MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of a Florida City man who was shot by police held a news conference Wednesday to announce the filing of a lawsuit against the city and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Juvon Simon, 23, was shot twice through a closed door of a neighbor’s apartment by Florida City Police Officer Frantz Hardy on May 30 of 2018.
Simon was rushed to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
Angry residents took to the streets in a standoff with police after the shooting.
Hardy and another officer had been conducting an investigation in Simon’s apartment complex in the 1400 block of Northwest Second Avenue at the time of the shooting, according to the Florida City Police Department.
Miami-Dade Police said they had recovered a weapon and said a preliminary investigation revealed that Simon was armed.
Numerous witnesses refute that claim, saying Simon was shot dead through the closed front door of a neighbor’s apartment.
“They want answers to why it is okay to fire a service weapon through a closed door, without a defined target on the other side,” said Christopher Marlowe, attorney representing Simon’s family.
“Even until this day, no autopsy, no report, no nothing,” said Youseline Simon, the victim’s mother.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives are investigating the shooting, supposedly in step with the State Attorney’s Office.
But at late as Tuesday, attorney’s for the Simon family received an email from the State Attorney’s Office saying it has not received anything from Miami-Dade Police to date.
The family claims that a security video of the incident has suspicious gaps in it, including the moments when the shooting took place.
“I just want justice for my child,” Youseline said. “The way they treated my child was worse than an animal. Even dogs, when something happens to a dog, somebody has to pay.”
Florida City Police have refused to release even the officer’s personnel file or his records prior to the shooting.
Police say weapons were found inside the apartment, but numerous witnesses say the shooting officer went into the unit carrying a duffel bag.
Attorney’s for the Simon family stopped just short of claiming the guns were planted.
“Eyewitnesses to this shooting raise very serious questions as to how the firearms, that were claimed to be on their son, made their way into that apartment,” said Marlowe.
The lawsuit filed by the family on Wednesday demands that police and prosecutors release basic information so that a wrongful death suit can then be brought forward.
Records show Simon had been arrested before for a number of charges including aggravated assault with a firearm.
Levy Simon, the father of the victim, said “What we get from them they deserve. They want peace but I don’t appreciate what happened. The police crossed the line at my house and shot him when he was behind the door.”