Even if no violence occurs, Florida courts might charge a person with a forcible felony if any use of force or weaponry comes into play. These sorts of charges are serious and may affect an alleged suspect’s future for years ahead. If they have years ahead.
The Tampa Bay Times reports on a story of a man with a troubled past of petty thefts escalating the situation with a firearm with fatal results.
Prior thefts and arrests
A man growing up in foster care with known intellectual disabilities became an adult in 2012 with slim prospects about holding a job. His biological father was not sure if he was high-functioning enough to ever live on his own.
In 2015 and 2019, authorities arrested the man for petty theft and trespassing over stealing chips, candy and clothing. His attempts for a rehearing went unheard. Though a psychologist evaluated his mental competency, cases proceeded and he served his time.
Another theft with a weapon
While allegedly trying to shoplift food this October, employees caught the man. In their attempt to retrieve the food, the man pulled out a handgun. Minutes later, authorities shot him dead when they claimed he raised the gun towards them.
Justice and a fair defense
Eyewitness reports and bodycam footage leave people confused about this case. Some civil rights activists do not believe the authorities required deadly force in this situation.
When facing felony charges in a criminal defense case against authorities, a person’s rights may fall through the cracks. Those same authorities may twist a person’s words into an admission of guilt — and they might interpret a person’s actions as hostile. It is important to know and protect those rights and navigate an effective defense. Everyone should have their day in court.