WEST PALM BEACH — Instead paying shooting victim Dontrell Stephens the $200,000 he’s legally obligated to pay, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw allowed federal marshals cart away the clothes and belongings of one of his sergeants.
Whatever happened to loyalty on the thin blue line?
The sight of a sheriff’s Sgt. Adams Lin having the step aside and watch authorities seize his car, TV, furniture, fishing rods and computer for an on-duty shooting is also expected to send a strong message to deputies and cops throughout South Florida: Think before you pull the trigger, or you’ll pay dearly!
The move could also sour Bradshaw’s relationship with the Police Benevolent Association, which poured hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions into Bradshaw campaigns.
Stephens, 23, was paralyzed for life when Lin shot him in 2013 while trying to stop Stephens, who was on his bike. In a dashboard video that went viral at the time, it appears Lin fired his gun despite the fact Stephens was not threatening him and was unarmed.
Stephens was awarded $22.4 million by a federal jury last year. PBSO appealed the decision.
But in the meantime, Stephens remains destitute and in a wheelchair. Late last year, he was arrested for selling drug to a PBSO informant. Stephens’ attorney at the time said the bust was in retaliation for Stephens’ victory.
Stephens’ lawyer said today he obtained permission the federal court to seize Lin’s stuff because PBSO continues to refuse the pay it’s share of the award, $200,000, to Stephens. Records show Lin doesn’t own a home.
Shortly after the shooting, PBSO’s Internal Affairs unit deemed the shooting “justified” because Lin claimed he feared for his life during his chase of the bike.
As usual when it’s for a story that makes him look silly, Bradshaw isn’t commenting. He just reappeared in the county Saturday night for a party at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach after at least two weeks of vacation in North Carolina.