punta gorda

Photo: WGCU

A documentary exploring the unintended consequences of school de-segregation brought leaders from Southwest Florida's African American community together for a discussion about the enduring impacts of the Civil Rights movement.

Michael Hirsh

Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis is on administrative leave with pay today after being charged with culpable negligence in the death of a woman participating in a citizen’s academy last August.

Officer Lee Coel will have a disciplinary hearing with the city’s human resources manager and labor attorney to determine his future employment status with the Punta Gorda police department. Coel has the right to appeal the outcome to the city manager. He was charged with manslaughter yesterday in the death of Mary Knowlton during the shoot/don’t shoot demonstration last August.

Photos: Punta Gorda Police Department Facebook and website

The Punta Gorda police officer who shot and killed a local woman in an August citizens demonstration has been charged with manslaughter. The city's police chief also faces a charge of culpable negligence in the shooting death of 73-year-old Mary Knowlton.

Micheal Hirsh

State Attorney Steve Russell says the Punta Gorda Police officer who shot and killed a woman during a demonstration for citizens last August has been charged with manslaughter with a firearm. That charge against suspended police officer Lee Coel is a first degree felony. And Punta Gorda police chief Tom Lewis has been charged with Culpable Negligence in that case. That charge is a second degree misdemeanor.

Michael Hirsh

Veterans Day is set aside for us to remember those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States. But for many of those who served in our wars, Veterans Day is every day. It’s not that they want to remember; it’s that they’re unable to forget.

At last weekend’s dedication of the replica Vietnam Wall Memorial in Punta Gorda, WGCU’s Michael Hirsh (himself a Vietnam veteran) asked a number of vets if their experience in a war that took place fifty years ago still impacts their lives.