One year since Demarcus Semer's death, Fort Pierce police prepare to implement body cameras

Posted at 7:35 PM, Apr 21, 2017

Sunday will mark one year since 21-year-old Demarcus Semer was shot and killed by two Fort Pierce police officers. Friday, his loved ones gathered at the location where he died to honor his memory.

One year later, we are now seeing the changes that came about after his death.

Fort Pierce police officers underwent training Friday, preparing them to start wearing body cameras.
It was one of the recommendations from the grand jury decision that ultimately cleared the two officers of any criminal wrong doing in the 2016 shooting.
“Any time they go to a call for service, they’re going to be turning the camera on prior to getting out of the car,” said Sgt. Jason Braun with the Fort Pierce Police Department.
The department signed a 5-year, 450 thousand dollar contract for 100 body cameras. The cameras are expected to be in full use by the summer for all uniformed police officers, sergeants and below.

What’s unique about this system, the camera will activate as soon as the officer draws his or her weapon.

“This body camera system is attached to the holster with a cable,” explained Braun. “Which ever way you activate it, by the slide switch or the holster, there will be a 30 second pre-record of video.”

In addition to the cameras, Fort Pierce Police Department leaders said they are getting more involved in the community and are participating in specialized deescalation trainings.

“I’m glad they’re trying to find other ways in how to subdue a person,” said Demarcus Semer’s mother LaTrecia Middleton.

Middleton said she's encouraged to see these changes. While she says this year has been hard, and she still wants justice, Middleton told me she has started to forgive.
“I hated the police for what they did but now I can say I forgive the police.”

The Fort Pierce Police internal investigation of the shooting is still ongoing and the two officers involved remain on paid administrative leave.