On March 31st, 2016, three African teenage girls, Laniya Miller (15), Ashaunti Butler (15), and Dominique Battle (16), were drowned and murdered by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputies in St. Petersburg, Florida.
They were illegally chased by Deputy Howard Skaggs and pursued down a winding path that led to a pond. The car of the girls landed fifteen feet away from 17 sheriff’s deputies who are all trained as first responders (meaning they are trained for water rescue), and they did absolutely nothing for almost six whole minutes except watched as the girls drowned.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri lied about the events of the case and even praised his cowardly deputies. He also closed the investigation.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department has a vicious rap sheet with the Black Communities of St. Petersburg, Florida. They have murdered African people and kept murderers like Skaggs employed (Skaggs in 2002 also killed a black teenager – Laboriel Felton, 18 – by beating him to death and leaving him to drown in a pond).
We’re saying justice for these three girls in the form of the immediate resignation of Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, criminal charges against Deputy Howard Skaggs and all other deputies involved in the murder of the girls, reparations to the families of the girls, and Black Community Control of the Police.