Victim: Emmanuel Bellevue
The accused: Jeffrey Lew

Bellevue

Emmanuel Bellevue

Black male

Age at time: 22

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

 
Lew

Jeffrey Lew

White male

Age at time: 47

Weapon: gun

gun

unharmed

Defendant photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Dispute over money/property

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2008

Location details: Outside the club where both parties worked. in Tampa, Hillsborough County, on July 26, 2008

What happened: Jeff Lew was leaving Club Prana where he worked as a promoter in the early morning hours when he was approached by two men. One of the men had been fired by Lew earlier in the evening and thrown out of the club. The man's friend, Emmanuel Bellevue, demanded that Lew pay his friend and pushed Lew in the chest. Lew grabbed his gun from his car and, in the ensuing scuffle, hit Bellevue on the head with the butt. The gun flew out of Lew's hand and both men raced for it, with Lew grabbing it first. A few seconds later, the gun went off and the bullet was later retrieved from a nearby building. Lew left the scene and was arrested in St. Petersburg later that day. Bellevue was present at the scene when police, hearing the gunshot, arrived. Lew told police he saw "something shiny" in Bellevue's hand and was in fear for his life. He said Bellevue also grabbed $150 Lew was holding in his hand and he feared the victim was going to rob him.

The outcome: Lew was arrested on aggravated battery charges but the charges were later dropped. His lawyer said prosecutors decided that Lew was protected under "stand your ground" immunity.

Investigating agency: Tampa Police

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Tampa Police Department, July 26, 2008.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013