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By Brent Kallestad
The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An investigator was fired Thursday and four other Tallahassee police officers were suspended two weeks without pay for their roles in a botched drug sting that led to the death of a young informant.
Additionally, Police Chief Dennis Jones and his top deputy, John Proctor, received formal reprimands.
A grand jury reported Aug. 1 that it found police undercover operations negligent in the shooting death of 23-year-old Rachel Hoffman, who was killed in the aborted sting in early May. Two men - Andrea Green and Deneilo Bradshaw - await trial on first-degree murder charges.
"While we cannot change the events of May 7, we can make the type of changes within the department to help ensure our future actions are consistent with policy," said Jones, who noted violations involving drug buy-and-bust policies as well as the use of cash in such operations.
Hoffman, a recent Florida State University graduate, had been arrested for using and selling marijuana and ecstasy. Police said the drug investigation was a way for her to avoid prison time.
She was given $13,000 to buy drugs and a gun from suspected dealers at a park in a sting arranged by police. Her body was found two days later in rural Taylor County.
Investigator Ryan Pender was fired while Capt. Chris Connell, Lt. Taltha White and Sgts. Rod Looney and David Odom were suspended.
Jones, who was reprimanded by Tallahassee City manager Anita Favors Thompson, said the four suspended officers will be reassigned upon their return to work.
The Florida Police Benevolent Association, which represents police officers across the state, said the sanctioned officers all had 15 days to file a grievance over the disciplinary action.
"Let us not forget that these officers have over 80 years of law enforcement experience and exemplary work histories," Big Bend PBA President Steve Slade said Thursday.
Pender, the internal affairs report said, was fired for a series of mistakes, including losing track of the informant on the evening of the bungled sting.
Meanwhile, Hoffman's family was still looking for an apology from Tallahassee police.
"It's time that the police department accept responsibility for what happened here," said Lance Block, who is representing the family. "Just like the police department expects law breakers to accept responsibility for their actions. They need to make amends."

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