Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Minister withdraws racial profiling complaint against Brooksville police

BROOKSVILLE — Elijah Harris, an African-American minister who said he was a victim of racial profiling by Brooksville Police officers responding to a Nov. 11 pizza shop robbery, has withdrawn his complaint against the department.

In a letter to Harris dated Monday, Brooksville Police Chief George Turner stated that Harris withdrew the complaint Wednesday after the minister reviewed audio dispatch tapes, police car video and other material used in the investigation. (Those materials can be seen at links.tampabay.com.)

Harris said Tuesday that he had not yet seen Turner's letter, but admitted that everything was cleared up in a meeting between the two last week.

"In my mind I was right at the time," he said. "But after showing me the video, I think I've gotten things straight.

"I'm a passive man and I don't want to cause any trouble,'' Harris added. "I was just worried at the time."

Turner said that he hoped Harris understood that he would never condone such behavior from his officers.

The two ended their meeting with a handshake.

Harris, 31, is pastor of Second Chance Restoration Ministries in Brooksville and an officer at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County.

On the day after the robbery, he told the St. Petersburg Times that he had entered the Little Caesars store on Broad Street moments after the armed robbery.

Officers responding to a 911 call then rushed inside with guns drawn and ordered him to get down on the floor.

Harris said that although there were two white customers in the store, he was the only person made to comply with the officers' demands. After a few moments, the officers left the store in pursuit of the robbers, who were later apprehended.

Turner said in a three-page memorandum that a review by a detective did not find any procedural violations by the officers. At the time, the detective interviewed police officers and store employees but not Harris.

Though a dispatcher gave no physical description of the robbers, Turner said the investigation found no evidence of racial profiling by his officers.

An employee inside the pizza store told the Times that Harris had been ordered to the ground. He later denied saying that when interviewed by a police detective.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

Minister withdraws racial profiling complaint against Brooksville police 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  2. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  3. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  5. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.