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News24 Thursday July 28, 2016
Judge dismisses manslaughter charge against Florida deputy
Fort Lauderdale - A judge on Wednesday dismissed a manslaughter charge against a Florida deputy who claimed self-defence in the 2014 fatal shooting of a 33-year-old black man carrying what turned out to be an air rifle. Circuit Judge Michael Usan ruled in favour of suspended Deputy Peter Peraza of the Broward Sheriff's Office, who sought dismissal of the case under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defence law that eliminates a requirement to retreat when facing a dire threat. The manslaughter charge carries a potential 30-year prison sentence. Usan's decision can be appealed. Peraza, 37, a white Hispanic, testified during a hearing that Jermaine McBean initially refused commands from him and other deputies to drop the authentic-looking weapon and then turned and pointed it toward the deputies in July 2014. Peraza fired three shots, killing him. "I've never been so scared in my life," Peraza testified. In his 36-page order, the judge called the shooting a "tragedy" and noted the ongoing national debate involving the shootings by police officers of black people and the hostility and threats...Read More