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March 2, 2010 — Gainesville

University of Florida graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong, 36, thought there was a plot to kill him.

He had sent emails that made a professor suspect Adu-Brempong was having mental health issues. Around 8:17 p.m., a neighbor reported screaming.

University police arrived at his on-campus apartment but Adu-Brempong would not let them in. After 90 minutes, Lt. Stacy Ettel forced entry with the agency's rifle team. Adu-Brempong was holding a metal table leg. As he edged toward the five officers, they fired bean bags and a Taser. Officer Keith Smith then fired his rifle, hitting Abu-Brempong once in the face and hand. The injuries to his jaw and mouth affected his speech. Read more

Adu-Brempong, from Ghana, reached a settlement with UF. He agreed not to sue and the university agreed to pay medical bills not covered by insurance and allow him to complete his doctoral work in geography. Any monetary compensation was kept confidential.

Charges against him were dropped after he agreed to undergo counseling. Adu-Brempong walked with a cane because of polio, causing critics to question his ability to resist. Lt. Ettel was later dismissed. Officer Smith was later fired over his handling of a reckless driving stop.

This was the 16th police shooting in Florida in 2010.

11 days earlier, one officer shot one person in Sanford .

13 days later, three officers shot one person in Windsor .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. A SWAT or tactical team was involved in the incident. Tactical teams are involved in 7 percent of police shootings.
  2. Adu-Brempong was armed with a blunt/bludgeoning weapon. Only nine other people were armed the same way.
  3. Adu-Brempong showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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