Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Experts set to review St. Petersburg's fatal police shootings

ST. PETERSBURG — After losing three officers in the line of duty this year, the St. Petersburg Police Department today will hold a post-shooting review to analyze its policies, tactics and training.

Police Chief Chuck Harmon promised to convene such a board, bringing together law enforcement commanders, trainers and experts from across Tampa Bay. They will review the events that led to the city's first officer casualties in 30 years and the aftermath.

St. Petersburg canine Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger were fatally wounded on Jan. 24 during a two-hour gunbattle with a fugitive hiding in an attic. Yaslowitz was shot trying to arrest the fugitive; Baitinger was shot trying to rescue Yaslowitz.

Officer David S. Crawford was patrolling downtown when he was fatally shot Feb. 21, according to police, when he tried to question a 16-year-old prowler. They arrested a teenager in the case 24 hours later.

The discussion will not be open to the media or the public. But the police chief and other participants will speak afterward.

Among the topics that may be discussed: the tactics police should use when a suspect may be hiding in a ceiling, the massive manhunt that led police to the teen suspect in Crawford's death and whether the city should require officers to wear bullet-resistant vests.

Like many Tampa Bay agencies, St. Petersburg requires officers to wear vests only in high-risk situations. Others have mandatory-wear policies.

Crawford was not wearing his vest when he was shot several times in the torso, but police officials have yet to publicly explain why. Yaslowitz and Baitinger were wearing their vests, but those would not have shielded them from the fatal wounds they suffered.

The chief has said that one issue that won't be discussed is Mayor Bill Foster's decision to quickly raze what was left of the house of fugitive Hydra Lacy Jr. Lacy fatally wounded the officers on Jan. 24, then was later killed in the ensuing shootouts with police.

Experts set to review St. Petersburg's fatal police shootings 06/15/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  2. Video: The scene in Seminole Heights at the sites of three killings

    News

    Tampa police have blanketed the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood during their investigation of three shooting deaths over 11 days that they believe to be related.

    Balloons and candles seen along 15th Street where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found dead on Oct. 19, photographed in Southeast Seminole Heights in Tampa on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. Three shooting deaths in the area in the last two weeks are considered by police to be related.
  3. FBI: Florida man sympathized with IS, wanted to bomb mall

    Courts

    MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who described himself as a sympathizer of the Islamic State extremist group faces terrorism-related charges stemming from a purported plot to bomb a Miami-area shopping mall, according to court documents filed Monday.

    An undated file image posted on an extremist website on Jan. 14, 2014, shows fighters from the Islamic State group marching in Raqqa, Syria. The group champions a hyper-religious lifestyle grounded in a self-proclaimed caliphate, but most recruits have a superficial understanding of religion and are largely ignorant in the laws of Islam. [Militant photo, via Associated Press]
  4. Frog Pond restaurant opens new location in downtown St. Petersburg

    Blogs

    There's a new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown St. Petersburg.

    Frog Pond's original location, seen here in 2006, has been open in North Redington Beach for 35 years. A new Frog Pond restaurant opened in St. Petersburg this week.
  5. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]