MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – The family of a 22 year old club promoter rang in the New Year in tears. Relatives and friends of Marvin Pognon believe police unjustly shot him in South Beach early Friday morning.
“I have nothing else in this world that matters to me, only justice for my brother,” said Pauline Alexander, Pognon’s sister.
Pognon was wrapping up a night of partying with friends at the Mansion nightclub when he entered a pizza restaurant nearby just after 4am. That is when a fight erupted between Pognons friends and group of others. It snowballed into the kitchen and wrapped up with the men leaving. Surveillance video from inside shows Pognon walking out with his hand on his friend’s shoulder and talking on his cell phone. Shortly after a Miami Beach police officer in uniform shot him outside as he was standing in front of his car.
Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said the officer found Pognon with his gun drawn. He said the cop ordered Pognon to drop his weapon and he refused.
“If you pull a gun and you point it in the direction of a police officer, unfortunately this is the outcome that could happen,” said Chief Martinez.
But Ashley Winfrey tells a much different story. She was one of two friends with Pognon when he died who told CBS 4 News that Pognon never pulled out a weapon and they never saw the cop that shot him, nor did they hear the order from the officer to put down the gun.
“I have never seen a gun,” said Winfrey.
She said Pognon was standing inches behind her when he was shot.
“If they were gonna shoot why would they wait until nothing was happening, until we were leaving to shoot,” asked Winfrey. “Why didn’t they think about my life? I have three kids and a husband.”
Pognon’s father, Jean Pognon is irate. “He got executed because I know my son, what he can do, what he can’t do,” said Jean Pognon.
His sister said she won’t stop until the truth comes out. “I am dedicating my life to find justice,” said Pauline Pognon. “I will find justice not only for Marvin for all these victims in South beach probably that did not have enough support.”
The family has hired an attorney.
Looking back on that fateful early morning, Winfrey said she believes authorities could have saved Pognon’s life despite the shooting.
“He was on the floor for 20 minutes and I’m screaming,” she recalled. “I seen the ambulance across the street. But they would not cross the street.”
Chief Martinez said the shooting is under investigation. The officer involved has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Martinez said that officer had only been with Miami Beach Police for one year but previously worked for another department for four and a half years. Martinez said he plans to reach out to the Pognon family to answer their questions. But he admits he doesn’t have all the answers at this point. Sides, the police and Pognon’s family are asking the public to come forward with video of the shooting or information.
Police confiscated the cell phone of Pognon’s girlfriend. They believe it might have video of the shooting. The Chief said they are waiting on a warrant to unlock the cell phone and see what’s on it.