FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Longtime Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Dingman is accused of not only leaking surveillance video showing the deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport earlier this year.
He’s also accused of trying to cover up what he did.
Dingman is accused of betrayed the agency and his oath as a law enforcement officer. Dingman turned himself in Wednesday and faces two felony charges and two misdemeanor charges relating to the release of surveillance video showing the shooting at the airport in January. The video showed accused killer Esteban Santiago as he shot and killed 5 people. It first aired on TMZ.
Sheriff Scott Israel said the arrest concludes a lengthy and thorough investigation.
“When I found out that a video had been released and that a suspect was one of our very own, I was very angry,” Israel said.
The surveillance video was reviewed by several BSO employees at the airport in the days after the shooting and it’s believed that Dingman recorded the video at that time and then started contacting TMZ and several local media outlets a short time later. Investigators have not been able to determine whether Dingman received any money from TMZ for the video.
“At this time we were unable to confirm if any money exchanged hands,” Israel said.
Investigators say Dingman appeared sorry for what he did. The arrest report says Dingman admitted to 2 fellow deputies that he made the recording of the shooting video and sent it to TMZ. The report also says that when he was confronted by investigators Dingman said he “made a huge mistake” and “what little credibility he had left in the agency was now gone.”
Dingman, a 21-year veteran of the agency, is also accused of trying to cover his tracks by wiping clean the phone he’s accused of using to record the video and giving detectives another phone instead at the outset of the investigation. Sheriff Israel does not believe the accusations against Dingman affect the morale of the agency on the whole.
“This one deputy was predisposed to betray the agency and the trust we put in him. This is about one deputy. Everybody else — they don’t need that message,” Israel said.
Dingman is now suspended from BSO without pay.