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New details in deadly Holton Street confrontation listed in PBA's latest filing

(WCTV)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:53 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey, Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

June 15, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The latest filing by the Florida Police Benevolent Association illustrates

and argues that the officers did not know McDade was the stabbing suspect they were searching for.

The filing argues that the City of Tallahassee changed its position on Marsy's Law, due to public pressure of protests after the killing of George Floyd.

The petition for declaratory judgment, mandamus relief, and injunctive relief requests that (1) the court require the City to show why the relief should not be granted and (2) enter a preliminary order prohibiting the City from releasing any personal information about the officers involved.

May 27 shooting details

The filing details how Tony McDade was shot; it says when officers arrived on scene, McDade's mother ran toward one of the patrol vehicles pleading for help, claiming someone was "suicidal."

It says McDade moved toward the second officer, but pivoted back toward the first when his mother entered his would-be line of fire with the second; he then "punched his arms out in a shooting stance."

The officer McDade was approaching was still seated inside his patrol vehicle, and was "completely caught off guard" and "immediately recognized that the unidentified person was pointing a firearm at him."

The filing says that placed the officer in fear for his life; he partially exited his vehicle and discharged his firearm.

McDade fell to the ground but reached for the gun, but the second patrol officer retrieved it.

Legal argument

Attorneys for the PBA argue that Marsy's Law does not exclude law enforcement officers from its definition of victim, "either generally or specifically."

The Florida Supreme Court has previously rejected the State's argument that police officers were ineligible to assert Stand Your Ground as a defense.

The filing says "the two TPD officers have a constitutional right to demand that the City's custodian of records exempt as confidential any information that could be used to locate or harass them or their family."

The attorneys argue that the City has not provided legally justification of its new interpretation of Marsy's Law, writing, "it is reasonable to conclude that the City is merely acceding to public pressure in response to the tragic death of George Floyd."

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