Amidst night after night of protests due to the failure to indict the officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, another black man was shot on Monday night by a white deputy in Orlando, Florida. 28-year old Cedric Bartee was critically injured but is recovering in a Florida hospital after surgery. Bartee has a long criminal history dating back to 1999 including more than 20 felony arrests. He now faces grand theft auto charges as well.
Sergeant Robert McCarthy, a 9-year veteran of the Orlando County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), was part of an investigation involving a stolen 2008 Honda Accord. When he located the vehicle at the Timber Sound gated apartment complex on Monday night, he fired his weapon three times. One of the bullets hit Bartee.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, who is African American, said in a news conference that Bartee failed to comply with McCarthy’s commands and “made extensive furtive movements,” that made McCarthy fearful for his life. Demings said, “I am very sensitive to some of the events that have occurred around the nation in recent times that have strained police-community relations … I ask everyone to not rush to judgment and allow the investigation to be completed.”
In conflicting statements, witnesses from the gated community that is no stranger to the OCSO, state that the two suspects at the scene had their hands up. The man with Bartee, 28-year old Henry Chaney, was taken into custody without incident. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting per standard procedure; however, these investigations can take several months to complete.
McCarthy has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. Demings stated that McCarthy has never had any disciplinary problems before and has not been involved in any prior shootings.
Local activists plan on rallying against police brutality again tonight in front of the US Department of Justice office on Washington Street in Orlando at 5:00 pm.