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Mother of teen who drowned in stolen car filing lawsuit against Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office


The mother of one of three teens who drowned in a stolen car last march has announced her plans to take the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to court.

Yashica Clemmons and attorney Aaron O’Neal announced their strategy at an International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement event, an organization known for anti-police rhetoric and actions.

Clemmons is the mother of Dominique Battle, a 16-year-old St.Petersburg native who decided to carjack a Honda Accord with her two fifteen-year-old friends, Ashaunti Butler and LaNiya Miller.


According to the Tampa Bay Times, Battle and her cohorts led police on a chase, despite an alleged policy against deputies pursuing stolen cars. Attorney Aaron O’Neal claims that PCSO Sergeant Howard Skaggs may have attempted a “pit” maneuver, sending the Honda into a pond where the girls drowned.

“We believe these girls were murdered,” said O’Neal, a Maryland attorney who also serves as general counsel for the Uhurus. “We want to get to the facts and the truth about what really happened that day.”

O’Neal points to the audio of deputies talking to one another following the impact of the Honda into the water, saying “they’re done” and saying they heard screams. While the dashcam footage does not show the deputies overtly attempting a rescue, the footage does show deputies without uniforms and belts heading to and from the water.

“We can see clearly from the video that there was no clear urgency to rescue those girls,” O’Neal said.

Media outlets quickly spread misinformation, falsely claiming the deputies deliberately let the teen suspects -who had been arrested several times over the past year- die because they were black.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says the claims are “ridiculous.”

“If they think they’ve got a viable claim, bring it and stop doing press conferences ,” Gualtieri said Tuesday. “There was absolutely zero wrongdoing on the part of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. They’ve presented no facts or evidence.”

The Sheriff insists that the deputy was speeding to arrive on scene, not to pursue the Honda. Deputies were keeping the Honda in sight until the incident turned into a foot chase or the came to a halt entirely. He also says that none of his agency’s cars struck the Honda and that two deputies attempted to rescue, but turned back due to dangerous conditions in the murky water. Lastly, he says the dark tint of the windows did not allow Deputies to see who -or what- was inside the car.

Screen shot form video.
Screen shot form video.

Urhurus chairman Omali Yeshitela says that “Dominique was a caring, loving child who was loved by her mother, her family, her friends and her neighbors.”

Despite this claim, Sheriff Gualtieri says the responsibility of the incident rests on the driver who refused to stop when she was ordered to pull over, as well of the parents of the thieves for failing to keep track of three female minors who have already accrued several auto theft charges.

Meanwhile, NAACP St.Petersburg branch president Maria Scruggs says that they are requesting records on the incident, though they have not contacted the girls’ families. In addition, the organization is reaching out to authorities and the Department of Juvenile Justice to find a way to put a stop to the rash of teen carjackings in recent years, “To see if we can proactive in trying to prevent this kind of travesty in the future.”

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  1. The Lawyers that are filing this law suit and the Judge that accepts this law suit should be disbarred because the only reason they are allowing this suit is because the girls were Black. All three had car theft on the records and they were in the stolen car when it went into the pond. Dash board cams showed the car was under 15 feet of water and the police were not responsible for the accident.The girls were criminals with records so if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then it is a fucking duck. I don’t care why they were in the mans car because this tactic is just another way of placing the blame on the victim.These were not good girls and the police were not at fault.

    • Partially true, but the main reason for this lawsuit is the legal fees are paid for by a domestic terror organization (Uhuru Socialist Party). It’s more tempting to sue when you have someone paying all the fees. The Uhurus have no problem financing things like frivolous lawsuits, riots, hate videos, protests because they receive large “anonymous” cash donations from international Socialist and Communist parties. Communists and Socialists everywhere benefit from the ensuing chaos and mockery of the American justice system, and the Uhurus are holding their own people hostage as their cities become warzones.

  2. This woman is an imbecile. Her hoodlum daughter has no responsibility?? She stole a car probably without a drivers license, she herself broke the law by speeding and probably endangered the lives of many including the two 15 year olds with her. No wonder she is dead. One less mouth to feed is all I have to say.

  3. Urhurus chairman Omali Yeshitela says that “Dominique was a caring, loving child who was loved by her mother, her family, her friends and her neighbors.”

    Uh, yeah…

    a 16-year-old St.Petersburg native who decided to carjack a Honda Accord with her two fifteen-year-old friends, Ashaunti Butler and LaNiya Miller.

    …and lets see the records of these wonderful “teen suspects -who had been arrested several times over the past year!”

    …well geez, when one commits criminal acts repeatedly without regards for others, why should others care? Its called KARMA…and since the young ladies(?) can steal property of others and they screw up – well, by their own acts they made a bad decision.

    Lets put it this way, this is a money-grab via the race card – the mothers attempting to cash in on the stupidity of their daughters criminal acts – this has gotten really tiring and we as taxpayers are tired of rewarding bad parents when their children die while committing criminal acts multiple times! Where were these wonderful parents when they should have been teaching their children right from wrong? Bad, Bad, BAD Parents and BAD PARENTING SKILLS!!!

    …when will we stop putting up with this shit???

    Look – when one brings children into this world – one is responsible for them until they reach legal age – PERIOD!!! – be lousy parents, expect lousy results! Personally I think the parents of these wonderful ‘criminal’ children owe the victim the replacement of his or her car.

    …Just Plain TIRED Of This SHIT!!!

  4. This is a great opportunity for the legal system to push back against the entitlement generation. These girls earned their Darwin Award fair and square – and their larcenous ways were almost certainly learned from their parents. I hope the police department mops the floor with these horrible parents.

  5. Mother is: 1-an idiot, 2-a p*ss poor parent and needs to accept that her ‘beloved’ dtr was a street criminal, plain and simple. One question: where’s the father? Crap like this really jacks up my blood pressure-blood squirt out of my eyes type.

  6. After reading this joke of a story, my faith in humanity was restored by the comments under it. I certainly don’t wish ill will on anyone, but if you mess with the bull, you get the horns.

  7. You see now how the parents attitude of “my child does no wrong” ends up in tragedy. Now mama wants to line her pockets on the life of the child she should have taught better. So sad.

  8. If this had been the City of St Pete, the mayor would have already apologized and fired the cops. There would be a park built in these girls honor. Luckily, Pinellas County is still enforcing the law North of Central avenue. I am sure that if Whitey cannot be blamed and these wretched baby factories who lost their precious little babies don’t get a huge check, the Uhurus will incite another riot. By the way, the Yoo-Roo-hoos are a terror organization. They played a MAJOR role in turning St Pete into another Detroit/Newark/New Orleans and as long as black politics and liberal morons keep trying to bribe them to avoid another riot, St Pete is just Congo with a Baseball team. The good news: These 3 precious girls wont be cranking out babies anytime soon. Time for the citizens to wake up, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s easier to move to a new city than to change, huh comrade? Get those Molotov cocktails ready Omali!


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