The late night parking lot encounter between Palm Beach County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer and Seth Adams almost immediately escalated to a deadly force situation, Custer told a federal jury Wednesday.
Testifying in his own defense in a multi-million dollar lawsuit from the parents of Adams, who was killed in the encounter, Custer repeated claims he’s made since 2012 that Adams cursed at him, then walked to his car and grabbed him by the neck even after he identified himself as an officer and told him to stop.
“I gave him clear commands and directives, pretty much from beginning to end,” Custer said, later adding: He continued the offensive, so the struggle continued.”
Attorneys for Richard and Lydia Adams have been telling jurors from the start of the trial last month that physical evidence in the case directly contradicts Custer’s version of the events near the intersection of Okeechobee Boulevard and A Road.
Sheriff’s office attorneys wanted to introduce into evidence a video reenactment of the shooting they created after the trial started, a video they informed the Adams family attorneys of Tuesday.
Instead, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley, outside the presence of the jury, launched into a scathing rebuke of how the sheriff’s office investigated the officer involved shooting.
This investigation from beginning to end has been slipshod and shoddy, and this is a disgrace,” Hurley said.
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