parker, says this shows a major flaw in our justice system, saying:
Prosecutors work with the sheriff’s office every single day. You can’t have a contentious relationship and be productive as a prosecutor.
Really what they do is they just read the reports, they look at what the sheriff’s office provides to them.
The current State Attorney had this traffic cam video but chose to clear the lying officer anyway, ignoring pertinent evidence which has raised some serious questions, such as, should outside agencies handle cases of misconduct by officer’s if state prosecutors are unwilling to charge officers with crimes? What does an officer have to do in order to be charged with police brutality? What is the state, and country for that matter going to do to ensure justice is rightfully served?
WPTV-TV reports that zero officers in Florida have been indicted on criminal charges since 2000. So far, 45 people have been killed in confrontations with police, not once has an officer been disciplined and there have been many similar incidences where witnesses and evidence shows the officer’s actions were not justified.
The recently ruling on this five-year-old case comes at a particularly sensitive time, after a human rights review by the United Nations harshly criticized the U.S. Monday for America’s racist and brutal police force and for doing little to curb police violence. Over 117 nations condemned the killing of unarmed black males, and for America’s lack of action to curb this issue.
Until action is taken, officers face justice for their crimes, wanton injury and killing will continue and human rights will continue to be trampled.
Here is the video showing both versions of video as well as the officer’s account:
Featured image via WPTV-TV (Screen Capture)