Attorney: Shooting Victim Says Deputy Used Excessive Force

Posted at 2:01 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 14:01:00-05

An attorney for a young black man shot and paralyzed by a sheriff's deputy told jurors the deputy used excessive force when he opened fire and was "dressed for war."

Attorney Jack Scarola told the federal jury during opening statements Tuesday that Palm Beach County Deputy Adams Lin had no reasonable cause when he shot Dontrell Stephens in September 2013.

Lin had stopped Stephens for riding his bicycle in front of a truck and opened fire within four seconds. Lin says Stephens reached for his waistband.

Scarola said Lin was dressed in military-style fatigues and had bandoliers across his chest.

Lin's attorney Summer Barranco said the deputy feared for his life, mistaking Stephens' cellphone for a gun. Lin was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the sheriff's office and local prosecutors.