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Malik Jackson's family sues City of Tallahassee over body cam footage release of his final moments

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 16:32:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The father of Malik Jackson, the man who police say was stabbed to death by Tony McDade, is suing the City of Tallahassee for invasion of privacy and emotional distress after the city posted body camera footage of Jackson’s final moments on Youtube.

The lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of Antonio Brown, Jackson's father.

On May 27, court documents say McDade stabbed Jackson to death as he was listening to music in his parked car in the driveway of his home on Saxon Street. By the time officers arrived at 10:45 a.m. that day, Jackson was already deceased.

After running away from the scene, an officer came across McDade who, according to a Leon County Grand Jury presentment, pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer. That's when the officer shot and killed McDade.

After the Leon County Grand Jury came down with it's presentment clearing the officer involved of wrong doing on Sept. 4, the lawsuit said the city released a 33-minute, long narrated video depicting the events that led up to and immediately followed the officer-involved shooting of McDade.

"However, the actual shooting of McDade by the involved Officer is not depicted in the Video at all... the Video publicized by Defendant depicts real-time TPD body-worn video camera footage from May 27, 2020 where TPD officers are attempting to revive Jackson’s lifeless body at the stabbing scene," the lawsuit reads.

Lawyers write that Jackson's father was "shocked and horrified" to see video of his son's last moments. The video, along with footage of two other unrelated officer-involved shootings, was later removed from the public.

They contend that while the city altered the video to protect the identity of the officer involved, they say the city didn't try to do the same for Jackson.

That's why they're suing on the basis of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

Attorneys contend that it was "reasonably forseeable" that Brown would emotional distress as a result of the video being publicly released.

"[The city's] actions are so extreme and outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, that they go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and are atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community," the lawsuit read.

They also claim the city violated Brown's constitutional right to privacy, which includes his right to protect Jackson’s character and memory.

Brown is seeking damages in excess of $30,000.