ST. PETERSBURG — As the city's top officials came to mourn another slain police officer on Tuesday, the whereabouts of a former police chief invited to the funeral was once again a mystery.
Goliath Davis, the city's senior administrator of community enrichment, wasn't spotted at the service or at a VIP reception before the funeral of David S. Crawford, who was killed last week. The apparent absence was notable because Davis, who served as police chief from 1997 to 2001, also wasn't seen at last month's funeral for Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz, who were killed Jan. 24.
Davis' apparent absence became grist for Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem after Davis was later spotted at the funeral for Hydra Lacy Jr., the fugitive who killed Baitinger and Yaslowitz. Clem said his absence was disrespectful to the officers.
Davis wouldn't confirm or deny that he attended the officers' funeral last month. He wouldn't return phone calls Tuesday asking whether he attended Crawford's funeral. Last month, he pointed out that he did attend the visitation of the two fallen officers and paid respects to their wives. On Monday, Davis attended Crawford's wake, which should cut him some slack, said City Council member Karl Nurse.
"But I can't explain the logic of why he would not go (to the funeral), particularly after last time," Nurse said. "I don't know how police officers feel anything but insulted."
Council member Steve Kornell and state Rep. Darryl Rouson said they didn't consider it a big deal. "We all grieve in different ways," Rouson said.