A Black father and his daughter were allegedly obstructing the property of a white Tampa Bay man who had a long history of criminal violence, according to surveillance footage. The man threatened to sue the unarmed landscapers when he noticed he was being filmed.
On Thursday, July 7, when Jeremy Lee and his daughter Carrie Lee, 22, we’re finishing off a landscaping project across the street from their home, David H. Berry of Fat Finger Construction aimed his AR-style gun at them.
Berry’s outburst is caught on camera by Carrie, whose decision to record Berry’s tirade might have saved her father’s life given the man’s violent past.
Berry had previously been charged with at least three crimes, including battery and burglary, according to Pinellas County Court records. His angry demeanor in the video fits with the nature of those charges.
Berry points his gun in the direction of the senior Lee at the beginning of the video, yelling, “This is my property, you’re not allowed to block my driveway, don’t be a prick!”
Jeremy responds, “I told you I’ll move,” suggesting that he has previously agreed to his request.
The Clearwater resident appears to have grown even more upset at the landscaper’s response. You think I’m playing, punk ass, your daughter better document how foolish her father is, he shot back.
After that, he turns to the daughter and warns her, “Keep recording, or your ass will be sued too if it goes online!”
Berry allegedly approached the family and stated that they were obstructing his driveway with their company trailer.
The daughter tells the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay source in an interview that although the footage appears to indicate the trailer was not blocking access to the driveway, at one time when the gate came down to remove the lawnmower, it ended up in the street in front of the man’s house.
This sparked the man’s worst rage.
You pulling a gun on a guy on city property, Jeremy asks the man as he stands in the middle of the roadway.
Berry, though, would not budge. Do not obstruct someone’s driveway, this is my property, and I’ll do as I please.
Before approaching the Lees with his weapon, the homeowner is frantically scurrying across his grass. He allegedly pulled out his camera to record them despite telling Carrie to stop filming him, according to her.
The father finally makes a call to Clearwater Police. After Berry has put his gun away, they show up. Carrie’s cellphone video, however, was available to back up their account of the altercation.
Berry engaged in some outrageous behavior that the officers reportedly saw but did nothing to defuse. Instead, the police advised them that they had no recourse.
In response to Berry’s actions, the CPD said in a statement that they are “actively investigating this as a potential case of aggravated assault with a firearm.”
Our police received contradicting accounts from persons involved on the scene. In an email to the press, the communications manager revealed that David Berry told police he had retrieved his gun in response to Jeremy Lee’s threat. “Jeremy Lee claimed that David Berry threatened him while brandishing the weapon. Jeremy’s daughter claimed to have videotaped the entire incident, but it wasn’t evident that the weapon was pointed in their direction.
The police department wanted the general public to be aware that “it frequently takes time to sort through these cases to determine whether charges are justified.” That’s still something we’re working on.
Even days later, according to Carrie, she is still disturbed by what happened that day. She claimed that the man threatened to shoot her and her father to death before she even began filming.
Carrie admitted that she was “so stunned that the emotion didn’t set in for a long” before adding that she was “terrified.”
I still can’t believe someone could do this when we were merely attempting to complete our work.
The incident was re-posted on Instagram by D.L. Hughley, a well-known radio personality and comedian.
“MORE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS IN THE HANDS OF THE WRONG PEOPLE,” he captioned the image.
The firearms regulations in Florida, the state where everything took place, are convoluted. While many on the left want additional protections, those on the right are arguing for them to be more flexible.
People are currently not permitted to “publicly carry a legally possessed handgun that is kept in plain sight or partially concealed, typically holstered” due to the state’s ban on “open carry.” You need a license if you plan to carry a concealed weapon.
Ironically, Florida “does not require a permit or license to acquire a gun and does not require registration,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
A minimum age restriction of 21 applies (unless you are in law enforcement).
The state mandates background checks, which might have a three- to five-day waiting period before being finished, for anybody who wish to purchase firearms.
However, there is no restriction on the number of weapons that can be bought in a single transaction after you pass those background checks.
Convicted felons are not permitted to possess firearms, which is a significant limitation. Berry had three felony assault charges reduced to misdemeanors despite the fact that he was charged with them.
He is still permitted to carry under law.