Keith Holmes: Former Fort Pierce police officer files complaint against several city leaders

Posted at 12:43 AM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 18:56:49-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A former Fort Pierce police officer says he has filed a formal complaint against several city leaders, alleging “egregious ethical violations.”

Keith Holmes’ complaint centers around Fort Pierce Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney, City Manager Nick Mimms, and Major Steve Courtoy.

Holmes addressed the city commission Monday in his first time speaking publicly since he was fired from his job in May.

An internal investigation found Holmes, and Sgt. Brian MacNaught violated multiple department polices leading up to the shooting death of Demarcus Semer in 2016. Both were terminated as a result of that investigation.

WPTV obtained the written copy of a speech he read to commissioners.

He begins with Major Courtoy.

“Major Courtoy was tasked with investigating the internal complaint filed by the Chief of Police in regard to an officer involved shooting. During this investigation it appears that Major Courtoy violated the Officer’s Bill of Rights as well as Departmental Policy and Procedure, on more than one occasion. Major Courtoy took things out of context from the recorded statements and plugged them into his so-called investigate summary where he saw fit, and to sway the summary based on a predetermined conclusion.”

Holmes also says it appeared Courtoy was changing UCR codes to wrongly reflect a drop in crime. UCR codes are used to categorize and track crimes in the city.

He gives an example where a case involving a gunshot victim changed to an information report. Holmes states Courtoy was paid to teach supervisors how to rewrite codes. “This was all reported to FDLE in October 2016...FDLE never investigated the criminal or administrative complaints that were filed.”

Holmes also says Courtoy denied him and Sgt. Brian MacNaught medical evaluations following the Demarcus Semer shooting, despite the fact he says he was seriously injured.

Holmes accuses City Manager Nick Mimms of driving drunk to the crime scene where Demarcus Semer was shot and killed, then burying a complaint.

“During his Grand Jury Testimony, he stated that he was drunk and drove to the scene of the shooting and met with the Chief of Police and on May 6th 2017 he was let go by the Ft. Pierce Police Officer Anton from a misdemeanor he committed.”

Holmes also brings attention to Mimms’ son’s involvement in the Semer incident. Mimms son was inside a home Semer was running toward when he was shot. Mimms helped his son write his witness statement.

“The City Manager is biased in regard to the underlying incident since his son was tangentially involved.”

Lastly, Holmes addresses his former boss, Police Chief Diane Hobley-Burney.

He criticizes some of her hiring decisions.

Holmes also says there is evidence that Hobley Burney has manipulated UCR codes to reflect a drastic decrease in crime when crime has not actually dropped.

“I will go under oath, and approximately half the police department is willing to do so as well, in regard to the things that the Chief and Major Courtoy have done.”

Since a complaint has been filed, Holmes expects an outside agency will look into the complaint.

Hobley-Burney said Monday that she has not been able to review the complaint, which was filed just before 5 p.m. Monday. She says she welcomes anyone to review her use of UCR codes.