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Medical records detail Jermaine McBean's struggle with mental illness

Psychologist testifies about mental state of man shot by Deputy Peter Peraza

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A pile of medical records detail Jermaine McBean's long struggle with mental illness.

In court Tuesday, colleagues and paramedics described an incident at work just days before his July 2013 death in which McBean behaved erratically and had to be hospitalized under the Baker Act.

"I told my partner that this is the type of call where the patient goes back and hurts himself or hurts someone else," Fort Lauderdale paramedic Shannon Grant testified.

Days later, on July 31, McBean, 33, was shot to death at the Green Tree apartment complex in Oakland Park after several 911 calls reported a man carrying what turned out to be an unloaded pellet gun.

The attorney for suspended Broward Sheriff's Office Deputy Peter Peraza is citing the "stand your ground" law as his client's defense, saying Peraza shot to protect the public.

McBean's family said earbuds kept him from hearing the officer's commands. One paramedic testified he saw the earbuds after the shooting.

"At some point, I know I moved them out of the way because I got tangled in them a couple of times," BSO Department of Fire Rescue paramedic Talia Sandola said.

Psychologist Michael Brannon testified about McBean's mental illness and likened it to a ticking time bomb.

"Suffice to say this is a significant major mental disorder, the most severe that you can have," Brannon said.

But McBean's brother, Andrew McBean, said his mental illness had no bearing on Peraza's decision to pull the trigger that day.

"I have to beg the question, is it a crime to be bipolar?" Andrew McBean said.


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