FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Angela Randall wants justice for her son Jarvis Lewis Randall. Her attorneys recently released surveillance videos showing the last moments of her 30-year-old son’s life before three Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies shot him several times at a mental health facility.
The Dec. 1, 2018, shooting remains under investigation Thursday, so officials haven’t released any records on the case. The grieving mother said her son was receiving inpatient care with 24-hour supervision at the Center for Behavioral Health, a pavilion at the University Hospital and Medical Center in Tamarac.
“There needs to be teaching on mental health,” Angela Randall said, adding that she believes deputies shouldn’t have used deadly force.
She had asked him to go to Plantation General Hospital for help with depression. She had hoped doctors could stabilize him and help him cope with the mental health symptoms that surfaced after he was released from prison on Aug. 6, 2016. The hospital transferred him to the facility where deputies shot him on Nov. 20, 2018.
Attorney Michael Bernstein, who represents Jarvis Randall’s estate, questions the facility staff’s decision to call deputies. Jarvis Randall was dealing with the grief of his father’s death on the night he was shot.
“He wasn’t harming anyone,” Bernstein said.
Surveillance video shows Jarvis Randall, an aspiring tattoo artist who loved to draw, was standing at one end of a hallway. There were white pieces of the shattered ceiling light panel on the floor. There was a door between him and a group of BSO deputies.
“They pushed the door open,” attorney Bakari Sellers, who is working with Berstein, said about the deputies’ actions captured in the surveillance video. “They retreat now so you know they are about to breach or enter.”
The video shows Jarvis Randall picked up a thin pointy piece of the shattered ceiling light panel from the floor and held it up while running. The video doesn’t show when deputies fired at him.
“You have someone who ran away, could not get out as you see the door swing open, every bullet that he takes is on that side of the door,” Sellers said. “If police want to say they felt harm or danger, they put themselves in that harm or danger.”
Fire Rescue personnel airlifted Jarvis Randall to Broward Health North where a doctor pronounced him dead.
A 2018 news release from BSO reported he was “armed with an edged-glass weapon,” a “less-lethal alternative did not stop him from charging at deputies,” so “three other deputies fired” their guns. In a statement released on Thursday, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said Jarvis Randall was “a violent individual armed with a sharp-edged weapon in each hand” and said he charged at deputies with “his weapon.”
BSO placed the three deputies on restricted assignment and the trio returned to full duty within days after the administrative review of the incident was completed. Bernstein identified the deputies as Christian Silva, Robert O’Dor, and Mitchell Machado.
“The FDLE investigation was completed and turned over to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for review in June 2019, where the investigation remains,” Tony said. “While the Broward State Attorney’s Office review proceeds, the BSO Internal Affairs investigation into the use of force is paused.”
The Broward County State Attorney’s Office hasn’t concluded a review of the case. And as long as the investigation remains open, it will be hard for Bernstein and Sellers to get the answers Angela Randall seeks.
Tony’s complete statement:
I understand that any loss of human life is tragic. It leaves a hole in the hearts of family members and loved ones. I also know that no law enforcement officer ever wants to be in a situation where they are forced to take a life. However, on December 1, 2018, inside a behavioral health facility in Tamarac, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were confronted with a violent individual armed with a sharp-edged weapon in each hand who was threatening to harm himself and other people in the facility.
When BSO deputies arrived, they spent considerable time trying to de-escalate the situation by reasoning with the man, Jarvis Randall, and attempting to talk to him and calm him despite his repeated aggressive and threatening behavior. Unfortunately, those efforts to de-escalate did not work. Deputies further attempted to de-escalate the situation by using less lethal force but that did not stop Mr. Randall from charging at deputies with his weapon. Ultimately, to protect their lives and the lives of others inside the facility, deputies were forced to respond with deadly force.
After the shooting, a BSO helicopter transported Mr. Randall to Broward Health North, where he was pronounced deceased.
As is standard procedure in these cases, the deputies involved were placed on restricted assignment following the shooting and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement immediately began an investigation into the incident. The FDLE investigation was completed and turned over to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for review in June 2019, where the investigation remains. While the Broward State Attorney’s Office review proceeds, the BSO Internal Affairs investigation into the use of force is paused.
Although this incident occurred during a previous administration, I want to assure this community that BSO has been as transparent as possible during this process. We released details of the shooting to the media and public within hours of the incident and have cooperated fully with the FDLE investigation; however, there are details that we are not allowed to publicly divulge in order to allow outside investigators to do their jobs and conduct a comprehensive review of this incident. Once those investigations are complete, BSO will conduct its own IA investigation and will make those findings public, once completed.
Finally, I know that the family of Jarvis Randall has questions and is grieving the loss of their loved one. This is a tragic situation that no one wants to see occur. No words will assuage their pain, and I sincerely hope that this process can bring them the answers and peace they deserve.