Orlando police officer cleared in deadly shooting of Derek Diaz

A grand jury has decided not to charge an Orlando police officer involved in a deadly shooting last year, bringing an end to months of speculation surrounding the case.

Last July, the officer shot and killed 26-year-old Derek Diaz while on patrol downtown, according to Orlando police. The incident occurred during what the department described as "proactive patrol" near Jefferson and Orange avenues.

Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith stated at the time that officers believed Diaz was engaged in drug activity and had failed to comply with their commands. Smith said Diaz appeared to make a movement, suggesting he was reaching for a gun when the officer shot and killed him. However, no firearm was found on Diaz following the shooting, Smith confirmed.

"The officer did not belong on the force at all. This is not what we need when it comes to community policing and improving relations with policing," said Lawanna Gelzer, a community advocate. "No one had threatened him. Nothing had been done for him to warrant him using deadly force on a person sitting in their car 


Diaz's family enlisted the services of attorney Ben Crump and characterized his death as a "traumatizing loss." His mother contended that he was a victim of police brutality and inadequate training.

Diaz was a father to a young girl.

Attempts to obtain a statement from Ben Crump's legal team regarding the grand jury's decision are still pending at this time.