RIVIERA BEACH RELEASES INTERNAL AFFAIRS INVESTIGATION CONCLUSION IN MARCH 6 CAR CRASH
RIVIERA BEACH, FL. (Jan. 12, 2023) – The Riviera Beach Police Internal Affairs division completed its investigation into a March 6, 2022 car crash that resulted in two deaths.
An Internal Affairs investigation was initiated on June 16, 2022 to determine if Sgt. Tabitha Smith violated any department policies. As a result of that review, the Internal Affairs officer concluded Sgt. Smith violated the vehicle pursuit policy. Consistent with Police Department policy, the Internal Affairs report was then forwarded to Interim Police Chief Joshua Lewis for review.
Lewis, after reviewing all of the evidence and information including videos, consultation with Command Staff and other experts in the field, arrived at a different conclusion than the Internal Affairs officer. Lewis found the officer did not violate the Department’s pursuit policy, because the vehicle driver immediately fled the scene at a high rate of speed without headlights after hitting another vehicle and was an immediate danger to the public.
“This is a tragic situation that we would have hoped to have avoided, however, our officer acted appropriately and consistent with the Department’s policy,” Lewis said.
City Administration is currently reviewing the findings of the report to make a final decision.
The City is unable to comment at this time, but will provide an update after a decision is made.
Public Information Officer