Lieutenant demoted after posting music video showing teen holding department-issued AR-15

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A lieutenant with the Altamonte Springs Police Department has been demoted because of a music video he made in his spare time and posted on social media.

According to an internal investigation into the video posted by Lt. Donnie Riggins, the chief wasn’t a fan of the song’s lyrics, and investigators found some questionable use of police equipment in the video.

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“We don’t pull punches here. If you do something stupid, you are going to get displined for it, and (we’re) unapologetic for that,” City Manager Frank Martz said.

In a strongly worded letter to Riggins, Chief Dan Smutz called the lyrics about drugs and prostitution distasteful and offensive. But it was this part of the video where a teenage neighbor can be seen wearing Riggins’ tactical vest along with his department-issued AR-15 on his back that further raised concerns.

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“Not only is it inappropriate to have given that young man his gun; under our policies, you may only surrender your weapon to your next higher authority in the police department,” the chief wrote in the letter.

Following the investigation, Riggins was demoted from lieutenant to master police officer, which takes him out of police management. He also signed a last chance agreement.

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“Police officers are tasked with community trust to keep us safe, and errors in judgement like this we are just not going to tolerate,” Martz said.

According to the internal investigation, Riggins has been in trouble with the department dating back to 2009 where he presented a PowerPoint presentation that included profane language and sexual innuendo to members of the public during a public safety academy.

In 2011, he was pulled as a school resource officer for making sexually suggestive comments during a student broadcast. During the investigation, Riggins wore a lab coat for Halloween at the school with the words “gynecologist” and a sexually suggestive name on it.

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Channel 9 Seminole County reporter Jeff Levkulichi went to Riggins’ home and knocked on the door. Riggins said he’d been expecting us.

“I’d love to sit down and talk to you, but policy prevents me. Sorry, man, but my hands are tied,” Riggins said.


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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich,

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.