Four men, aged 18 to 20, decided to cover the license plate on their car and enter a target in Kissimmee, FL in order to steal pizzas and Pokemon cards from the store. Security called the local gendarmes, who arrived and attempted to take the young men into custody. For some reason, the police perceived a threat and opened fire, killing one and injuring one of them.
The police are having to keep silent until the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), who investigates all police shootings, completes its investigation. Their attorneys have been all over Central Florida news, claiming that the police overreacted and shot the men for no reason at all. The local press has been eating it up.
One of the claims that the lawyers are making is that the police never identified themselves as cops. At the same time, they are also claiming that the cops shot the men, even though they had raised their hands in surrender. The usual claims of racism aren’t available to them, because the deputies involved were the same race as the critters who were shot.
If you have read this blog any amount of time, you know that I don’t always side with the cops. Sometimes, I agree with what they do, sometimes, I don’t. This case is one of the former, in my opinion.
One question that has been raised throws cold water on the attorney’s claims: If the cops didn’t identify themselves, then why did the criminals raise their hands in surrender?
Those young men weren’t choirboys. They went there with the intent of stealing, as evidenced by their covering of the license plate with tape. Their records indicate some of who these men were/are:
- Jayden Baez, the man killed: He had a felony conviction from a 2019 case where he reached into his ex-gf’s car and struck her new beau and then stole some items, including airpods and a box of candy. That case was charged as burglary with battery, a felony. He pled guilty to misdemeanor battery. He also had a second arrest stemming from attempted escape from an Osceola Deputy who had arrested him on a warrant. The charges on that one were dropped. I didn’t attempt to find out what the warrant was for.
- Joseph Lowe, who is the 19 year old that was also shot, has an extensive juvenile offender record. I can’t see the specifics, but a 2018 arrest on driving a stolen Escalade lists him as a “juvenile felony offender with violent tendencies” (pdf warning)
On top of it, Nejame (the attorney) is well known in the area as being the lawyer who represented Casey Anthony, the woman who got a 13th trimester abortion. He represents the criminal element of Central Florida.