Activists cry foul over police handling search for shooting suspect listen02/23/11 Kate Bradshaw
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Last night, police charged a 16-year-old St. Petersburg boy in the killing of a police officer. The Chief Assistant State Attorney said suspect Nicholas Lindsey will likely be charged as an adult, which could mean life in prison. As more details come out surrounding the death of the latest officer killed on duty in St. Petersburg, some activists are crying foul over the way police handled their search for the suspect.
In the last hour, Maj. Michael Kovacsev with the St. Petersburg Police Department came out with more details about the teenage suspect currently being held on charges of first degree murder of a police officer. He said suspect Nicholas Lindsey, who has twice been arrested on grand theft auto charges, was trying to break into a Dodge Neon near the site of the shooting.
According to a witness report, the suspect walked away from the scene.
The suspect turned himself in early Tuesday evening, and his name was released several hours later. Media reports have depicted Lindsey as a troubled teen, but not one previously thought to be capable of murder. He reportedly bought the gun on the street.
The details may still be emerging on the incident, but that didn’t stop a handful of local activists from crying foul. Earlier in the day they stood near the former site of the command center St. Petersburg Police assembled near Tropicana Field in response to the murder. Some observers have reportedly said a large swath of the neighborhood surrounding the Trop had the feel of a war zone as police scoured the area. Penny Hess of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement said the home searches and checkpoints that took place were a “vicious retaliation” against the community.
Reverend Bruce Wright, a vocal advocate for the homeless, said those who sleep on the streets of city hall experienced the crackdown.
Penny Hess of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement said she didn’t think the police were in the right in the way they conducted their search, even when considering that this was the third death of a St. Petersburg Police officer in weeks. She said violence against police is a reactive measure, and that the cycle of poverty within the African American community needs to stop.
The teenage suspect’s mother reportedly recognized him from a police video. His family has apologized for the fatal shooting. The St. Petersburg Police Department did not return multiple requests for comment by airtime.
Viewing & Memorial schedule for Officer David Crawford: Viewing Mon Feb 28 5-8pm; Memorial service: Tues March 1 11am. Both at First Baptist Church of St Pete 1900 Gandy Blvd.