Fla. police use driver database to snoop

Jan. 23, 2013 at 7:36 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Some Florida police officers have been using the state's driver information database to check out celebrities, relatives and others, investigators say.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said 74 officers came under suspicion in 2012 of making unauthorized use of the Driving and Vehicle Information Database, known as D.A.V.I.D. That was a big jump from 15 in 2011, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

One Oviedo police sergeant resigned after making unauthorized searches for a bank teller he was interested in. Highway Patrol Trooper Donna Watts, who pulled over a police officer during a high-speed chase, filed a lawsuit in December charging at least 88 law enforcement officers have pulled up her confidential information.

"It is apparent that something is not working when it comes to the D.A.V.I.D. system," said Mirta Desir, the West Palm Beach lawyer who represents Watts.

The Sentinel said its research found at least 91 searches in the database for George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who faces a murder charge for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

There were 20 searches for Casey Anthony, who was acquitted in 2011 of killing her 2-year-old daughter.

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