FMPD has indicated they will do an audit or internal review of their practices in the wake of the wrongful detention of Nate Allen. Allen and his lawyers have called for an outside investigation into the situation, which Fort Myers does not seem inclined to do.
How do you know that the internal audit won’t find any wrongdoing? When the police chief has already said that the officers didn’t do anything wrong, as he told WINK News. [Ed. the story in this link has been amended since we first published this article.] He wouldn’t go on camera to say that. So, the boss has already prejudged the situation before his own department conducts their review. What are the chances that his employees contradict him on the situation.
More troubling, is that the State Attorney’s Office has already determined that FMPD used a bad procedure in the case. Their poor technique basically framed Allen. What’s more, they have made it more difficult to catch and prosecute the actual criminal who committed the act. It appears they violated their own policy by using the suggestive technique.
There should be a change to the policy to discourage any one-person show (including 1 person photo identification). The court have ruled clearly and repeatedly that such procedures are unduly suggestive, and will often lead to exclusion of the identification in court. The FMPD policy should follow the law.
Crimcourts joins Nate Allen and his attorney, Sawyer Smith, and city council Candidates Barnes and Sims in calling for an outside review of this incident, and the related FMPD policies regarding identification procedures.