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TPD explains Use of Force, community leaders ask for body camera footage

Posted at 6:45 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 18:45:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Community leaders are calling on TPD to release bodycam footage following a viral video showing a Tallahassee Police officer striking a man with a baton Sunday night after being pulled over for driving under the influence.

"This use of force was again, shocking it's viral," said Mutaqee Akbar, President of Tallahassee's Chapter of the NAACP, talking about a viral video on social media.

The video shows one Tallahassee Police officer hitting a man with a baton multiple times Sunday night.

Two other officers appear to be assisting with the arrest.

Deputy Chief DC Holmes says this was after he failed a sobriety test after being pulled over and would not comply with officers.

"At the time they told him he's under arrest they asked him to put his hands behind his back," said Holmes. "The correct response would be, turn around put your hands behind your back and go ahead and be handcuffed. This individual did not. He resisted."

Holmes says he tensed up and grabbed an officer's ballistic vest, which lead to the use of force.

"They warrant it because they fail to comply with the officers' command," Holmes said.

The department has footage from all three body cameras and surveillance from the location.

"We're going to look at it make sure our policies, first that we have use of force policies in place and that they were followed, said Dr. Rashad Mujahid, chair of the Citizens Police Review Board.

They will review the footage publicly at their next meeting.

While the public will eventually get a chance to see it, leaders hope they can see the footage to see all sides of what happened.

"If they don't want people to believe what they see with their own eyes or if there is another side to it then I think it's necessary for them to release the video as soon as possible," said Akbar.

ABC 27 reached out to the department for a record of the police report, they said it is still being processed.