Three Jacksonville police officers have been arrested for tampering with evidence after one of them fatally shot a robbery suspect early this month.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced the arrest Thursday of Officers Kyle Kvies, age 26, Lance Griffis, age 33, and Brian Turner, age 48. All three are on leave without pay pending dismissal, Williams said.
He said a multi-faceted investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“I will always respond just like this when someone wearing this badge breaks the law, and I will do that every single time. This community and the men and women of JSO will be able to count on me to protect the integrity of this organization,” he said.
Williams said on the night of Feb. 6, the three officers were working undercover as drug buyers near the intersection of 5th Street and Barnett Street when the suspect, 22-year-old Jerome Allen, tried to rob them.
Following the shooting, the officers conspired to remove multiple cans of beer from their vehicle, which was then part of an active crime scene. Williams said he believes the officers were committing administrative violations by having the open beer in the car, but their act became criminal when they tampered with the crime scene.
Williams noted undercover officers are allowed to have alcoholic beverage containers in their vehicles as “props” during their operations to make themselves more believable.
The sheriff said more information will be released when the investigation concludes.
Update: This story was updated at 4:23 p.m. with the robbery suspect's name.