Clearwater Officer Nicolas Giordano reminded of chase policy after fatal crash

5:33 PM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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Clearwater, FL -- Clearwater Police Officer Nicolas Giordano will be reminded of the department's chase policy after a cyclist he was pursuing crashed and died on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

Keith Williamson was traveling more than 120-miles an hour with Giordano in pursuit when he crashed into the back of a state trooper on February 20. Williamson was killed in the accident.

After the accident, Clearwater Police denied that Giordano was pursuing Williamson. Department policy says if a motorist does not pull over, the pursuit should end if it does not involve violent felonies. But attorney John Trevena says recently released dash cam video from Giordano's squad car shows the officer chases Williamson into Hillsborough County.

"The video contradicts the officer's version of events. So we know conclusively that the officer lied in this case," Trevena told 10 News Monday.

Trevena has been hired by Williamson's family to look into the matter.

"What would happen to us if we chased a car or motorcyclist in that traffic? We'd be charged with vehicular homicide," Trevena added.

Before Clearwater's Police Chief released his report on the crash Monday, Trevena said Giordano should be fired and claimed Williamson would still be alive if the officer had simply followed the department's policy.

In the Chief's report is says, "I find that the actions of Officer Giordano are arguably a pursuit due to the speeds involved and perceived actions of the motorcycle group. However, the actions are also arguably not a pursuit, due to the facts that the event was short in duration and the attempts to stop were on two different violators. Either way, I find that corrective action in the form of an Employee Notice is appropriate and consistent with disciplinary guidelines implemented to address officer actions in these circumstances. In this Employee Notice, Officer Giordano will be instructed not to re-engage on a different violator and continue at speeds necessary to attempt a second traffic stop when all suspects operating the motorcycles had already demonstrated a reckless disregard for life and the driving public."

Williamson was traveling eastbound on the Courtney Campbell Causeway with other motorcyclists when Giordano tried to pull him over.

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