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State Attorney's Office: Officer who shot and killed Jamee Johnson was justified in his actions

Body cam video, report released
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 23:06:08-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — The State Attorney’s Office Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida in Duval County has determined that the officer who shot former FAMU student Jamee Johnson back in December 2019 was justified in his use of force.

On Monday, the SAO released body cam footage and their full report detailing their investigation into the case. You can watch the body cam footage and read the full report below:

WARNING: What you are about to see and hear could be considered disturbing to some

Body cam footage depicting officer-involved shooting of Jamee Johnson

You can read the full report below:

J. Johnson Full Report by WTXL ABC 27 on Scribd

The officer-involved shooting took place at approximately 5:00 p.m. on December 14, 2019 after Officer Josue Garriga pulled over Johnson for driving without a seatbelt.

After pulling Johnson over, the SAO report said Officer Garriga noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from Johnson’s car.

"Officer Garriga immediately noted that Johnson was nervous and making furtive movements. Officer Garriga asked Johnson to stop moving erratically and provide him with his identification," the report reads. "Officer Garriga asked whether Johnson had “anything” in his car... When Johnson offered that he had a firearm in the car, Officer Garriga asked Johnson to step out of his car."

As Johnson got out of the car, Officer Garriga noticed what appeared to be marijuana flakes on Johnson's shirt, according to the report. When he asked Johnson about the flakes and the smell and his car, Johnson said that he was smoking hemp.

"Officer Garriga next questioned Johnson about the firearm in the car," the report reads. "Johnson admitted that he did not have a concealed weapons permit and further explained that the firearm was not secured as required by law."

The report said Officer Garriga then asked Johnson to sit in the back of the patrol car. That's when the report said Johnson "shoved Officer Garriga in the chest and jumped headfirst into his car toward the very gun he had just described to Officer Garriga."

A struggle ensued as the officer tried to keep Johnson away from the gun. Sometime during the struggle, the report said Johnson put the car in drive, dragging Officer Garriga along as it crashed into a fence.

Eventually, the report said Johnson got a hold of his gun and aimed it at the officer's face.

"Officer Garriga pushed himself out of the car and, believing Johnson was armed, fired until Johnson no longer posed a threat," the report read. "Johnson suffered multiple gunshot wounds and fell to the ground outside the car."

The report said Johnson was still lucid after getting shot. Body cam footage shows Johnson screaming after the shooting, falling out of the car, and telling officers he was "ready to give up."

"I don't have it, my legs are up, my legs are up. I can't breathe," Johnson says in the video as officers ask him where the gun is at after the shooting.

The former FAMU student was shot four times: Once in the chest, once in the back, once in the elbow and once in the hip.

Johnson was transported to the hospital where he died in surgery from his wounds. The SAO report stated that the two gunshot wounds to the torso caused Johnson’s death.

After a lengthy investigation, the SAO determined that Officer Garriga was justified in his actions.

"After thorough investigation, this Office renders the legal opinion that Officer Garriga’s actions were lawful and justified as defined in applicable Florida law," officials wrote. "We reached this opinion after a comprehensive review of the evidence and the consultation of an independent expert in the field of policing, including the use of force, police tactics, body-worn camera usage, and industry practices and standards."