Florida police shooting suspect Dontae Morris walked out of prison two months ago, even though he had an outstanding warrant for a bad check, says the St. Petersburg Times. “That should have been detected,” Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said yesterday. It was, state corrections officials said. But it didn’t make any difference. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office told the state Department of Corrections that officials didn’t want to pick up Morris, so the prison let him go.
The felony warrant was still broadcast to officers statewide, which put it on the radar of two Tampa police officers who were killed while making an arrest based on it. The Times says officials can’t answer several key questions, including: If Morris’ charge was important enough to alert officers statewide to the warrant, why didn’t the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office pick him up from state prison? If authorities didn’t find the charge important enough, why didn’t they remove the statewide scope on the felony warrant?