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Body cameras not in Indian River County proposed budget; mother of slain woman hopes that changes

Posted at 11:52 PM, Jun 02, 2017

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- The proposed budget from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office does not include body cameras for the next year.

The sheriff’s office says they are facing a critical need to boost staffing, which leaves them without enough money to fund body cameras, according to Major Eric Flowers.

This comes after some in the community have been pleading for the sheriff’s office to invest in the cameras, following the shooting death of 21-year-old Alteria Woods.

Now, Woods’ mother, Yolanda, believes the sheriff’s office should re-prioritize their spending.

Detectives say Alteria Woods was shot by law enforcement during a SWAT raid at a Gifford home in March.

Deputies say her boyfriend, Andrew Coffee IV, was the intended target after they say shots from inside the home were fired at deputies.

However, deputies say Coffee IV used Alteria as a shield for himself from their gunfire.

Early reports suggested Woods was pregnant, but her mother, Yolanda Woods, says her daughter was not pregnant.

Woods is still grieving from the morning she heard her daughter was killed.

“That moment for me, it was so horrible. I wasn’t sure if my daughter was living or dead,” Woods said.

She first went by the scene, but says she could not get any answers.

Then she went to the hospital.

“I went to the hospital where I thought she was, only to get phone calls, Facebook [messages] from people saying she was dead,” Woods said.

Woods says she is still waiting to hear exactly how the SWAT raid played out, and why her daughter was shot multiple times. She says body cameras could have given her those answers.

“I wouldn’t be going through what I’m going through. I’d have some type of answers if we had the body cams.”

That is why she is disappointed to hear this may not be the year for deputies to be equipped with the cameras.

The sheriff’s office supports having the cameras, and could ask the county to increase the budget.

“After what happened and what keeps continuing to happen in our community, why not?” Woods said.

Woods hopes they could help another family faced with a similar loss in the future.

“Even though her life was taken it’s going to bring a change,” Woods said.

Woods will be part of a Transparency Rally on Sunday, June 4 from 3-5. Participants will be walking from the scene of the crime at 4545 35th Ave. to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

There will also be a public hearing in July for the public to chime in on the proposed budget.