Florida Cop Who Ran Over and Killed Man in a Wheelchair Loses His Job

Here at Reason we highlight a lot of stories about law enforcement agencies that refuse, or are slow, to reprimand officers who abuse their powers. It's tempting, based on the first half of this report from the Tampa Bay Times, to praise the St. Petersburg Police Department for canning three cops who showed disregard for the law and the safety of the people they're tasked with protecting: 

The board, chaired by St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon, fired Officer Mehmedin Karic, who struck and killed a man in a wheelchair with his police cruiser, and information technology employee Anthony Neese, who admitted to damaging a department laptop during a fight with his wife.

Another officer, Alex Falcon-Molina, resigned rather than face sanctions after the board found him responsible for a series of violations, including missing court-related matters.

Harmon said there are people in every organization who don't follow the rules.

"That's the reason we have these things," Harmon said. "To hold people accountable."

Neese was also viewing pornography on his computer, and Falcon-Molina falls into the category of cops who witness their colleagues do heinous crap and then provide cover. As for Karic: For killing someone while driving 61 MPH in a 40 mile-an-hour zone, he was fined $1,000, assigned 100 hours of community service, and lost his license for six months. He also lost his job. It's fair to say that if he hadn't been a cop, he probably would have lost his freedom. 

So, kudos for losing those three. But the board also cleared two narcotics officers who reportedly kicked the crap out of a drug suspect who died several days later complaining of chest pains: 

The detectives, whose names were redacted from a department memo because they work undercover, arrested Anthony "Tony" Welch Sr. while serving a search warrant Jan. 6.

Welch, 42, later complained that the detectives had kicked him during his arrest. On Jan. 10, after Welch's release from jail, he was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital and complained of chest pains and shortness of breath. He phoned the Police Department's internal affairs division from the hospital and reasserted his claims that the officers had kicked him. He died a few hours later.

An autopsy found that Welch died from natural causes resulting from a pre-existing condition, police said.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    An autopsy found that Welch died from natural causes resulting from a pre-existing condition, police said.

    A congenital cardiac lesion that just happened to be shaped like a boot toe.

  • John Thacker||

    I think that the pre-existing condition was more "needed killing."

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    An autopsy found that Welch died from natural causes resulting from a pre-existing condition, police said.

    See - "death by cop" is a pre-existing condition. IT'S IN YOU!
    Release your inner "death by cop".

    Fuck tha poe lease.

  • John||

    That whole you take the victim as you find them thing is for little people. If I walk up and kick a guy in the head and he has a pre-existing condition that causes him to die from the blow, I am going to be guilty of murder. Just not my lucky day, unless of course I am a cop.

  • R C Dean||

    For killing someone while driving 61 MPH in a 40 mile-an-hour zone, he was fined $1,000, assigned 100 hours of community service, and lost his license for six months.

    Nope, no double standard there.

  • ||

    From what we've seen here, the "standard" seems to be that except in the most egregious situations, cops don't do time...for anything. And even when they do (for instance, the BART shooter), it's for a few years at most.

    Nope, no double standard there.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Are you cop or little people, Episiarch?

  • elephant/pajamas/Groucho||

    a man in a wheelchair with his police cruiser

    How he got it into his wheelchair, I'll never know!

  • John||

    This is certianly a kick in the nuts. But there is always the Daily Fail to make you fill better.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem.....other.html

  • Carston||

    Wow, that worked better than expected.

  • Gray Ghost||

    John, that was like a refreshing lime wedge after tasting the bitter tequila of Florida law enforcement. [apologies to Dennis Miller]

    I thought they were wearing sweats, due to the cold weather?

  • John||

    I think during the day they wear their normal outfits.

  • Pip||

    If he didn't want a pig beat down, then he shouldn't have been a drug suspect.

  • Tim||

    I've seen a lot of movies and when the cop speeds down the sidewalk the people always get out of the, ALWAYS.

  • Tim||

    Of course, if you're a cart full of melons you're done for...

  • Ryan60657||

    Cook County correctional officer charged after jacking inmate in the face:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....4156.story

  • R C Dean||

    Note the critical "after being caught on video."

    Incredibly, and to Cook County's credit, they brought the charges without the video being leaked to the public first.

  • John||

    Note the lack of obstruction of justice charges. He told the guy to lie and say he started the fight. Telling a victim or witness to lie usually brings an obstruction charge to go with the underlying crime.

  • The Hammer||

    Duuuunnnnnnpphhhhyyyyyyyy.....

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "It happens sometimes. People just explode; natural causes."

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it's bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too. When they canceled the project it almost did me in. One day my mind was full to bursting. The next day - nothing. Swept away. But I'll show them. I had a lobotomy in the end.

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Don't they give those to crazy people?"

  • ||

    "There are no experimental failures. There's only more data!"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Shrimp.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Plate-o-shrimp.

  • R C Dean||

    Sweet. I have that movie tucked away on my DVR for when nothing else will do.

    Haven't watched it in years; last time I did, I was struck by how it is a master class in cult indoctrination techniques.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It seems extra relevant these days. I'm not sure why.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    *wanders off, whistling Seven-up jingle*

  • Coeus||

    But the board also cleared two narcotics officers who reportedly kicked the crap out of a drug suspect who died several days later complaining of chest pains:
    The detectives, whose names were redacted from a department memo because they work undercover


    Ahh, undercover narcs. One of the lowest forms of life there is. Not as bad as murderers or child molesters, but definitely worse than the perpetrator of the average violent felony.

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    But it taught the wheelchair guy what happens when civilians resist.

  • TiggFooo||

    Wow thats messed up man, I say off with his head!

    www.Anon-Do.tk

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