The case centers on whether a Broward County sheriff’s deputy can be prosecuted in the 2013 fatal shooting of a man who was carrying a realistic-looking air rifle.
A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that police officers are entitled to the same immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law as private citizens, reports the Sun Sentinel. Earlier, another appeals court reached the opposite conclusion, and the conflict likely is headed to the Florida Supreme Court. The case involves Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Peter Peraza, who was charged with manslaughter in the July 31, 2013, shooting death of Jermaine McBean, 33, a computer engineer who was walking home after having just purchased a realistic-looking air rifle at a pawn shop.
Peraza was one of several deputies who responded to reports of an armed man. He opened fire when McBean failed to follow orders to put the weapon down. Peraza testified that he fired his gun when McBean appeared to begin raising the weapon as if to fire it. Family members said McBean likely did not hear the deputies’ orders because he was listening to music through earbuds at the time. Peraza was the first officer in 35 years charged in an on-duty fatal shooting in Broward County.