Police Shooting

Apparent negligence by the Punta Gorda Police Department resulted in the shooting death of a senior citizen last August as she volunteered in a shoot/don’t shoot scenario at police headquarters. The officer who fired the shot has been charged with felony manslaughter. He was fired and is appealing his termination this week. The city’s police chief, Tom Lewis, is charged with misdemeanor culpable negligence. He is on paid administrative leave.

A North Miami police officer will face criminal charges for shooting the unarmed caretaker of an autistic man last summer — one of a string of questionable police shootings of black men nationwide that sparked protests.

Officer Jonathan Aledda was arrested and charged Wednesday with a felony count of attempted manslaughter, and a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence.

Photo: Tony Webster via Flickr Creative Commons

 The Tampa Bay Times has spent the last four years compiling what it calls "Florida's most comprehensive database of police shootings." Data from nearly 400 law enforcement agencies across Florida reveal startling racial disparities: forty-one percent of people shot by police were black, despite making up 15 percent of the state's population.

The Punta Gorda Police Department said it learned Monday that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has sent its criminal investigative report into the death of Mary Knowlton to the State Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors will make a decision on criminal charges. The 73-year-old retired librarian was shot and killed by Punta Gorda officer Lee Coel in August during a role playing scenario.

Punta Gorda Settles Over Officer Involved K-9 Incident

Oct 17, 2016

Correction: The attorney for the company that insures Punta Gorda against claims in cases like this, Nikki Nate of the Bryant Miller Olive firm in Tampa, says the settlement is for $70,000. Reporter Michael Hirsh was originally told by his source it was for $73,000. 

WGCU News has learned the insurance company for Punta Gorda has reached a settlement in a year-old police dog-bite case. The officer involved is the same one who shot and killed a 73-year-old volunteer in a shoot-don’t shoot demonstration at police headquarters in August.

Last October 30th, Punta Gorda canine officer Lee Coel tried to stop Richard Schumacher from riding his bicycle without a working taillight.