Were deputies heroes or bystanders as three teens drowned?

59
Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 8:14 PM

But their families allege inconclusive camera footage is raising questions about the night the car sank in a Pinellas County swamp. According to deputies, Dominique Battle, sixteen, Ashaunti Butler, fifteen, and Laniya Miller, fifteen, stole a gold Honda Agreement from a Pinellas County Walmart parking lot the night of March thirty.

Were deputies heroes or bystanders as three teens drowned?

When three FL teenagers drowned in a stolen car latest month, deputies said they waded into the water to attempt and rescue them before they died.

But their families allege inconclusive camera footage is raising questions about the night the car sank in a Pinellas County swamp.

According to deputies, Dominique Battle, sixteen, Ashaunti Butler, fifteen, and Laniya Miller, fifteen, stole a gold Honda Agreement from a Pinellas County Walmart parking lot the night of March thirty. Though the county sheriff’s rules forbid deputies from chasing stolen vehicles, some officers were trailing the car when the car plunged into a pond off a sharp turn in the road around four a. m. the following morning, the .

After the crash, the sheriff’s office said deputies took off their equipment and tried to wade into the water to rescue the teens, before the darkness and thick swampy mud halted their path.

The three girls drowned in fifteenth feet of water before a wrecker eventually recovered the car two hours later.

After the sheriff’s office released several hours of dashboard footage to news outlets Monday, lawyers for the girls’ families raised questions about what happened, pointing to the presence of one deputy standing on the bank of the pond instead of wading into the water. The sheriff’s office released more footage on Facebook today to indicate other deputies took off some attire and equipment to attempt a rescue.

In the just-released video, two deputies, one shirtless, walk past the hood of a car, “after they attempted to rescue the occupants of a stolen vehicle,” according to the video’s caption on YouTube. “Their rescue efforts were suspended due to the unsafe conditions.”

Before the sheriff’s office released more video online, a different one-and-a-half min clip posted to YouTube Tuesday recorded a deputy saying he thinks he can hear yelling.

Another deputy responds in the clip, “They’re done. They’re done. They're 6-7, dude.”

“I thought I heard yelling,” the first says.

“As it was going down,” the other responds. “But now, they’re done. They’re done.”

St. Petersburg lawyer Will Anderson, who's representing the teens’ families along with attorney Michele Whitfield, told that some of the footage suggested the sheriff’s original statements about the deputies’ actions were misleading.

He criticized the sheriff’s dept for discussing the teens’ past records after their deaths, calling it “a smear campaign.” The grouping of teens had seven felony charges for auto theft the previous year.

Whitfield that Miller’south mother “deserves answers.”

“There are inconsistencies that necessity to be addressed, and we're asking for those answers to come," she said.

Two of the girls’ mothers said Monday in a press conference that they'd hold asking questions.

"All three of these girls were best friends. They all hung out together. They all took care of each other," said Battle's mother Yashica Clemmons, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "[I'm] going to obtain to the bottom of this."

But Sgt Spencer Gross told McClatchy the full footage answers those questions, adding the earlier clip online doesn't comprise footage which shows some partially clothed officers after they tried to enter the pond and rescue the girls.

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told McClatchy his dept acted fully to rescue the teens, adding that the published video doesn't indicate the fifteen deputies who eventually arrived on the scene.

Gualtieri said the families should stop promoting a “false narrative” about the sheriff’s office’s misconduct.

“I have sympathy for their families,” Gualtieri said. “They lost three young girls… But that doesn’t imply they or their lawyers have a right to disparage the deputies who were trying to rescue three kids.”

READ ALSO
London restaurant to be clothing optional

London restaurant to be clothing optional

The London restaurateur, known for opening some of the city'south most innovative dining concepts, eats his breakfast bare-bottomed each morning - assuming he'south not cooking with hot oil."It'south liberating," he told The WA Post.

60
Lodi Kmart to near this summer

Lodi Kmart to near this summer

The closures, which comprise three other Kmart stores in CA but number Sears stores, took into account store performance and the timing of lease expirations.

72
Obama: UK-US Trade Deal Would Be Back Of Line

Obama: UK-US Trade Deal Would Be Back Of Line

The US President says a bilateral deal for trade would be distant from a priority if UK voters determine to draw out of the EU.

64
Arcimoto is the Future of Transportation … or of pizza delivery

Arcimoto is the Future of Transportation … or of pizza delivery

We'd heard all this before. Heck, we’d even driven some of it. Does anyone recollect the Corbin Sparrow? The Aptera 2e? The one thousand nine hundred forty-eight Davis Devan? The Badsey Bullet?With three wheels, manufacturers can dodge those pesky life-saving...

118