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Clearwater police officer who shot teen burglary suspect cleared to return to work

CLEARWATER — A police officer who shot a teenage burglary suspect last month has been cleared to return to work after an internal investigation, Clearwater police say.

A police administrative review board, which met Thursday, found that Officer Kyle Resler was justified in the use of deadly force and was in compliance with department policies when he shot 15-year-old Sylvester Brown, police said.

Resler had been placed on paid administrative leave since the shooting, as is standard department policy.

Resler shot at a pickup truck on the morning of Oct. 12 after the driver nearly hit two officers who responded to a burglary call on Chateau Wood Drive. The driver, who was later identified as 14-year-old Tony McAffee, then rammed a police cruiser as he was trying to flee and ended up crashing into a ditch, police said.

McAffee and two others in the truck suffered minor injuries in the crash. Resler shot Brown, another passenger who was treated and later released from a local hospital.

All four were arrested on charges related to the residential burglary.

On Saturday, less than three weeks after that incident, Brown was arrested again. In that case, police said, Brown and three other people robbed a 33-year-old man at gunpoint about 1 a.m., fled in a Chevrolet Cavalier and abandoned the car at the El Camino Apartments on Jeffords Street.

Police used dogs to track the suspects and arrested Brown and 19-year-old Steffon Birks, who were found hiding in a garbage can near the abandoned car, police said.

On Thursday, police still were investigating that case and trying to locate two other suspects.

Brown was held at the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center, said police spokeswoman Beth Watts.

Brown made headlines last year when he was jailed for refusing to testify during the murder trial of Allan Troi Burney, one of the creators of the Da Hood Gone Wild video series.

Brown later testified that he saw Burney with a gun right before a 2007 shooting that killed 23-year-old Michael Scott. Burney was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater police officer who shot teen burglary suspect cleared to return to work 11/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 7:40pm]
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