Roy Middleton, 60-year’s-old, was searching for a cigarette in his White Lincoln Town Car, which was parked in his driveway, at 2:30 in the morning. A “concerned neighbor” called 9-1-1 and reported this action as a suspected car theft. The police, Escambia County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah Meeks and Sgt. Matthew White, responded to the call. They said they commanded, “Get your hands where we can see them.”
According to Roy, he turned around and did just that. That’s when they unloaded 15 bullets into him. Luckily, he escaped with only wounds to his legs, one leg shattered requiring a metal rod.
Sheriff David Morgan of Escambia County, Florida, said Middleton was both a “victim and a suspect.” If only he complied, he said. Meeks and White feared for their safety, he said. From CNN:
“He came out of the car with more of a lunging motion coming out of the car, and the deputies were standing behind him and he had what appeared to be a metallic object in his hand,” Sheriff David Morgan said.
His mother disputes that, saying Middleton was only holding his keys, which had a flashlight at the end of them.
A neighbor that witnessed it said:
“I don’t have any doubt — even not being able to see what was going on — that he was complying with them,” he told CNN. ” Maybe not in the time frame that the officer was looking for — but it seemed he was complying.”
However, here is the real kicker, which admittedly, frustrated me deeply:
“The message to the public is this was a tragedy,” Morgan said. “And it was a tragedy because we had an individual, a citizen, who for whatever reason, either impairment due to alcohol or drugs, or just taking it upon himself not to be compliant to following basic direct orders.”
Not only are they blaming Middleton for what occurred, but they are speculating that he probably had something in his system. I already spoke in a previous blog post about how black people and drugs are often linked, historically and in present day, like with the Michael Brown case, to show them as animals. Why aren’t the two people given responsibility to carry weapons and whom fired 15 bullets at an unarmed man in his own driveway blamed? Were they on something? Or did they just take it upon themselves to use excessive and deadly force?
Deadly force, by the way, that somehow and luckily, did not kill Roy Middleton. This time.