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Review finds lessons in hunt for Tampa police shooting suspect Dontae Morris

TAMPA — An independent review of the manhunt for Tampa police shooting suspect Dontae Morris has identified 29 lessons to be learned from the search, police said Monday.

Tampa police asked the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to help it conduct a review of how police handled Morris' case after the June 29 killings of Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis.

Federal officials, in turn, commissioned the nonprofit CNA Institute for Public Research to review the shootings and search for Morris, who is accused of the killings.

Police declined Monday to discuss any of those lessons, but they have scheduled a news conference at police headquarters this afternoon to release the report, which runs more than 100 pages.

"They did a very comprehensive review," police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. "It starts from the moment Officer David Curtis pulled over Cortnee Brantley and Dontae Morris, and it concludes with his arrest."

The CNA study identified both strengths and areas for improvement from the search, police said. Federal officials plan to share the in-depth reconstruction and review on a national level, allowing other law enforcement agencies to learn from Tampa's experience.

CNA is a nonprofit organization that does research and analysis for federal, state and local government agencies in areas that include safety and security.

Morris, 25, faces the death penalty in the deaths of Curtis and Kocab, who authorities say were killed after pulling over Brantley's car in east Tampa and trying to take Morris into custody on an arrest warrant.

The search for Morris lasted four days and was the largest manhunt in the city's history.

Morris has pleaded not guilty in the officers' deaths, as well as in three other slayings, those of Derek Anderson on May 18, Rodney Jones on May 31 and Harold Wright on June 8.

Review finds lessons in hunt for Tampa police shooting suspect Dontae Morris 05/02/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 9:38pm]
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