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June 16, 2009 — Lantana

At about 2:20 a.m., two deputies were investigating a possible burglary in progress.

The caller described a black man in a white shirt in his backyard and in his neighbor's yard, looking into the houses. Authorities said arriving deputies saw a black man "pop up" in a car in the neighboring driveway and turn toward them. Deputy Marco Flores said that he believed Alens Charles had something in his hand and fired one shot into the car, hitting Charles in his left forearm.

Charles, 22, said that he had fallen asleep in the front passenger seat of his white Toyota Camry because he couldn't get into his parents' house. They had taken away his key because of his habit of arriving home so late. He admitted to being in their backyard, trying to get into the house. Read more

No weapon was found but there was a cell phone of the floor of the car. Flores was cleared.

Charles sued the Sheriff's Office in 2010, eventually accepting a settlement of $50,000.

This was the 68th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

One day earlier, two officers shot one person in Jacksonville .

One day later, two officers shot one person in Orlando .

2 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer approached Charles after he was suspected of committing a minor crime. That’s true in 1 of every 12 cases.
  2. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Charles's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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