Desir family seeks answers about relative’s death in BSO custody
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Nothing that law enforcement officers are saying about what led to the death of Kevin Desir is adding up to family members of the 43-year-old man.
Since his arrest Jan. 6, accounts of what happened before his death 21 days later varied. Stands the reason that the family wants answers.
They might actually get closer to what happened inside the Broward Jail before Desir was taken to hospital in a stretcher.
Mikeco Desir, the second youngest of four surviving brothers, told the Capital Outlook that the family was recently granted permission by the court in Broward County to see a video of what transpired when Kevin was in custody.
The family attorneys and a medical examiner will also be allowed to have access to the video “so everybody could see it,” Mikeco Desir said during a telephone interview. “Of course, they fought for that not to happen, but at least they allowed for us to see it.”
In addition to his siblings and his mother, Kevin Desir left behind daughters Amaya and Mariah. His brother, Moses, is the husband of the FAMU DRS boys’ basketball coach Dione Desir.
One of the biggest issues that the family is having a difficult time with is the image that the Broward Sheriff Office gave of Kevin’s final hours.
“They try to paint him like a monster,” said Mikeco Desir, spokesperson for the family. “My brother has never been a threat to harm himself.
“When we were first told about the story, it just wasn’t adding up. Just wasn’t making sense.”
Reported accounts of the incident that led to Kevin’s arrest started on Jan. 6 when he was booked on a criminal mischief charge for an altercation with his neighbor.
Mikeco Desir said he brother was released but a few days later, he missed a scheduled hearing. He was later stopped and arrested by BSO for tailgating.
During the stop, marijuana was discovered in his vehicle. Kevin had a state-issued marijuana card, his brother said.
What happened after the arrest is where the story gets fuzzy.
Local media account say that BSO said that Desir cut himself and was on a rampage that made it difficult for officers to restrain him. He was removed from a constraint chair when he became unresponsive, BSO said.
Desir died Jan. 27 at Broward Health North.
Mikeco said the family is concerned about what pushed Kevin to the point that he was out of control, if that in fact happened.
“That’s the thing we want to know by asking for the video, the record and things of that nature,” he said. “My brother is not that person that they are painting him out to be.”
His brother has been dealing with mental illness for 22 years but has been consistent in his behavior while on medication, although he’s had some manic episode.
Kevin was known for being “down” or “hyper,” his brother said, “But one thing is he’s never been a threat to himself or a threat to others. He would be more willing to test a loved one that he knows than somebody outside.”