Sadly, police brutality and misconduct are regular headlines on the evening news these days, but few incidents have left us iin shock quite as much as this one.
Police dashcam footage has been released that shows two Florida sheriff's deputies exhibiting a horrifying level of indifference as three teenagers were drowning in front of them in a cemetary pond. The cops did not try to save the young girls, who were in a stolen car.
16-year-old Dominique Battle, and 15-year-olds Ashaunti Butler and Laniya Miller, died on March 31st after police chased the three teens into the pond. While Pinellas Country law enforcement had previously claimed that deputies had taken off their gun belts and entered the pond once they realized the three girls were trapped inside, the dashcam video tells a very different story: that the officers made no moves to save the girls.
In the video, two officers can be heard discussing the series of events. "I hear them yelling, I think!" one officer says. “They’re done. They are 6-7, dude,” another officer replies.
“They were yelling,” the other responds. “I thought I heard yelling.”
“But now they’re done. They’re done,” the deputy says as the car continues to sink.
The Sheriff's office has also released the teen's criminal histories, which include a collective seven previous arrests. Representatives of the families have objected to the release, and Natasha Winkler, mother of Laniya Miller, defended her daughter. "My daughter was not perfect. What 15-year-old is?" Winkler said. "She should not be remembered as a thief. That's not who she was. None of these kids deserved to die."
Sadly, these parents can never get their kids back, but hopefully they can get justice.