Dash cam video taken from the K-9 truck of an Indian River County Sheriff's deputy has prompted the Brevard County NAACP to question the account of the incident that led to the arrest of a teen on charges of attempted murder.
Seventeen-year-old Darrick Washington Jr., a player with the Palm Bay High School football team, has spent the last seven months behind bars awaiting trial for the alleged second-degree attempted murder of Deputy Kevin Keitz on October 24, 2010.
NAACP South Brevard chapter president Richard Robinson said he is convinced the charges are in retaliation for a civil lawsuit filed against the Indian River County Sheriff's Department by Washington's family in March.
Robinson said Washington and four friends drove away from an area where a man was firing a weapon into the air.
Why Keitz gave chase is unclear.
"They were unarmed and this guy (Keitz) took shots at them," Robinson said.
Washington was shot as he was attempting to make a u-turn and drive out of a dead end near 66th avenue and 46th street in Vero Beach.
Robinson, who has relatives in law enforcement, said the video "clearly shows" that Washington was not attempting to hit Keitz with the car, as his charges claim.
The FDLE findings issued to WKMG-TV's Mike Holfeld on Oct. 29 state that Washington's vehicle drove "towards Keitz's patrol vehicle and veers to the north.
Keitz told FDLE investigators that he saw "muzzle flashes" and heard "pops" coming from the vehicle Washington was driving.
Crime scene investigators confirm no casings from a second weapon were found at the scene, or in the vehicle Washington was driving.
Video obtained by WKMG-TV this week does not show any evidence of "muzzle fire."
FDLE agent Eric Michael Jester reported hearing six "distinct clicks" that match the time Keitz fired his weapon.
The report indicates that the dash cam audio was disabled, but the percussion from the shots created the click noise.
Indian River County Sheriff's General Counsel, Jim Harpring canceled interviews arranged with the sheriff and Washington with Reporter Mike Holfeld because "of the pending litigation."
"It's our right to deny audio and video access to Washington," Harpring said, "We don't have to explain why."
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