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. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.