Wilbur Smith, name partner of the law firm that represents Mr. Allen, sent a formal letter to the city asking for an outside review of policies. This additionally noteworthy as Mr. Smith served as Fort Myers mayor several years back.
However, FMPD Chief Doug Baker has responded that he intends to keep the investigation in house. This, in spite of comments he made off camera to WINK News that he doesn’t think his officers did anything wrong. That WINK article has been replaced by one that includes Baker’s on camera responses. However, it still appears that he has already made up his mind that officers acted appropriately.
Keep in mind, it may have been appropriate for officers to stop and detain Allen based on the description if the description matched. There seems to be some dispute whether it did. It was not appropriate, as the State Attorney has said, to use an unduly suggestive procedure to ID Mr. Allen.
The FMPD should adopt a policy that favors using lineups for identification, and only uses one person ID when there are major exigent circumstances. Technology today allows for a 6-pack (a 6 person photo lineup) to be generated quite quickly. Best practices would involve presenting the lineup double-blind (that is, the presenter doesn’t know who the suspect is, so as to not subconsciously tip off the witness). Changes need to be made to the FMPD policy. An outside agency should be called in for a review, to ensure the integrity of the investigation.
Our earlier Nate Allen coverage: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/tag/nate-allen/