NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach

Actions

Appeals court asked to overturn manslaughter charge against deputy

Posted at 7:51 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 19:51:42-04

Tuesday, the state made its argument for manslaughter charges before an appeals court in the case against a deputy facing criminal charges for shooting and killing a man.

No one disputes Deputy Peter Peraza shot and killed Jermaine McBean in 2013 but the deputy claims he used deadly force under the Stand Your Ground statute.

“It just brings everything back up like the first day it happened,” said Jennifer Young, 33-year-old Jermaine McBean’s mom.

Four years after Young's son was shot and killed by a Broward County deputy, the pain of losing him intensifies.

“He was a good person, he was my right hand and each time I go through this it gets more complicated,” said Young.

Today, young faced again the officer who pulled the trigger: Deputy Peraza. This time before the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Both sides presented their arguments for the stand your ground defense that cleared Peraza of any wrongdoing.

“We are hopeful, we are confident that this court will uphold the judge's ruling,” said Eric Schwartzreich, Peraza’s attorney.

Schwartzreich argued that just like any citizen, his client is protected under stand your ground. “Because when you're a police officer, when you wear the uniform, you get the same freedoms and protections of the law of everyone else, so stand your ground should apply.”

But David Schoen, who represents the McBean family, disagrees. “It's a horror show as it's applied in a racial discriminatory and gender discriminatory manner,” he said.

Schoen believes Peraza's case should go to trial. “That's all we're asking here let the family, let the public have their day in court,” Schoen said.

In 2013, Peraza told investigators McBean ignored him when he ordered him to drop the unloaded air rifle on his shoulder. But McBean's family says he may not have heard Peraza because of the earbuds he was wearing.

Outside the courthouse today, there was a call for justice for Jermaine, as dozens of protestors with Black Lives Matter turned out.

“I'm going to keep fighting for him,” said Young about her son.

The judge did not rule today. His decision could come at any time

Peraza is still being paid by the Broward County Sheriff's Office but he remains on administrative leave.