Did Pinellas County Florida Sheriff’s deputies do enough to save three African-American girls who drowned in a stolen car last month? All three families want answers to that question.
Dominique Battle, 16, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Laniya Miller, 15, allegedly stole a gold Honda Accord from the parking lot of a supermarket on March 30. “Though the county sheriff’s rules forbid deputies from chasing stolen vehicles, some officers were trailing the car when the car plunged into a pond off a sharp turn in the road around 4 a.m. the next morning,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
What happened next is up for debate.
Via the Miami Herald:
After the crash, the sheriff’s office said deputies took off their equipment and tried to wade into the water to save the teens, before the darkness and thick swampy mud halted their path.
The three girls drowned in 15 feet of water before a wrecker eventually recovered the car two hours later.
After the sheriff’s office released several hours of dashboard footage to news outlets Monday, lawyers for the girls’ families raised questions about what happened, pointing to the presence of one deputy standing on the bank of the pond instead of wading into the water. The sheriff’s office released more footage on Facebook today to show other deputies took off some clothes and equipment to attempt a rescue.
Watch the two videos and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
SOURCE: Miami Herald | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Facebook