Family Representative Claims Palm Beach Sheriff's Deputy Used Excessive Force In Fatal Shooting


LAKE WORTH, FL ( — A woman representing the family of man shot by a Palm Beach Sheriff Deputy is claiming that the police over reacted to a non-lethal situation, and that a “rookie” police officer killed a man for no reason. Jesus Barreto, police say, charged at deputies with a knife as they responded to a disturbance call in Lake Worth. Fearing for his life — and his partner’s life — police say a deputy opened fire at Barreto. He died at Delray Medical Center.

In a widely circulated press release rebuttal, family communications representative Kathy Andrew says that the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Deputy who fired the fatal shot was a rookie, and that police issued a press release discussing Mr. Barreto’s history with “severe depression and schizophrenia.” Additionally, the release states that PBSO provided details of his arrest as a juvenile to the public.
However,, in a review of all press releases on the matter, found no such reference. Additionally, Ms. Andrew tells that she freelances for the Miami Herald, which raises questions about her involvement in this case.
Palm Beach Sheriff Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera says she “has no idea where she is getting her information.”
Below, find the official “Media Advisory” as issued by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department shortly after the shooting occurred. At the bottom of this page, find the release issued by Kathy Andrew.
Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to contact our news desk at news(at)

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an Deputy Involved Shooting

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, shortly after 9:00 pm, deputies were dispatched to a disturbance in the 800 block of South Federal Highway, Lake Worth. As the deputies attempted to approach the home a male subject exited the residence with a large knife and began to charge the deputies. Deputies ordered the subject to drop the knife. The subject refused to comply. Deputy (1) deployed his Taser striking the subject which had no effect. Deputy (2) in fear of his life and the life of his partner discharged his firearm striking the subject in the torso.
The subject was transported via trauma hawk to Delray Medical Center. Condition is unknown.
We are still in the preliminary stages of this investigation.
More information will be released when it becomes available.
Official Press Release From Sherriff’s Office Released to Public with Many Inaccuracies – Witness’ Say Excessive Force Was Used Which May Have Lead to Death.
October 27th, 2011, -Lake Worth, FL – Palm Beach authorities approved a press release for distribution this week related to the death of 23-year old Jesus Emmanuel Barreto, who was shot and killed and by rookie Palm Beach police officers on the evening of Tuesday, October 25th 2011. Correctly, the release stated that officers were called to the home of Mr. Barreto and his girlfriend after neighbors heard a disturbance and called the police.
Palm Beach police claim that Mr. Barreto opened the door and charged at them with a knife. The witness inside the home disputes this and states that “he opened the door wanting to know who was banging so hard, he grabbed a knife and just took one step outside to see what was going on.” Again correctly the Sherriff’s dept stated that Mr. Barreto was shot by a taser first which had no effect. Officers then shot multiple gun shots into his torso, over 2 shell casings were found at the crime scene.
Once the witness inside the home was removed outside for her statement she was able to see Mr. Barreto on the floor shaking and says “I saw him shot and blood everywhere and just groaning for help and in pain, I then saw them turn him over and that is when I saw his eyes open and crying and groaning even more. He was alive when they escorted me out of the house but the ambulance did not arrive until 15-20 minutes later and did not leave the house until over 40 minutes from when I saw him alive. Why did it take so long!”
The official press release also made mention of Mr. Barreto’s prior law enforcement record and that his first arrest was made as a juvenile. What the press release did not mention and was known to the police at the time of press release was that Mr. Barreto was diagnosed with severe depression and schizophrenia and it was this first arrest where the diagnosis was made. He had since been disabled by the state and collecting SSI disability benefits. “The statement was written in a way to protect the officer(s) and the integrity of the Sherriff’s office with no respect for the actual truth. There was never a helicopter used as they mention and they also didn’t release to the public that he was shot when he was on the floor as the officers were not sure if he had any other weapons on him, he is shot on the floor, they could not of just tasered (sp) him again instead of shooting more shots! Wasn’t this excessive force and had it not been used would Mr. Barreto still be alive” claims a source very close to the case.
Replies to emails by the Sherriff’s office have been vague. “I urge the public and the community to stand up and ask questions to ensure this never happens to anyone else. A trigger happy rookie officer who took extreme and excessive measures should not be protecting our families or streets.” Stated a neighbor in the same complex as Mr. Barreto when the incident occurred.

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4 thoughts on “Family Representative Claims Palm Beach Sheriff's Deputy Used Excessive Force In Fatal Shooting

  1. First of all let it be known we are all sorry that the level of control had to be so extreme. However, if one has not been in the police officers(PO)or real life situation where have to fight or possibly die, then they should immediately sit down and shut up. We have people who are more capable of passing judgment on the situation, so let them do so. And if you have been in that position yourself then I suggest that you look in the mirror and ask that person just where was their guts when that situation arose? Was he/she scared? If so then they too had to go back to their training and that is exactly what it appears to me that the PO did in this case. I am not taking sides because I do not have anymore facts than the rest of John Q public but I do encourage all who are involved to handle the situations that arise in the proper perspectives and medias. There are enough fuels out there and we do not need to add any “Guess whats” to the fires. And for the “naysaqyers” and doubters, Yes, I have been there and done that. I spent over twenty years in the military and over twenty years in law enforcement. No, I did not kill anyone as a police officer, I was fortunate enough to be able to avoid it. Iam proud that weall have the freedom of speech, all ask is please think about what is said before we do it. “Once words are said, they cannot be retracted”. FA

  2. This is Kathy Andrew and I take full credit for the press release my company distributed yesterday. I spoke with Andrew Colton from yesterday and never said I worked for the Miami Herald I said I was a stringer for the Miami Herald and many other local and national publications. The fact that my writing has been featured in a much more established publication as the Miami Herald is a source of pride not a reason to question my motives.
    The family of Mr. Barreto has not hired me or asked me to consult in any official capacity and I am not related to any member of Mr. Barreto’s family. The only mistake made in my release is that I claimed PBSO released details regarding his prior arrest record, for that I do apologize. But Mr. Barreto was never put on any helicopter and his ambulance did not leave until 40 minutes after shots were fired. Andrew and Pamela, is your job to report or to be the PR face for the PBSO?

    1. Very brief response: We are not the PR face of any law enforcement or governmental operation, and for that matter, part of my real business is assisting attorneys in police misconduct cases. If there is truly misconduct here, my experience is that it will be revealed through litigation., and perhaps it will be. However, at this time, it is my understanding that the family has not retained counsel. Your press release was printed as it was submitted to us. You stated that you wrote for the Miami Herald. You are making claims that seem be unsubstantiated. I will gladly print your substantive evidence when it is presented to us, but for now this is a battle of press releases and quite honestly, yours seems to lack credibility. We will hold the police and governmental agencies accountable when there is compelling evidence to do so, but in this case, there seems to be nothing more than a press release from someone who now states she has not actually been retained by the family.

  3. An example of police brutality. Why not shot in the arm or a foot? He was only holding a knife, not a firearm. He was not a criminal, and he was sick. The call was for domestic violence, and she was just fine. That cop is a murderer, how can he sleep with my cousin’s death on his conscience? May God forgive him. Jesus, I love you and I’ll see soon in the kingdom of heaven.
    –> “ALL police officers are trained to shoot to kill. They are not allowed to shoot to wound.” LIES!! My mother is a policer officer, well… a sargeant, and police are train to DISABLE!! Killing is just the last option only in your life is in real risk or danger. No matter the uniform… we all are humans… and that cop maybe have a son… today was my cousin… tomorrow could be his son or brother. When that day comes… I will want to know if he thinks thar police are trained to kill. *Respect the pain of my family* Thank you!