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Former police chief says CCPD should have given Dixie Roadhouse fight investigation to third party

Should the Cape Coral investigation into three FMPD officers been given to a third party to avoid bias?
Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 20:14:03-04

CAPE CORAL — We've been trying to learn more about the police investigation into a fight at Dixie Roadhouse that might have involved three off-duty FMPD officers.

So far, we've requested dash cam and body cam footage from the Dixie Roadhouse incident, as well as the police report. So far Cape Coral Police hasn't released anything, but a law enforcement expert we spoke with said, that's not surprising.

“What the public needs to understand is that, by Florida law, that all investigations are confidential, and results are released upon the conclusion of an investigation," said Walt Zalisco, the former Police Chief of Oak Grove, FL.

But Zalisko said it is surprising that the Cape Coral Police Department is investigating Fort Myers officers.

“Cape Coral police officers and Fort Myers police officers occasionally work hand-in-hand on matters of mutual concern. So, to show that it’s going to be an unbiased investigation, give it to a third party, which would be FDLE," said Zalisco.

FDLE stands for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It often handles investigations when there is, or when there could be, a perceived conflict of interest or perception of bias. We spoke to a man who says he was the victim in the Dixie Road fight, who said he already sees that bias.

"That’s what blows my mind is they used those 3 guys as the witnesses against me. The 3 guys that almost beat me to death," said Robert Volk.

But, Zalisko says it could be up to three months before we learn more from police how involved this case is.

“The fact that this occurred at a bar, or a nightclub, there are going to be plenty of witnesses that they’re going to have to interview. It wasn’t just the victim that they interview. They need witnesses who were present. They’re going to want to get statements from them to see what they observed and so forth. So, there’s going to be a lot involved in this," said Zalisco.

On Tuesday, we also learned the names of three individuals who might have been involved in this incident, and we requested police reports that include those names. The department has not given us those reports.