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said he was a victim of racial profiling by Brooksville Police officers responding to a Nov. 11 pizza shop robbery, has withdrawn his complaint against the department.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. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini (16) scores in the sixth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  2. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blogs

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  3. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A

    Blogs

    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.
  4. Coast Guard airlifts man from fishing boat in Gulf of Mexico

    Public Safety

    A 27-year-old man was evacuated from a fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter Saturday night, authorities said.

  5. Trump: Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul

    National

    WASHINGTON — Making a final push, President Donald Trump said he doesn't think congressional Republicans are "that far off" on a health overhaul to replace "the dead carcass of Obamacare." Expressing frustration, he complained about "the level of hostility" in government and wondered why both parties can't work …

    President Donald Trump speaks during a bill signing event for the "Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017" in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) DCEV208