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Report: Officers disagree over actions taken in Demarcus Semer shooting

Posted at 5:54 PM, May 08, 2017

In an Internal Affairs summary NewsChannel 5 received Monday, the two officers involved in the Demarcus Semer shooting have different views on what happened the night Semer was killed.

Officer Keith Holmes, found to have violated 12 department policies, said he had received training on how to extract someone from a vehicle.  When asked why he didn’t have Sergeant Brian MacNaught come to his side of the vehicle to remove Semer, he said the Sergeant was a superior and, “Because we weren’t dealt that hand of cards that night.”

In his interview, Sergeant MacNaught said he was “displeased” that Officer Holmes shot at the vehicle while he was inside, agreeing it was an “inherently dangerous” thing for Holmes to do.  Officer Holmes said it was necessary based on the circumstances and that if in the same situation, he would do the exact same thing again. 

Sgt. MacNaught felt differently saying it was possible to learn from mistakes and there were other options he might try if confronted with a similar situation again.

Semer, 21, was killed in April of 2016 after fleeing from a traffic stop.  

Over on Avenue O, across from the baseball and football fields where Semer starred as a youth, Elijah Smith reflects on what happened.

“It’s been a trying thing… remembering every day," said Smith, Semer's grandfather.

Smith says learning that the two officers’ last day on the job was Monday,  is some good news for the family. “I’m glad that some good comes out of it.  Because it’s been a long, long, long journey.”

Smith says that Fort Pierce Chief Diane Hobley-Burney is trying to bring the community and the police closer together.