April 8, 2011
Story by wftv.com
SANFORD, Fla. —
Another Sanford officer is off of the force Wednesday, and this time it is for involving an officer’s teenage son in an undercover drug investigation.
Former Officer De’Anthony Shamar had dozens of complaints against him, even before the latest incident. Shamar has been on the department’s radar for a while.
The police department says his firing is an accumulation of several problems over the years, and it appears the latest internal investigation was the final straw.
Interim police Chief Steve Harriett recommended firing Shamar after an internal investigation determined he tried to use a teenage “explorer scout,” who is the son of another officer, during an undercover drug investigation.
Harriett was brought in to clean-up a department that has battled a slew of problems, and the move to get rid of an officer with a history of trouble, may bring even more trouble.
Shamar has had 38 complaints, and 13 were sustained in his 9-year career. One of the complaints was for blowing through a stop sign in front of other officers as a prank.
Shamar is expected to challenge his firing, and he once sued the department unsuccessfully claiming a racially hostile work environment.
The recent incident started outside “The Tilted Kilt” restaurant in Lake Mary. The police explorer, Gio Rivera, who was 18 years old at the time, was involved in a minor car crash.
The driver of the other car offered Rivera prescription drugs to settle it. The internal investigation found former Officer Shamar contacted ATF and launched an investigation into the suspected drug dealer without notifying his chain of command.
Shamar planned to use Rivera to introduce the suspect to another undercover officer.
But Shamar contends at 18, “Gio is a grown man,” and was no longer a police “explorer” when this happened. According to the report, he also said this would be an ATF investigation since it didn’t even happen in Sanford.
The police explorer never arranged another meeting with the suspected drug dealer, and was not put in harms way.
Shamar did not want to comment to WFTV on the issue.
Sanford police officials are still looking for a new chief to head the troubled department. The former chief, Brian Tooley, was forced to retire early following a fight involving another officer’s son, Justin Collison.
Over the summer, officers were reprimanded for misusing overtime, and last February, several officers were disciplined for sending inappropriate computer messages.