Victor Steen

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Victor Steen
Born November 12, 1991
Died October 3, 2009
Pensacola
Parents Cassandra Steen

Victor Demarius Steen was a young male who was killed when struck by a Pensacola Police cruiser on October 3, 2009.

Steen was struck and killed by the cruiser of Pensacola Police Officer Jerald Ard while riding his bicycle in the Brownsville neighborhood of Pensacola. Officer Ard claims to have spotted Steen at an empty construction site around 1:50 AM and attempted to stop him for questioning. According to Ard, Steen fled the area. Ard pursued Steen in his police cruiser and attempted to fire a Taser weapon from the window of the moving cruiser.[1] The chase ended when Steen was struck by the cruiser and dragged until the cruiser came to a stop at a median in an empty parking lot at the corner of Cervantes and R Streets. Steen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Reaction[edit]

In the days after the incident, Officer Ard was placed on paid administrative leave, per Department policy. On October 13, he returned to plain-clothes duty doing administrative work for the Department's patrol division.[2]

Separate investigations were launched into the incident by the Florida Highway Patrol, which investigates vehicular accidents, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which investigates officer-involved fatalities.[1]

Effects on police policy[edit]

Steen's death triggered an internal administrative review of departmental policies,[3] and several changes were made in the months following Steen's death.

On October 9, 2009, the Department changed its Taser policy to specifically prohibit officers from firing the weapons from a moving vehicle or into a moving vehicle.[4] On November 19, the Department altered its vehicle pursuit policy. The changes prohibit officers from conducting vehicular pursuits "through apartment complexes, yards, or other populated off-road locations" and caution officers to maintain distance from bicyclists and pedestrians so that "the injury risk will not be elevated by a vehicle's proximity to the suspect."[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pensacola Police Department press release, October 3, 2009.
  2. "Ard back to work." Pensacola News Journal, October 22, 2009.
  3. Pensacola Police Department press release, October 7, 2009.
  4. "Pensacola police update Taser policy after teen's death." Pensacola News Journal, October 10, 2009.
  5. "Pensacola police revise chase policy after death." Pensacola News Journal, December 9, 2009.