Category: News

IRC NAACP Sent Letter about Gifford Shooting to State Department of Law Enforcement, Flowers Responds

August 25th, 2022

Indian River County NAACP Chapter President Anthony ‘Tony’ Brown sent a letter to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Director Mark Glass (who was at the time Acting Director). The letter addresses concerns about an officer involved shooting on June 11th, 2022 in Gifford, Florida. Gifford is an unincorporated community in Indian River County, Florida; it is a historically African American community.

When conducting a Felony Traffic Stop, one of the suspects ‘bolted’ away from the car. This is the fleeing suspect Brown referred to in his letter. A few deputies shot at him since he was armed with a handgun.

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When the two suspects were later arrested, with two handguns retrieved from the crime scene.

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Department released an edited video, showing what happened on June 11th, 2022. Click here to watch that video. It is warned that viewer discretion is advised.

Below is the letter from IRC NAACP President Tony Brown to Mark Glass at Florida Department of Law Enforcement:

Indian River News filed a public records request for the following items, as stated in Brown’s letter, along with the name of the program used to edit the video that was released to the public:

  • Body Cameras of all Deputies who fired weapons

  • Body Cameras of all Deputies who were on scene during the shooting

  • All dash cameras from vehicles that were onsite during the incident. The time span of dash camera is from 30 minutes prior to 30 minutes after the shooting

  • All police radio traffic from 30 minutes prior to the shooting to 30 minutes after the shooting

  • All files and reports related to the case regarding the shooting in Gifford

  • Anything else related to the case that can be made available to the public regarding the case

  • The case number for the case and any other related case numbers

  • The charges of the two individuals arrested in that incident

  • The name of the program used to edit the video released to the public regarding the shooting

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With exception of a police report with redactions, we were not able to get the requested items, per Florida Statute 119.071(2)(C).

Below is the police report:

Florida Statute 119.071(2)(C) was also used to redact parts of the police report.

Florida Statute 119.071(2)(C) basically says that “active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information are exempt” from public records requests.

For further reading, due to its’ length, click here to read Florida Statute 119.071(2)(C)

It was later found that some of the rounds fired at hit a house that was under construction, near where the traffic stop happened.

Sheriff Eric Flowers had put out the following statement on August 19th, 2022 regarding the letter Brown had sent:

Flowers said in the letter the NAACP’s request will be honored after the investigation is over per FL Statute Chapter 119. He also said he would like to continue building on the relationship he has had with IRC NAACP President Tony Brown and the local NAACP Chapter.

The State Attorney in the letter referenced is State Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit Thomas Bakkedahl.

State Attorneys are elected officials in the State of Florida. Bakkedahl’s current term is 2020 to 2024.

The 19th Judicial Circuit Consists of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee Counties.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1909 to advocate for the rights of African Americans.

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