An FGCU expert believes an officer who was attacked and hit in the head with a metal pipe was ‘justified’ when he shot a man three times in Cape Coral on Monday.
Florida Gulf Coast University forensic studies professor David Thomas Ph.D. is a retired police officer. He has not independently reviewed the officer’s body cam video, but said, any police officer facing deadly force is trained to use deadly force.
During a news conference, Cape Coral Police Chief Anthony Sizemore said, “we were met with deadly force and we responded with deadly force.”
Sizemore looked at the video and said the three officers on the scene followed their training.
They said they first tried to calm down 31-year-old Yosef Bekermus. But the chief said after Bekermus swung a pipe like a baseball bat hitting one officer in the head, the officer followed his training and shot and killed the suspect.
Thomas explained, “The instrument, the pipe, is considered a blunt force trauma, a deadly implement. And so the response of deadly force was appropriate in order to stop that threat.”
Thomas said it’s good to know the officers tried to de-escalate the situation.
Thomas said, “the officers are learning to kind of to kind of check themselves and be able to rather than demand something they try to talk it out with people.”
But, according to the chief, Bekermus was in a manic state and had a history with police. Officers had been to his house a handful of times before for mental health issues.
“An officer’s use of force is predicated by the suspect’s resistance level or the level of force used against the officer,” Thomas said.
Cape Coral Police said the body cam video couldn’t be released at this time since it’s part of the department’s use-of-force review.
As for the officer who took Bekermus’ life? He’s on paid administrative leave which is standard procedure.