Newly released police dash cam footage depicts a Florida sheriff’s deputy shooting an unarmed woman with her hands in the air. According to a recent federal indictment, the deputy used unreasonable force and later filed a false police report to justify the shooting.
On October 11, 2016, Robin Pearson was reportedly driving home when Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Palmer witnessed her failing to stop her vehicle at a stop sign. After parking her vehicle, Pearson exited the car with her empty hands in the air as she calmly approached the officer.
According to Deputy Palmer, Pearson reached down into her left pocket and appeared to retrieve a dark object when he opened fire. But according to the newly released police dash cam video, Pearson never reached into her pocket and was not holding anything in her hands.
Palmer shot Pearson in the groin for no justifiable reason and allegedly lied about the incident to conceal his mistake. Pearson underwent surgery at Central Florida Regional Hospital. She later filed a lawsuit that settled in September 2018.
On August 21, Palmer was indicted on use of unreasonable force and giving false statements to investigators after the shooting. He resigned from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office shortly after his federal indictment was announced.
According to the indictment, “Palmer knowingly misled FDLE special agents…by saying that R.P.’s left hand was in her pocket, that (she) pulled her left hand out of her pocket, and that he saw a dark object in (her) left hand, when in truth… Palmer well knew (her) hands were out of her pockets and (she) had nothing in her hands.”
Palmer faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison for his use of unreasonable force, 20 years in prison for his false statements, and fines. His trial is scheduled to begin in February 2020.