BREAKING: Dashboard camera footage confirms violent killing of Nicolas Morales by Collier County Cpl. Jean Pierre preventable

Today, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office released two shocking, sickening dashboard camera videos that confirmed our worst fears about the violent killing of Nicolas Morales by the Collier County Sheriff deputy Cpl. Pierre Jean last September.  

The videos confirm that Nicolas’s death was preventable at multiple points.  The officers failed to use any reasonable efforts to de-escalate the situation or any of the multiple non-lethal means at their disposal to detain Nicolas, including the appropriate use of a K-9.  If anything, their actions only escalated the situation.

One of the videos captures Cpl. Pierre’s fatal failure of judgment in a crucial moment just seconds after the officers’ arrival, showing Cpl. Pierre firing multiple shots from close range into Nicolas while his fellow deputy stands only a few feet away, still holding his K-9 by its harness.  Only after Nicolas had been fatally wounded and started to fall to the ground did the K-9 officer release his dog, which proceeded to maul Nicolas as he lay dying, calling out in Spanish for his mother.  In that crucial moment of decision, we see two officers responding simultaneously to the same situation, one officer leaping to the use of deadly force, the other, confirming that lethal force was not necessary, yet to deploy even the non-lethal force at his disposal.

Although there is still much to be said about these disturbing videos and the manner of their release, there is no denying that the killing of Nicolas Morales was entirely avoidable.  There was no need to leave a boy orphaned, to leave a family in mourning, or to leave the community’s trust in pieces.  We strongly disagree with the State Attorney’s office, which inexplicably concluded that deadly force was justified.  That conclusion is shocking and unacceptable, and we will seek justice for Nicolas, for his family, and for Immokalee.