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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Speed kills

From the Sun-Sentinel

Computer data from a Fort Lauderdale police cruiser showed an officer was driving about 90 mph in a 40 mph zone when he hit and killed a Lauderdale Lakes woman on South Federal Highway, according to a search warrant.

Traffic homicide detectives are investigating the death of Althea Tobias McKay, 39, on June 19 as a vehicular homicide, the police search warrant says. The officer, Alexander Griss, 23, has not been charged with any crime.

The warrant was used to obtain data from computer systems in Griss' 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The data showed he had accelerated on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale to 91 mph before the car slammed into McKay about 5:21 a.m., throwing her body 102 feet, the warrant said.

Police have said Griss was about to go off duty and was not responding to an emergency call when the crash occurred.

Griss' attorney, Michael Dutko, said Thursday that if charges are filed, he will challenge the data investigators used to determine the officer's speed.

Griss remains on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation and cannot carry a firearm, perform any police duties or work off-duty details. Police declined to comment on the case because it is still being investigated.


Police have said McKay stepped off the curb at Southeast 21st Street onto Federal Highway about 5:21 a.m. when she was struck by Griss' cruiser. His cruiser then hopped a concrete median, crossed into oncoming traffic and skidded to a stop in a vacant field with two flat tires and extensive front-end damage, the warrant said.


Traffic homicide investigators also used skid marks and complex formulas to determine Griss was driving "at minimum" 79 mph at impact, the warrant says.

I've seen local enforcement disregard the traffic laws on many occasions. The most common practice being a police cruiser putting on its siren when approaching an intersection. All traffic stops, the cruiser goes through with his siren on but it turns off as soon as they pass. You don't tell me the policeman or police woman isn't abusing their power.

In Griss case, I hope the Broward Attorney's Office gets this right. There was a high profile case some time back involving a law enforcement officer's crash on I-95. Two brothers died in the crash and the FBI agent did just three months in jail but not before investigators incorrectly blamed the wrong people for the crash. I've chronicled many times how there are two justice systems in this state, one for those in the legal system, one for everyone else. Lets hope that doesn't prove true here. Not just the family of Althea Tobias McKay, but the people of Broward County deserve justice in this woman's death.

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