Dedicated to Sarah Phillips

Words to Live By

It is time for Orange County Sheriff Beary to take a stand

From the May 25, 2005, Orlando Sentinel

"We will reserve judgment until all reports are in and the ongoing investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol is concluded," Beary wrote in an e-mail. "Any speculation or opinion by anyone at this time would be premature."

The FHP report that Sheriff Beary is referring to is the Traffic Homicide Report. It is neither the purpose nor will the report address whether the Orange County Sheriff’s Office followed policy. The sole purpose of the report is to provide the basis for the criminal prosecution of Jonathan Kornexl.

To wait several months for a report that will not address the question of the OCSO’s compliance to their pursuit policy would be ridiculous and the suggestion to do so is nothing more that a smoke screen.

It is well past time for Sheriff Beary to address this situation. He must investigate or appoint a panel to investigate. An open and thorough investigation into the actions of his department and those who adjudged those actions to be within policy is the only way for the OCSO to maintain any credibility on this issue.

PursuitWatch calls for a citizen/law enforcement panel to investigate this incident as well as the overall compliance of the OCSO with the revised pursuit policy. The panel should also be charged to clarify the pursuit policy where needed. The Sheriff should agree to abide by the findings of the panel.

Jim Phillips, 2005