Sounds like its open season on the black men in Florida.
Two Escambia County sheriff deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave after they opened fire early Sunday morning and shot an unarmed black man in his own driveway.
Roy Middleton, 60, had gone to find cigarettes in his mother’s white Lincoln Town Car, which was parked in the driveway of the man’s home in a quiet neighborhood in the town of Warrington.
A nosy neighbor, who apparently didn’t recognize Middleton, called 911 to report a possible robbery, and police arrived at the scene at approximately 2:40 a.m.
Their guns drawn, deputies Jeremiah Meeks and Matthew White told Middleton to put his hands where the officers could see them.
Middleton told the Pensacola News Journal that he initially believed that the voices were from a neighbor who was playing a joke on him. When he got out of the car, however, the deputies opened fire on him.
“It was like a firing squad,” Middleton told PNJ from his bed at Baptist Hospital. “Bullets were flying everywhere.” “He was just coming home like he usually does. I don’t understand why they had to use so much force under the situation,” Walker Middleton’s mother, told Fox 10 News. “I don’t understand how they could fire so many shots at him. He wasn’t resisting or anything and he was at his own house.”
Walker said she later found 17 shell casings, and her Lincoln peppered with bullet holes.
Neighbors and relatives describe Middleton as mild-mannered and law-abiding, and a teenage girl who witnessed the shooting said she did not see the 60-year-old provoke the incident.
“He wasn’t belligerent or anything,” the man was minding his own business in his own driveway.
Middleton is still trying to figure out why the confrontation happened in the first place.
“Even if they thought the car was stolen, all they had to do was run the license plate,” Middleton said. “They would have seen that car belonged there.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting, and amid growing criticism, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan held a press conference Monday. According to Morgan, the two deputies said that Middleton “made a lunging motion” out of the car causing them to “fear for their safety.”
Middleton, Morgan said, “had a metallic object in his hand.” That object turned out to be a flashlight attached to Middleton’s key chain.
The bones in Middleton’s leg are shattered and he will require the implantation of a steel rod in order to walk, but is expected to make a full recovery.