Cocoa City Council to draft letter to State Attorney on teen shooting case

State Attorney received FDLE investigation findings on Feb. 5

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COCOA, Fla. – Cynthia Green made an impassioned plea as she broke down in tears at Cocoa City Hall Tuesday evening asking for justice in the death of her son, who was one of two teens fatally shot by a Brevard County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop last year.

“I want to know why I haven’t heard anything from the Sheriff’s (Office),” Green told city officials. “I want to know what my people are doing to help us. I need a little help here. I can’t do it by myself.”

Green’s adoptive son, 18-year-old Sincere Pierce, and his friend Angelo “A.J.” Crooms, 16, were killed in an encounter with a sheriff’s deputy Nov. 13, 2020. Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials conducted an outside investigation into the case and forwarded their findings to State Attorney Phil Archer Feb. 5, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

Sheriff: Brevard deputy ‘forced to fire,’ fatally shooting 2 teens in car
Sheriff: Brevard deputy ‘forced to fire,’ fatally shooting 2 teens in car

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Archer’s office has yet to announce a decision on whether to file charges in the case, causing frustration and confusion among family members like Green.

“I don’t care if it takes my last dime, I’m going to make sure my son gets the justice he deserves,” Green told City Council members Tuesday through tears and sobs.

Mayor Michael Blake and others explained to Green that Cocoa city government has no authority to compel an answer from the State Attorney’s Office, but said they wanted to help.

The council decided unanimously to draft a letter requesting an update on the case. City Council members are anticipating the letter will be drafted this week and reviewed at a 3 p.m. meeting Friday.

“It’ll just generally be asking for some answers on behalf of the family,” said Cocoa Deputy Mayor Alex Goins. “We’ll be asking the State Attorney to at least communicate. That’s what we need, just so they can get some comfort on what’s going on.”

A.J., Pierce, and Jaquan Kimbrough-Rucker, 20, were driving through Pierce’s quiet Cocoa neighborhood late in the morning of Nov. 13 in a car family members and attorneys have said was owned by A.J.’s girlfriend. Two marked Brevard sheriff’s vehicles pulled up behind them without flashing lights and the deputies exited their vehicles with guns drawn.

Brevard Sheriff Wayne Ivey has said the deputies were attempting a traffic stop, responding to what they thought was a stolen car.

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On the dashcam video, Deputy Jafet Santiago-Miranda, 34, his gun aimed at the vehicle, can be seen stepping toward the car, shouting, “stop the vehicle... stop the vehicle...”  The driver, whom law enforcement officials and Kimbrough-Rucker later said was A.J., turns the wheel, slowly moving forward. The lone survivor told FLORIDA TODAY they were playing their music loud and couldn’t hear what the deputies were saying.

Ivey has said Santiago-Miranda fired on the vehicle, striking the front and the driver’s side repeatedly after it turned toward him.

Crooms and Pierce were shot and killed.

Attorney Natalie Jackson, representing Pierce’s adoptive mother, said the teen was not driving toward the deputy and contends the incident stemmed from a case of mistaken identity.

Ivey has said two guns were found in or around the car. Kimbrough-Rucker said to his knowledge, there were no weapons in the car.