Police Chief: Officer fired for using taser on man who was ‘not physically resisting’ during arrest

St. Petersburg, FLORIDA – On January 26, 2022, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway convened a Command Review Board to review allegations that Officer Matthew Cavinder improperly used his taser during an arrest, violating Department policy and procedures. The Board sustained the allegations and Cavinder’s employment was terminated. Chief Holloway will speak to media today, January 27, at 10 a.m. at the St. Petersburg Police Dept.

Cavinder was sworn as a St. Petersburg Police Officer on March 23, 2020. He was assigned to patrol District 3.

Summary: On June 20, 2021, at 4:55 p.m., Officer Matthew Cavinder responded to a call to trespass a panhandler at the Chevron Gas Station, 4890 22nd Avenue South. When he arrived, he made contact with Timothy Grant, who was in a wheelchair, and learned he had outstanding warrants for Failure to Appear. During the arrest, Cavinder, ‘drive stunned’ (tasered without prongs) Grant multiple times even though he was not physically resisting in a way that warranted being tasered. When Cavinder’s supervisor reviewed the use of force, including the body camera video, it was immediately forwarded to the Office of Professional Standards for internal investigation.

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A report will be forwarded to the FDLE Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to determine whether Cavinder will keep his state certification.


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