Nov. 25, 2013 at 10:46amA Death in St. Augustine

Officer-Involved Domestic Violence

On Tuesday, Nov. 26, Frontline presents a program called “A Death in St. Augustine,” the story of a woman who was found dead from a gunshot to the mouth on the night she broke up with her boyfriend, a Florida deputy sheriff. 

The program will air on KSPS DT Spokane, from 8-9 p.m. Since the program is a special digital premiere, it is available now to view online. See link below.

In this cutting edge program, a collaboration by Frontline and the New York Times, comes the story of officer-involved domestic violence. Domestic abuse is believed to be the most frequently unreported crime, and it is particularly corrosive when it involves the police.

In the compelling NYT companion piece, titled “Two Gunshots on a Summer Night,” journalists follow the story of Michelle O’Connell, 24, who died from a gunshot in the mouth. Next to her body was a semiautomatic pistol that belonged to her boyfriend, Jeremy Banks, a deputy sheriff in St. Johns County, Fla.

After local authorities ruled that she had shot herself, a state investigative agency disagreed, suggesting that her death was a result of domestic violence. Ultimately, a special prosecutor closed the case without bringing charges.

The program skillfully investigates the death of this single, young mother and what can go wrong when the police are faced with domestic violence allegations within their own ranks.

The story is close to my own heart since I’ve written several articles on the topic including one in 2010 on the case of Sgt. Jeffrey Grahn who shot his wife, two of her friends, and himself, at a bar in Gresham, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. If you’re interested, I’ve included links to the stories below.

The program is available now to view online.




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