February 15, 2017

A passing officer got a glimpse of the 2012 encounter between Sgt. Michael Custer and Seth Adams moments before it turned fatal, jurors learned Wednesday.

Whether what that officer saw is considered enough to contradict Custer’s account of the shooting could become a key factor for jurors being asked to determine whether Custer’s use of deadly force was justified.

Adams’ family has filed an excessive force and wrongful death lawsuit against the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Custer – who fired the shots that killed the unarmed 24-year- old.

While Custer has said Adams was shouting profanities at him and quickly became violent during a late-night confrontation, Detective Kevin Drummond said things looked normal when he drove past the two.  So normal, in fact, that Drummond kept driving.

Drummond was making a U-turn when his headlights briefly swept across Custer and Adams in a darkened Loxahatchee Groves nursery parking lot nearly five years ago.

Drummond said he saw Adams, who was standing near the driver’s-side door of his truck, turn and look toward Custer, who was starting to get out of his black Ford Explorer. Drummond said he didn’t hear any yelling.

“You didn’t have the slightest concern ... that there was anything amiss or dangerous?” Adams family attorney Stephan LeClainche asked Drummond.

The full article can be viewed here.