Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grand Jury Indicts Jacksonville Officers in 1998 Homicide Another Man's Death under Investigation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grand Jury Indicts Jacksonville Officers in 1998 Homicide Another Man's Death under Investigation

Article excerpt

A federal grand jury investigating allegations of Jacksonville police officers and their associates being involved in murder and robbery returned an indictment this week in one of two homicides they investigated, while the other slaying remains a mystery.

Two police officers and two other men were charged in the July 3, 1998, strangulation of Sami Safar, a Jacksonville convenience store owner killed after being robbed of a $50,000 bank withdrawal. One of the officers, Aric Sinclair, worked as a security guard at the bank and is accused of providing information to accomplices who kidnapped and killed Safar in the back of Officer Karl Waldon's police car, the indictment said.

The second slaying investigated by the grand jury involved Jeff "Bulldog" Reed, recruited by Sinclair in the May 15, 1998, robbery of Safar's nephew outside the same bank, the indictment said. Reed robbed the man of $50,000 at gunpoint and split the money with Sinclair and another man, the indictment said.

Sheriff Nat Glover said yesterday authorities are still trying to determine who killed Reed. The 31-year-old man was found shot in the chest July 10, 1998, on a West Jacksonville street.

Glover said authorities have not discounted the possibility that the slaying could have been related to the crimes investigated by the grand jury, though he pointed out Reed ran with a bad crowd. Reed had been arrested 11 times, including in a 1991 kidnapping/slaying.

"It's already been investigated, and we reinvestigated it," Glover said of Reed's death. "It was my sense that Reed was out there living that criminal lifestyle and anything could have happened."

Reed's half-brother, Michael Swann, said acquaintances told him several months after the slaying that Sinclair had links to Reed. Sinclair knew Reed from Sherwood Forest, a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood where Sinclair patrolled and developed a reputation for hounding drug dealers, according to Sinclair's police personnel file. …

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