Sheriff refutes video of cops ignoring drowning girls

- Dash cam video appears to show several police officers in St. Petersburg, Florida ignoring the screams of three drowning black girls.

"I thought I heard yelling as it was going down. But now they're done," one of the officers is heard saying.

The girls reportedly drove the vehicle they had stolen into a pond.

But on Friday, the Sheriff's office shared another video of what shows several officers without their gear on after an attempted rescued.

 

Last month, local media reported that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said a friend asked Damien Marriott, 35, to drive the three teenage girls to Child’s Park on March 30.

Marriott reportedly stopped at a Walmart to buy a TV when he left his keys in the ignition with the engine running along with three girls that he did not know sitting in his 1990 Honda Accord.

Marriott did not return to his vehicle or report his car stolen until 8:30 p.m. that night.

Several hours later, deputies reported seeing the Honda run a red light without its headlights on during a pursuit.

The girls accidentally drove the Honda into a pond as deputies exited their vehicles and remained standing on shore.

The girls, Dominique Battle, 16, Ashaunti Butler, 15, and Laniya Miller, 15, had criminal histories for grand theft auto. 

The Pinellas County Sherriff's Office responded to the video circulating on Friday.

"Unfortunately, some people are irresponsibly and falsely posting on Facebook that deputies did not attempt to rescue the 3 girls who tragically drowned while fleeing from the police in a stolen car a few weeks ago.
The sheriff stated at the time that deputies removed their gunbelts and clothes and tried to enter the water to rescue the girls, but the conditions in the water prevented them from doing so. This is exactly what happened, and we stand by that.

All video regarding the incident has been released, including the below clip that shows deputies who had taken off their duty gear in an effort to rescue the girls. The other video being shown omits this part that shows deputies who had entered the water in their effort to rescue the girls. We are posting this clip with the hope that the false narrative being spread about this incident stops. "

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