Dominique M Battle, 16

Pinellas County, Florida
March 31, 2016

Agencies: Florida Department of Law Enforcement FDLE | Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Florida

Cause of death: Vehicular

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Last updated: almost 4 years ago


Video taken from a police cruiser dash cam shows that sheriff’s deputies made no attempt to save three drowning Florida teens who drove into a cemetery pond after stealing a car last month.

16-year-old Dominique Battle, 15-year-old Ashaunti Butler, and 15-year-old Laniya Miller all died on March 31, following a car chase with the sheriff previously stating that officers on the scene dropped their gun belts and waded into the water trying to save the screaming teens.

In the video, Pinellas County deputies can be heard standing by their cruiser, with one officer yelling, “I hear them yelling, I think!”

In a press conference following the tragic accident, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri gave a detailed history of the three teens’ history of stealing cars before commending his officers.

“Deputies wading out into the water were just sinking (into the muck) and couldn’t get to the car,” the sheriff said, an account that seems to contradict the video and audio evidence.

Legal Action

It was reported on May 12, 2016 that Yashica Clemmons, the mother of Dominique M. Battle, had decided to sue the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Community and Family Efforts