11/24/2000

Sheriff fires two deputies for alleged excessive-force shooting

(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The Orange County Sheriff's Office has fired two officers who shot at an unarmed motorist in a stolen car earlier this year.

The dismissals of Sgt. Mike Grigsby and Deputy Alejandro 'Alex' Ferrer were announced by the agency Nov. 17.

An investigation found that the officers were not in imminent danger and used excessive force when they closed in on the driver of a vehicle reported stolen and opened fire on him at a gas station on June 11.

Kenneth Lamonte Webster suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was charged with aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer and car theft. Those charges are under review by the State Attorney's Office.

The investigation also cited Grigsby, a supervisor with 15 years at the agency, for 'unsatisfactory performance.'

Ferrer had been cleared of four previous use-of-force complaints during his six years with the agency. Grigsby had been cleared in five other cases.

Grigsby and Ferrer can appeal their termination by requesting an administrative review before a sheriff's captain or a subsequent hearing before an appeals board.

A citizens' review board hearing also is pending.

(iSyndicate; The Florida Times-Union; Nov. 19, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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