The new Orange-Osceola state attorney is making his first major policy change concerning officer-involved shootings.
Multiple sources told Channel 9 investigative reporter Shannon Butler that under State Attorney Andrew Bain’s policy, officer-involved shootings will go to a grand jury.
That means the state attorney will not make a decision when it comes to charges on officers who are involved in incidents like shootings. Previously in Orange can Osceola counties, the state attorney would make those decisions.
The decision is not unusual. Circuits all over the U.S. and in the state of Florida do this. Channel 9 has not heard back from the state since our request for a statement on Tuesday.
Sources who have seen the policy said the cases that will go to the grand jury are the ones that “could have led to serious bodily injury or death. That could include not only shootings but also other use-of-force cases like ones involving a Taser.
Sources say law enforcement agencies were told Tuesday about the new policy. Orlando police said they just received the policy and are reviewing it.
Some departments said they have already told the officers who are waiting for decisions on their officer-involved shootings about the new policy.
Channel 9 was told one of the first cases that will go to the grand jury will be the deputies involved in the Target shooting in Osceola County. Those deputies have been already waiting more than a year for a decision by the state. Now they’ll go in front of a grand jury.
We don’t know yet how many cases are outstanding right now and will head to a grand jury or how long before the state will convene one.
There are questions on whether or not this will speed up these cases.
The state attorney’s office is expected to announce policy changes on Thursday.