A video of a PBSO deputy shooting an unarmed man within four seconds of stopping him in 2013 captured national attention last week.
Now a newly obtained video shows Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy Adams Lin describing what caused him to shoot.
In the video, Lin says that Dontrell Stephens turned his body and reached toward his waistband as if he was going for a gun.
He didn’t have a gun; it was a cell phone that was in his right hand during the four-second encounter.
The video also shows how Lin, who was assigned to a community-oriented policing job, was dressed. Attorney Jack Scarola, who is representing Stephens in a federal lawsuit against PBSO, said Lin was “dressed for war,” carrying 76 rounds of ammunition.
He was dressed differently from most uniformed PBSO deputies, with a tactical vest carrying his ammunition and Taser. Those items are often carried on a belt.
Scarola released the video to the media on Friday.
Video of Stephens’ shooting came to light last week, when The Palm Beach Post and WPTV NewsChannel 5 published online the results of a yearlong investigation into police shootings. The reporting revealed that one in every four people shot at by deputies were unarmed, and one in every three people are black. Stephens is black. Lin is Asian.
In the wake of the investigation, Palm Beach County commissioner Priscilla Taylor called for independent investigations and a community symposium.