Miccosukee Cop Rants About Tatiana Furry Accident Online?
As reported in "Renegade Road," New Times' feature published today about the suspicious secrecy surrounding a tribal police department's handling of a fatal car accident, Miccosukee cops have not uttered public word one about the death of Tatiana Furry.
Unless you count a deeply unprofessional rant on a gossipy law enforcement message board posted apparently by the accident's lead investigator.
Det. Russell Barnes, along with fellow Miccosukee Officer Dennis Zayas, have long been posters at leoaffairs.com, a website where cops engage in shop talk with often shocking candor.
Especially since Tatiana's January 21 accident, the Miccosukee Police Department message board has been home to frequent attacks on the tribe's cops (none of whom are Native American) for meting out lax justice, letting drunk drivers off the hook, and bending the law in deference to high-ranking tribesmembers.
In March, an anonymous poster called the Miccosukee Police "cowards" and directly blasted Barnes for his extremely tardy notification of the Furrys, saying, "Remember RB, you called the family 14 hours later, that blood is on your hands."
On the 27th of that month, a poster with username "Russell" and signing off with the initials RB (Barnes used the same signatures in previous posts) referred to Tatiana's father by his first name in a detailed response:
"What you don't know is that during that quote "14 hours", we had been trying to reach her family. Maybe if Jack would have cleaned out his voice mail box, we would have gotten through sooner... So before you start running your [sic] F---ing Mouth get your facts straight find out what the details are I [know] what happened because I was there... The only coward I see here is you!"
Barnes, who had previously denied New Times' request for information because "the accident is still under investigation," did not respond to two messages left on his voicemail attempting to verify he authored the screed. Will Furry, Tatiana's brother, thinks it was written by the detective: "It's unbelievable to me that the police would refuse to tell us anything about the circumstances of the crash but then chat so casually about it online."
If it was indeed posted by Barnes, it remains the only public comment from Miccosukee officials on the accident.