By Terry Spencer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Auckland sheriff launched physique digital camera video Monday that he says exhibits his officers had been justified in a use-of-force incident involving a drug suspect who appeared to withstand arrest.
The suspect’s lawyer, in the meantime, is asking for a federal investigation of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Workplace and accused Sheriff T.Okay. Waters of a coverup. Friday’s arrest of Le’Keian Woods drew nationwide consideration after the discharge of a passerby’s cellphone video.
Waters and Mike Shell, his assistant chief for public accountability, instructed a information convention that the officers knew Woods had as soon as been accused of homicide, was on probation for armed theft and had been linked to firearms and drug trafficking after they gave chase to him Friday after a site visitors cease.
Mug pictures taken after Woods’ arrest exhibits him with each eyes swollen shut and bruises and cuts on his face.
“There was power utilized by arresting officers and sure, that power is ugly. However the actuality is that every one power, all violence is ugly,” Waters mentioned. “However simply because power is ugly doesn’t imply it’s illegal or opposite to (company) coverage.” He mentioned all of the officers stay on the road “the place they belong.”
Woods is charged with resisting arrest with violence, armed trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine and different felonies.
Harry Daniels, Woods’ lawyer, mentioned he’ll petition the U.S. Justice Division to research.
Physique digital camera footage exhibits that Jacksonville officers, together with Hunter Sullivan, stopped a Dodge Ram pickup in an residence advanced’s parking storage. Shell mentioned the cease got here shortly after Woods accomplished a drug sale at a fuel station. Officers are then seen pointing their weapons at two males with Woods they usually give up with out incident. Waters mentioned cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and a handgun had been discovered within the truck.
The video exhibits Woods, nonetheless, bolting from the entrance passenger’s seat and into the residence advanced, with Sullivan giving chase. Sullivan repeatedly yells at Woods to get on the bottom or he’ll shoot him together with his TASER stun gun. When Sullivan will get shut sufficient, he shoots him twice with the stun gun and Woods falls face-first onto the pavement.
Sullivan then jumps on prime of Woods and repeatedly tells him to place his palms behind his again. Woods, who’s 5-foot-8-inches tall and 160 kilos (1.7 meters and 72 kilograms), squirms and typically places one hand or the opposite behind his again, however then strikes the opposite beneath him.
In an arrest report additionally launched Monday, Sullivan mentioned he repeatedly hit Woods within the head and ribs and elbowed him within the face, fearing that he was reaching for a gun in his waistband. Detective Josue Garriga arrived and mentioned within the report that he kneed Woods within the head and shoulders whereas one other punched him. After about two minutes, they get Woods handcuffed, based on the video.
One other physique cam video exhibits officers nonetheless accusing Woods of resisting arrest as they attempt to raise him from the bottom. They then drag him right into a sitting place on the bottom.
Daniels, Woods’ lawyer, mentioned that the sheriff’s workplace had no authorized motive to cease the truck. Within the report, the officers mentioned they initially tried to cease the truck as a result of the motive force wasn’t sporting his seat belt, however he would not pull over.
“They’d no motive to interact Mr. Woods, none,” Daniels mentioned. He mentioned Woods wasn’t resisting arrest as he struggled with Sullivan and the opposite officers, however was making an attempt to guard himself.
Woods was being held Monday on the Jacksonville jail. He has been on probation after pleading no contest to a 2017 theft in Tallahassee wherein he and his roommate tried to rob a marijuana vendor at gunpoint, based on court data.
The vendor pulled his personal gun and fatally shot the roommate as Woods fled. Woods was initially charged with second-degree homicide in his roommate’s dying, however a plea cut price was reached final yr that launched him with out jail time.
In 2019, Garriga shot a person in a site visitors cease over an unbuckled seat belt, based on public data. Prosecutors discovered the taking pictures was justified, and a lawsuit filed by the useless man’s family was later settled for an undisclosed quantity, federal court data present. Daniels was the household’s lawyer.