Local law enforcement agencies in Pinellas County have formed a task force to investigate cases when an officer uses deadly force.
The purpose is to ensure the public that a third party conducts a thorough and objective investigation to determine whether the officer’s actions were lawful.
Here’s how it works:
When a St. Petersburg officer uses deadly force, the Pinellas Sheriff’s office will lead the investigation. When a Pinellas Sheriff deputy uses deadly force south of Ulmerton Road, the St. Petersburg Police Department will lead the investigation. Other agencies have similar agreements.
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.
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.
St. Petersburg Police Media Relations - (727) 893-7550
YOLANDA FERNANDEZ - Public Information Officer