DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Attorneys for the family of Andre Smith are suing to see surveillance video from inside the Davie CVS where he was killed.
The video shows Smith being shot seven times, the family attorneys say, after a Craigslist transaction went south.
“This is a mother and father that want to know what happened to their child,” said family attorney Jose Baez. “They do not want to hear about it at a press conference. They want to know.”
The family argues they have to right to see that video as part of the public records law, despite police saying the law allows them to keep it under wraps until the investigation has been completed.
“There is an exception in statue 119 that says you have to provide the next of kin with any audio recording, video recording or photograph that depicts the killing of the person. The killing in this case of Andre smith,” said family attorney Jasmine Rand.
At a police news conference Thursday, an attorney for the department said that’s not true.
“The Florida public records law is 119, the victim’s right law is 960,” explained Davie Police attorney Gregg Rossman. “Neither of those gives the victims next of kin an absolute right to see anything prior to the investigation being done.”
Defense attorney Eric Schwartzreich, who is not involved in the case, said Florida law allows police to withhold video and information during an active investigation, but a judge could overrule that in certain circumstances.
“If the family wants, they can go to court and attempt to get a court order and make an argument as to why their interests right now outweighs the interest of the Davie Police Department to release this tape,” he said.
The family is angry that police are releasing information through the media and not directly to them – that’s why they want to see the video.
“They’re painting the killer as a victim and they are painting our unarmed 20-year-old young man as the aggressor, and in a purely speculative manner,” Rand said.