US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Deputy cleared in drug raid shooting


ST. PETERSBURG - State Attorney Bernie McCabe has cleared a sheriff's deputy of any criminal wrongdoing in the April 12 shooting of an unarmed man during a drug raid on his home.

Cpl. Christopher Taylor acted in the "legal performance of his lawful duties" when he twice shot 19-year-old Jarrell S. Walker, McCabe stated in a six-page report released Monday.

Wanda Walker called McCabe's findings in the shooting death of her son a "cover up."

"It's not a surprise and it's not over," she said Monday. "He cannot justify shooting an unarmed man. My son did not have a gun. He was not reaching for a gun."

Walker's family said he was asleep when members of the SWAT team burst into the home and posed no threat.

In his report, McCabe acknowledged the rift between law enforcement and some residents in the black community.

"This is another relatively young black male who has met his death at the hands of law enforcement in Pinellas County," McCabe noted.

On May 2, 2004, two Pinellas County sheriff's deputies shot 17-year old Marquell McCullough a combined 15 times as the black teenager tried to flee in a pickup truck. The deputies, who believed McCullough was involved in a drug deal, were cleared of any wrongdoing.

After McCullough's death, members of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement marched at BayWalk and led a protest that began a night of sporadic violence in Midtown.

The Uhurus will hold a community meeting Sunday to plan their next move, said spokeswoman Gaida Kambon.

"First this shooting, then the handcuffing and shackling of a 5-year-old girl," she said. "This exposes to the bone that the city government is treating this community as an enemy population."


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