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Federal Marshals seize personal property from police officer to pay for black man he shot

By Mason White 10:32 AM January 13, 2017
Dontrell Stephens and Adams Lin
By: Tanya Malhotra

A police officer in Florida, is fighting to get back his personal belongings that were seized by federal Marshals.

Marshals went to the home of Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adams Lin, and ordered to go outside.

Lin watched helplessly as federal Marshals carried out a judge’s order to seize all of his personal belongings.

Marshals took the officer’s personal property, including his car, clothes, furniture and television.

The items will be sold at auction and the money will go to
23-year-old Dontrell Stephens, who was left paralyzed after he was shot by Lin.

Lin was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

A jury awarded Stephens $22.4 million, after they found that Lin used excessive force when he shot Stephens.

The officer stopped him for riding his bicycle erratically during rush-hour traffic.

Stephens was left paralyzed and is unable to work, but the officer has not paid him anything.

Attorney Jack Scarola, who represents Stephens, had previously asked a judge to seize Lin’s wages for Stephens. Judge Seltzer denied that request because Lin, who is divorced, provides more than 50 percent of the support to his young daughter.

Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association president John Kazanjian said he has never heard of an officer’s belongings being seized to sell on the auction block.

“It makes us have to think every time when we go out to do our job: Are we going to be civilly liable? Do we have to rent all of our property? This is a bad, bad precedent,” Kazanjian said.