Family Responds to Indictment of BSO Deputy After Man's Death

A mother spoke out Monday on the grand jury that indicted her son's killer, a Broward Sheriff's deputy, on a manslaughter charge.

The deputy claimed he had no choice but to open fire on the man holding, what turned out to be, an air rifle.

Jermaine McBean was a 33-year-old computer systems engineer, walking home from a pawn shop with an unloaded, BB rifle behind his head, resting on his shoulders, when he was killed by Deputy Peter Peraza.

The shooting happened nearly 2.5 years ago, but after a New York Times article last summer prompted a Justice Department investigation, State Attorney Michael Satz finally took action, and got a grand jury to charge Peraza last week with manslaughter.

It was the development his mother Jennifer Young had been waiting for, "Thank God. Thank you Jesus for making them see the injustice that's been done to my son."

The manslaughter indictment of Deputy Peraza is just an allegation, not a conviction, but a significant one nonetheless.

"It's landmark. It's an historic day. It's an historic day for this family, it's an historic day for the people of Broward County," said David Schoen, family attorney.

That's because Florida prosecutors haven't charged a police officer for an on-duty shooting in decades.

Peraza faced a judge last Friday before being released on a $25,000 bond. His attorney said the injustice is against the deputy.

"We cannot Monday morning quarterback our officers, our deputies. They need to be able to do their job. This is a very scary, frustrating indictment. I'm hopeful and confident he will be cleared very quickly of these allegations," said Eric Schwartzreich, Peraza's attorney.

McBean's family is suing the deputies on scene that July day in 2013, and the Broward Sheriff's Office, for civil rights violations. Their investigation uncovered a witness's photo showing ear buds still in McBean's ears as he lay dead or dying.

That could explain why McBean never responded to police commands to drop the BB rifle, he was listening to music. But someone later moved the ear buds to McBean's pockets and police never mentioned he was wearing them when shot to death.

"We were horrified in what we found. Two years later, we went public with the information we found," said Alfred McBean, victim's brother.

Three months after the shooting, Sheriff Scott Israel gave Peraza an award for bravery, a decision the sheriff now says was premature.

Now that he's indicted, Peraza has been placed on unpaid suspension.

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