St. Pete police officer cleared in Dawson killing

11/03/08 Seán Kinane and Lisa Marzilli
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Police administrators have cleared St. Petersburg Police officer Terrance Nemeth of all wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Javon Dawson in June.

Nemeth had previously been cleared of wrongdoing by Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe. His supervisors were looking to see whether Nemeth had violated any departmental policy, while McCabe’s review focused on whether he broke any laws.

Both investigations concluded he was justified in shooting Dawson after the teen allegedly pointed a weapon in his direction at a graduation party. WMNF spoke this afternoon with Nyabinga Dzinbahwe, press secretary for the Uhuru movement.

“We’re not surprised because it was the same old process, the behind closed doors, good old boy network type of situation that has in the past continuously justified these murders of African teenagers in the city of St. Petersburg.”

“We’re going to continue to struggle for justice. It’s not a surprise for us that police department has justified themselves again in the murder of an African child. We’re going to continue the work that we’ve been doing in organizing in the community.”

“The struggle for justice for Javon Dawson is not over. We cannot stand by and allow these attacks on our community to continue, because if we do, then Javon Dawson will not be the last.”

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