Cops in Florida burst into a house rented by three twenty-something friends this week and immediately shot one of them dead, according to accounts, despite the fact he was unarmed and non-threatening.
Twenty six-year-old Derek Cruice was shot in the face and killed during the botched raid in Deltona. His shocked friends say he did nothing wrong, and described the act as “murder”.
Cruice’s housemates say that the cops smashed down the door with a battering ram at 7am while they were in bed. Cruice, wearing only basketball shorts and no shirt was the first to emerge from his bedroom, and was shot on sight, according to his friend Steven Cochran.
The police have claimed that Cruice “advanced” toward them, but the housemates say this is not true.
“That is completely a lie. I was there; I watched the whole thing. There was no advancement. There was no reaching for anything. The guy was wearing basketball shorts like I am. It’s kind of hard to conceal anything or hide anything when this is all you have on,” a clearly shaken Cochran told reporters.
“As soon as the gunshot happened, I froze,” Cochran added. “Nobody resisted. There was no weapons. Nobody was making any kind of resistance or trying to keep anybody from doing their job.”
“Volusia County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators and the Street Crimes Unit were attempting to serve a search warrant at a residence. They were met with resistance and a shooting occurred,” Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said in a statement.
“Cruice’s actions caused the deputy to perceive a threat,” sheriff’s office spokesman Gary Davidson told the Orlando Sentinel, adding “It has since been determined that Cruice wasn’t armed.”
Police claim that Investigators who searched the house found 217 grams of marijuana, and other marijuana related paraphernalia.
The officer who shot Cruice has been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the sheriff’s office said.
Cruice’s friend uniformly described him to reporters as a peaceful and wonderful human being. He had no criminal record.
Police nationwide are increasingly conducting so called “no knock” raids, which have been heavily criticized as they place both residents and police in great danger.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.