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June 29, 2011 — Orlando

Around midnight, four deputies responded to a domestic violence complaint involving Benjamin Whitted and his girlfriend, Brittany Flournory.

Peering through the back sliding glass door, Deputy Gabriel Ortiz-Tavarez saw Whitted straddling Flournory and choking her. Ortiz-Tavarez yelled for Whitted to "get off," and fired one round when he did not obey.

Ortiz also stated that he thought Whitted had a knife. Whitted was struck in the left elbow, with the bullet passing through into his left thigh and buttock. He retreated into a back bedroom, where deputies found him. Read more

Flournory contended that she was never choked and that the argument with Whitted stopped before police arrived. She could not explain the scratch on her neck but said it could not have come from Whitted.

A neighbor gave a statement saying that she saw Whitted punch Flournory in the chest and that the two were still fighting when deputies arrived.

A jury acquitted Whitted of battery.

No knife was found at the site of the shooting.

This was the 64th police shooting in Florida in 2011.

The same day, one officer shot one person in St. Cloud .

One day later, 11 officers shot four people in Miami .

2 ways this case compares to others

  1. Whitted did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  2. Whitted was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.

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