Use Of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
St. Petersburg Police Department
Clearwater Police Department
Pinellas Park Police Department

What:
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office participates in the creation of the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force.

When:
The agreement will begin Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
Where:
The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force may be requested by any Pinellas County police agency.

Why/How: 
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office participates in the creation of the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force.

The Taskforce will be comprised of three detectives from each of the following agencies: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, St. Petersburg Police Department, Clearwater Police Department, and one detective from the Pinellas Park Police Department. All parties will assign experienced homicide or major crimes investigators to the taskforce.

The purpose of the Taskforce is to thoroughly and objectively investigate the use of deadly force by participating agencies to determine whether the officers’ actions were lawful under Florida law.

In addition to conducting a criminal investigation to determine lawfulness of an officers’ actions, the Taskforce will present its investigative findings to the agency employing the officer involved in the deadly use-of-force and that agency will conduct an administrative review to determine if the officer’s actions were within their agency’s policy.

The Taskforce will conduct its criminal investigation independent of the investigation conducted by the State Attorney’s Office. The Taskforce may bring criminal charges against an officer if it determines that an officer’s actions violated the law when using force. The Taskforce’s investigation and conclusion will be independent regardless of the State Attorney’s Office determination.

When a use-of-force incident occurs where deadly force is used by an officer or force used results in death or serious bodily injury meets the criteria of the agency, that agency shall immediately notify the Supervising Agency, as set forth in the agreement. The Supervising Agency will activate the Taskforce and the Supervising Agency head or their command staff designee will respond with the Taskforce.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will be the Supervising Agency leading the investigations unless a Pinellas deputy is involved. If the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is involved, then the Supervising Agency will be another Taskforce agency as outlined in the agreement. All Taskforce members may participate in the investigation, excluding officers from any agency involved in the deadly use-of-force incident.

The agreement also addresses details such as Supervising Agency duties, forensic science services, release of information, reporting requirements, and the responsibility of investigative cost.

Sheriff Gualtieri acknowledged community expectations are changing and deadly force investigations “has to be perceived by the community as being done right and that means perceived as being done objectively and impartial to reach a just result.”

Video of news conference link: https://youtu.be/esdfmt6WbTw 

 

Posted by Chuck Skipper Tuesday, July 21, 2020 2:33:00 PM Categories: General News

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