US cop charged with manslaughter over killing of black man carrying air rifle

MIAMI (AFP) - A grand jury charged a veteran police officer in Florida on Friday (Dec 11) with manslaughter for gunning down a man wielding an air rifle in 2013.

It is just the latest case in the United States of police using what critics say is unnecessarily lethal force, particularly in dealing with black Americans.

Sheriff's deputy Peter Peraza, who faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, shot dead African-American Jermaine McBean on July 31, 2013 in the town of Oakland Park.

Mr McBean, 33, was walking near his home with an air rifle slung over his shoulder when Peraza shot him dead after calls alerted the police to the presence of an armed man in the area.

Mr McBean's family said he had headphones on so did not hear police orders.

Peraza, who has worked for Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) for over a decade, turned himself in on Friday.

"For everyone in this case - the McBean family, the Peraza family, the BSO family, everyone in our community - we want truth and justice to prevail," Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement.