ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The ABC Action News I-Team has obtained hundreds of pages of documents, 911 calls, police transmissions, and a police interview that shed new light on the murder of veteran St. Petersburg Police Officer David Crawford.
One of the most emotional pieces of evidence released is the police interview of teen-aged suspect Nicholas Lindsey.
In the interview, the 16-year old tearfully denies killing Officer Crawford to his parents. His parents make the difficult choice to convince their son to confess.
Crawford was shot and killed while searching for a burglary suspect in February. He was the third St. Petersburg officer killed in a span of just 30 days. Lindsey was arrested within 24 hours of the shooting. Investigators say he initially denied his involvement, but eventually confessed.
On the video tape, Lindsey’s parents are brought in to see him.
“I did not do it,” Lindsey tells them.
Over more than 30 minutes, Lindsey’s family talks to him. At many points, he breaks down in tears, and at one point, sits on the floor, sobbing. His parents hold him as he cries.
“It’s going to be ok, son. It’s going to be ok,” Lindsey’s father says.
The parents try to get him to come clean. “You gotta tell the truth, son,” Lindsey’s father says. “We’re right here,” says Lindsey’s mother.
“I was not there!” Lindsey tearfully shouts.
“We’re trying to help you. You need to talk to us,” his parents plead.
The sound cuts out for a large chunk of the video.
Parts of the recordings were edited by the State Attorney’s office, presumably so as not to jeopardize the confession during trial. At a later point in the video, there is sound but no video. You can hear Lindsey’s father comforting the teen while he sobs in the background. It appears, from the tone of the conversation, that Lindsey has admitted his involvement.
“You’re doing the right thing now,” his father says.
“It’s ok, son. This is the price we pay for the things we do,” he adds, as an officer reads Lindsey his rights.
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