Seth Adams' family sues Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and deputy Michael Custer

Claim shooting of Seth Adams was unjustified

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - The family of Seth Adams, who was shot and killed by a deputy in May of 2012, is suing the deputy and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of Seth Adams' parents and his estate. 

""They are devastated. They want to get to the bottom of it. To find out the truth. To find out what really happened that night," said Wally McCall, the family attorney.

Seth Adams was shot and killed at the "A One Stop Garden Shop” where he lived and worked.

The lawsuit claims deputy Michael Custer, while on duty as an undercover TAC team supervisor, parked his unmarked vehicle in the garden shop parking lot.

The suit claims there were no parking signs posted after business hours and the deputy could have parked in a public area a few hundred feet away.

The suit says when Adams arrived home he questioned why Custer was there, said he was trespassing, and asked him to leave.

Both men got out of their vehicles and the suit claims Custer “became hostile, rude, combative and abusive.” 
The family claims the deputy kicked the door of Adams' pickup truck and shot the 24-year-old three times.
The lawsuit also states that the deputy didn't help Adams after the shooting.
Deputy Custer said he fired in self-defense after he saw Adams reach for something in his truck.

"With all due respect to the sheriff, we feel that if anything, they slanted the investigation in favor of their officer. There was a presumption that he did nothing wrong," said McCall.

Adams was unarmed. 

Following the shooting Sheriff Ric Bradshaw came to the deputy’s defense and painted a different picture.

"It was just very bad from the outset with Seth Adams' demeanor towards the deputy," Bradshaw said at the time. Bradshaw says toxicology reports show Adams was intoxicated when he and Custer came face to face. 

The sheriff said Adams lunged at the deputy.

"Seth Adams' DNA is on the deputy's throat, right in the area where the deputy said he was choked," he said.  "It is also on the deputy's forearm, which is consistent with the deputy breaking the choke hold. That is physical evidence that backs up exactly what the deputy says happened," the sheriff said.
Deputy Custer was cleared by the sheriff's office, Palm Beach County State Attorney and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

"They are entitled to answers and that's what they want. Justice for Seth," said McCall.

Custer was part of a six-member undercover surveillance team in the area of Loxahatchee Groves concerned about a series of ATM thefts, unrelated to the Adams' property.

The sheriff’s office also has not commented on the lawsuit.

Read the lawsuit: 1p1fG1m

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