- Posted June 10, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Unarmed man shot by undercover officer on his own property....no witnesses
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Welcome to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
I start off with a disclaimer – I have known Sgt. Mike Custer for about ten years and have always thought him to be a good guy and I think he was a fantastic trainer; one of the best the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office had. Though it’s been years since I’ve talked to him, I still do think he’s a good guy.
That being said, I am remaining impartial. Looking solely at facts, I am writing as to why I believe Sheriff Bradshaw needs the Seth Adams Shooting to have Independent Investigation.
When I say “independent,” I don’t mean by FDLE, where Ernie George and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw have influence. I mean by an impartial agency. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has already demonstrated his propensity for coverups when he attempted to cover up for his friend Lt. Dan Burrows, the SWAT commander who was stealing pain medications from a dying man. In that case, Sheriff Bradshaw ordered Internal Affairs not to urine test Burrows and to hide the felonies he committed.
Because of this, Sheriff Bradshaw simply cannot be trusted in any kind of investigation into his own department.
In the Seth Adams shooting, the facts as reported are this:
Seth Adams was returning home, finding Sgt. Custer in his parking lot.
After an exchange of words, Sgt. Custer stated Seth Adams lunged at him.
Sgt. Custer shot Seth Adams four times (three in the chest, one in the abdomen).
Seth Adams was able to make two phone calls to his brother. He was able to crawl through the parking lot and up the property’s walk way.
What I find extremely strange about this entire incident is the fact Seth Adams was able to make two phone calls and then crawl such a distance. One has to wonder how this could have happened. Surely Sgt. Custer would have controlled Seth Adams after the shooting but he did not. Had he rendered aid, he would have done so in the same place the shooting took place. If he handcuffed Mr. Adams, he would have been unable to crawl anywhere. The only way Seth could have done this is if Sgt. Custer left him unattended.
There is one more piece to this story that hasn’t been included in media reports that was disclosed to me by a neighbor. A neighbor who lived close by heard the gunshots and then heard the squealing of tires as a car sped out of the parking lot and onto the road. This is a useful piece of information but adds more questions than it answers.
If this is, in fact, true… if Sgt. Custer shot Seth Adams and then sped away, it would explain why Seth Adams was able to crawl so far and make two phone calls. The question is why would Sgt. Custer have fled the scene? Did he panic? Was he doing something that would be frowned upon by PBSO or something against the law?
Perhaps the fleeing car didn’t belong to Sgt. Custer. If that is the case, to whom did it belong and why did it flee? Who else was with Sgt. Custer in the parking lot, what were they doing when Seth Adams pulled in and what was Sgt. Custer doing while Seth Adams was crawling to get help?
Like I said, this piece of the puzzle makes for a lot of questions to this story.
The entire situation was a tragedy and a fiasco but Adams family deserves answers. The Sheriff is obligated to provide those answers, regardless of the liability and who is at fault.