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Tallahassee Citizens Review Board, TPD comment on use of force recommendations

Posted at 12:16 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 19:30:48-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Nearly one year after a Tallahassee Police Officer was caught on camera hitting Jacquez Kirkland with a baton, the Citizen's Police Review Board has recommended changes to the departments use-of-force policy.

Edward Gaines is Chairman of the Review Board.

Their first recommendation is TPD "not use impact weapons except in response to overcome aggravated aggressive resistance."

That includes use of a firearm, use of a blunt or bladed weapon, and extreme physical force.

In the video that sparked this change, Kirkland is not seen using that aggressive resistance.

Aggressive resistance includes "taking a fighting stance, punching, kicking, striking, biting, and attacking with weapons not likely to cause serious injury or death."

However, Gaines in reviewing the video, they did see Kirkland using 'active resistance' through bracing and tensing.

Gaines says that is a form of resisting arrest.

TPD accepted the board's first recommendation.

The board's second recommendation says "When there are multiple officers engaged in any response to resistance encounter, officers should only use impact weapons/batons to strike a person in response to aggravated aggressive resistance."

"If you look at what the spirit of what our recommendation was, if there is multiple officers and one suspect, the need for the use of a baton, should only be in the case where these officers fear for their lives or there to be serious bodily injury," Gaines said.

However, TPD did not accept that recommendation saying in part quote: "The implication for this recommendation could cause an officer to be unable to utilize a baton unless there was an action that is likely to result in death or serious injury to any person."

Gaines added based on this incident and recommendation, TPD has agreed to increase and enhance their training when it comes to multiple officers and one suspect in the use of a baton.