TAMPA, Fla. --Pinellas County deputies released dashcam video of officers following a car with three teenagers who would later die when the car plunged into swampy water, WFTS-TV reports.
"They're in the water stranded, give a unit over on 275 just off Gandy," a deputy can be heard saying on the video. "They're done, they're done, they're 6-7 dude."
Video showing the pond, like a marsh, too thick for deputies to save the girls. In a press conference, the sheriff said officers took off their belts and rushed into the water to save them, but didn't get far. The dashcam video, however, only shows officers standing near the pond, watching the girls' car sink, and calling for help.
Laniya Miller and Ashaunti Butler, both 15, and Dominique Battle, 16, drowned. Now their families are hiring a lawyer and calling for a new investigation, saying officers aren't telling the whole story about girls they painted as criminals. Miller's mother fought tears speaking about her daughter.
"My daughter was not perfect," said Natasha Winkler. "What 15-year-old is?"
The girls are accused of stealing a car in a Walmart parking lot and running from police several times before crashing into the pond. Their attorney, Will Anderson, said that while evidence is still coming in, after conducting an independent investigation there are inconsistencies in statements from law enforcement.
"In my opinion this has been a rush to judgement," Anderson said. "In my opinion, this has been a smear campaign."