MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office has decided that no charges will be filed against a veteran Miami-Dade Police officer who said he was forced to shoot and kill a suspect because he was in fear for his life.
A close out memo from the State Attorney says Officer Eduardo Pares had reason to believe he needed to use deadly force to prevent himself from being injured or placed in great bodily harm, and the memo said the shooting was legally justified.
The incident happened last August and sparked protest from friends and family members in Northwest Miami-Dade.
After the shooting, Anthony Ford’s uncle, William Ford, said “When they went to put handcuffs on him he started running and they shot him for no reason. He had no weapon.”
At the time, Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said Ford was shot after a confrontation.
The close out memo said no gun was found on or near Ford but details the circumstances in which the officer with nearly 17 years of experience was in fear for his life.
It was August 30th of last year when police say the 27-year-old Ford and his cousin were involved in a traffic stop.
They had open warrants and Ford reportedly had a probation violation warrant for armed robbery.
His cousin was handcuffed but Ford took off running.
Police tracked him to a home at 1534 Northwest 66th Street and that’s where there was a confrontation between him and Pares, a member of the Crime Suppression team.
The memo says Ford thought he was going to be ambushed and yelled out “police.”
The memo says, “Mr. Ford had his right hand inside his waistband. Sgt. Pares described that Mr. Ford continued to put his hands deeper into his waistband as Pares continued to give verbal commands of ‘Let me see your hands, hands, hands.’”
He was worried Ford had a gun in his waistband.
The memo said, “Mr. Ford continued to move his hands inside his shorts as if he were looking for something. Sergeant Pares advised that Mr. Ford then abruptly raised his right han as if he were about to pull out a firearm.”
Pares dove to the ground.
“He stated that he fired 4 to 5 rounds until he believed the threat was neutralized,” said the memo, adding that Pares felt in fear for his life.
Ford died after being shot twice.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is not commenting.
A spokeswoman told us she does not typically talk about close out memos that are usually very detailed.
Miami-Dade Police are also not commenting.
At the time of the shooting, the Miami-Dade P.B.A. said the officer was justified in acting the way he did.
Steadman Stahl, President of the Miami-Dade P.B.A., agreed with the close out memo.
“There was a lot of misinformation out there but this case was thoroughly investigated by the FDLE, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Miami-Dade Police and they concluded that the officer’s actions were the right use for the situation here,” Stahl said.