Pinellas Jail Deputy Suspended Over Use Of Weapon

LARGO – A detention deputy at the Pinellas County Jail has been suspended for 15 days after he arced an electronic control weapon near the head of an inmate who was sleeping, and then misrepresented what he had done, according to a Pinellas sheriff’s memo released this morning.

On July 27, Deputy Michael Kenefic arced the weapon next to the inmate’s head in an effort to wake up the inmate, the statement said. This was done “without provocation” and was not necessary, the statement said.

Kenefic violated a number of policies, including one that required him to notify a supervisor before becoming involved in a potential use-of-force situation, the statement said. In addition, he was found to have lied about what happened, as a report he filed on the incident was refuted by a videotape of it, along with witnesses’ remarks, the statement said.

Kenefic’s 15-day suspension begins Dec. 2.

In other incidents made public this morning by the sheriff’s office:

Communications Technician Barchet Elmore was suspended for five days after he was involved in a wreck on March 21, and then arrested and charged with drunken driving, with a blood-alcohol level of about .165. Florida law presumes impairment at a level of .08. Elmore pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of reckless driving, but the judge in the case imposed sanctions appropriate for a drunken driving conviction.

Deputy Kevin Phillips was suspended for eight hours after he was charged with disorderly intoxication following an incident April 16 involving Largo police.


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