The Latest: Expert says deputy justifiably shot unarmed man

AP News
Posted: Feb 02, 2016 12:44 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The latest on the trial of a lawsuit filed by a young black man who was shot and paralyzed by a Florida sheriff's deputy in 2013. (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

An expert on police use of firearms and deadly force testified that a sheriff's deputy justifiably shot an unarmed black man, given the deputy's description of the man's actions.

Emanuel Kapelsohn told a federal jury Tuesday that Palm Beach County Sgt. Adams Lin thought the dark object in Dontrell Stephens' hand was a gun so had no choice but to shoot Stephens. Lin says Stephens put his hand behind his back and flashed it forward holding an object that Lin thought was a small handgun. Kapelsohn said that if Lin had waited, he could have been killed. Stephens was holding a cellphone.

Stephens is suing Lin and the sheriff's office, saying the 2013 shooting violated his civil rights. It left the 22-year-old Stephens paralyzed from the waist down. He has denied reaching behind his back or flashing his hands forward. Lin had stopped him for riding his bicycle into traffic.

Lin is Asian-American.


7:15 a.m.

Testimony is expected to conclude in the lawsuit filed by an unarmed black man who was shot and paralyzed by a Florida sheriff's deputy.

Palm Beach County Sgt. Adams Lin is expected to conclude his testimony Tuesday in the lawsuit filed by 22-year-old Dontrell Stephens. Lin is Asian-American.

Lin has testified he stopped Stephens for riding his bike into traffic in September 2013 and shot him after he reached for his waistband and flashed his hand forward with a dark object that Lin thought was a gun. Stephens has denied reaching for his waistband. He was holding a cellphone.

Lin's attorneys say they have two more witnesses, including a police use-of-force expert.

Lin was cleared of criminal wrongdoing. Stephens says Lin violated his civil rights and is seeking more than $5 million.