Police chief statement on commissioner arrest

Chief Loren Lueders told Historic City News this morning that the St. Augustine Police Department treats all of our citizens the same; referring to the arrest on Saturday of city commissioner Errol D. Jones.

“We apply the law fairly and equally to everyone,” Lueders said in a midday statement.

The chief continued, “We stand behind our officers’ decisions in this situation and we believe we did not do anything wrong.”

Historic City News met with Public Information Officer Mark Samson this morning and received copies of the reports of the two incidents that led to Jones’ arrest at his brother’s home on Julia Street in St. Augustine.

We spoke with City Manager John Regan and Chief Lueders at that time and were told that the officer involved was a well-respected member of the police department — in fact, he was named “Officer of the Year” in an internal award ceremony last year.

In televised reports over the weekend and local news accounts published today, Jones made denials of the allegations contained in the investigative reports and charging affidavit filed at the time of his incarceration. Jones was released from custody yesterday after he posted a $500 appearance bond.

There is a workshop this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. and a regular city commission meeting following at 5:00 p.m. this evening. Jones is expected to attend the meetings and may use the opportunity to make a public announcement of his own concerning the weekend incidents.

Chief Lueders concluded his statement by saying, “I have conferred with the City Manager and I suggested to him in order to answer any concerns of our citizens, I will ask The Florida Department of Law Enforcement for an independent investigation of this incident.”

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph

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