New lead investigator wanted for police shooting

Posted at 11:48 PM, Apr 26, 2016

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Some Fort Pierce city leaders are calling for a change in the way a deadly officer involved shooting will be investigated.

City Commissioner Reggie Sessions says he has lead the charge to call for the U.S Department of Justice or the FDLE to lead the investigation, rather than the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

After two Fort Pierce Police Officers were involved in the shooting death of 21-year-old Demarcus Semer, Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney called for the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the shooting.

She wanted to be fair and unbiased in the search for truth, removing her agency from the investigation.

“Transparency is the most important because we’re looking for justice. Justice is the key here. I want justice, the family wants justice, the community wants justice. That’s what we’re searching for,” said Hobley-Burney.

Sessions wants to take it a step further.

“It’s going to take an agency other than our local sheriff’s department,” Sessions said at a justice rally outside the Fort Pierce Police Department Tuesday.

Dozens of residents demanded a fair investigation outside the police department in a peaceful rally.

Sessions says if the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office continues to lead the investigation, the most accurate information may not come forward. “Well, I’ll say this. There’s animosity between this community and the sheriff’s office. With that being said and done, there’s not much trust,” Sessions said.

Because of that animosity, Sessions worries witnesses may never come forward with information critical to the investigation.

If an outside agency were to come in, Sessions believes witnesses may be more likely to speak. “The sheriff’s office, based on what I’m hearing, they’re not getting the cooperation of the citizens. Then bring in an independent agency and perhaps we can get a different outcome so at the end of the day we can have the truth,” Sessions said.

A special meeting with city leaders is set for Wednesday at 6PM at the city commission chambers. Sessions is hopeful a vote and decision will be made whether to pursue the Department of Justice or the FDLE as lead investigators.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office would not comment about the special meeting.