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Video footage that’s nearly a decade old recently went viral on social media as users revisited the case of a Black man who was shot and killed by a mentally unstable white security guard in Miami.

The video showed the gutwrenchingly emotional courtroom reaction of the father of Kijuan Byrd, whose killer compared himself to George Zimmerman – the vigilante killer of Trayvon Martin who was acquitted of murder – and suggested he was prosecuted because he is a white person.

What happened?

In case you’re unfamiliar with the case, on June 1, 2012, Lukace Kendle, then 26, reported to work at a Miami strip club, Club Lexx. For unclear reasons, Kendle opened up and shot two men in the parking lot — Byrd, 29, and his best friend Michael Smathers, who is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Kendle, who is White, told police that one of the men shouted, “I’m gonna kill you, n***a,” while the driver, Smathers said neither he or Byrd said “a word” to Kendle. Smathers said that when they complied, opened the door and put their hands up, Kendle started firing.

The Center of Investigative Reporting said at the time:

“The shots came quickly – at least a dozen, according to an autopsy report and statements Kendle later made to police. In total, Kendle shot Byrd eight times – at least four times in the back – as he crawled toward safety underneath the truck, according to the autopsy report. Kendle told police he thought both men were armed.

One week after the shooting police arrested Kendle on murder and attempted murder charges. He was later diagnosed with impulse control disorder, antisocial personality disorder, unspecified schizophrenia spectrum, alcohol use disorder, specified personality disorder with antisocial and narcissistic features, and what court psychiatrists described as an ‘other psychotic disorder.’”

The Miami Herald also reported at the time:

“The reason the evidence was fabricated is because I’m white,” the pony-tailed, pointy-goateed Kendle said to jurors during the start of his murder trial on Tuesday.

Seconds later, Kendle went where the judge had warned him not to go.

“The subjects I shot were African American. I can prove that,” Kendle said. “What they’re not allowing me to tell you is that I was arrested because of the George Zimmerman shooting.”

During an April 4, 2014, court hearing, Byrd’s father, Donald, became enraged.
The distraught father yelled out and had to be removed from the courtroom:

“You murdered my son, man, for nothing! He was trying to get away from you. You, you – he was trying to get away from you, man. You kept shooting him while his back was under the truck. You kept shooting him, man. You kept shooting him in his back! … He was trying to get away from you, and you murdered him, man!”

Earlier this month, the footage of Byrd’s father was posted to social media and quickly went viral with at least 17,000 people liking the post.

Watch the video below.

Click here to learn more about what happened to Kijuan Byrd.


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