Fort Myers Police Department review board declines further officer discipline

Reporter: Peter Fleischer Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Two Fort Myers police officers were disciplined in 2022 after an internal investigation found they conducted themselves poorly at a crime scene, and their ensuing investigation didn’t match department standards.

Tuesday night, the Fort Myers Police Citizen’s Review Board assessed the officer’s punishment and voted on whether it was adequate, or if the department needed to consider harsher action.

It took two months for the review board to pore over material for the case, such as hundreds of pages of FMPD documents and numerous body camera videos.

But the wait continued at the meeting after a heated debate. And with votes in both directions, the board decided to sustain the punishment of the officers, rather than recommend further discipline.

For the victim, Johanna Lagrange, the decision felt like another blow after nearly a year of pain and frustration.

“Nobody else should ever have to go through this and not get the safety and service that we deserve,” Lagrange said.

For Lagrange, the review board’s decision is disappointing but at least represents a bit of closure. But it doesn’t help her faith in FMPD.

“Not a lot of faith at all. Neither do my neighbors or my friends… no,” Lagrange said.

FMPD Lieutenant Lesa Breneman did tell the board, neither officer has had disciplinary issues since this mishandled case last June.

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