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TPD releases bodycam footage from viral video

Posted at 9:33 AM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 10:10:55-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Tallahassee Police Department released body camera footage and surveillance videos from Sunday’s DUI arrest.

The video that shows the time period where the man was hit multiple times with an officer’s baton cannot be seen.

Tallahassee faith leaders called for truth and transparency Wednesday following a viral video showing a man getting hit by a TPD officer Sunday night, the man in that video decided to speak out.

Jacquez Kirkland is the man on the ground in that eight-second clip.

"Next thing you know she took me to the ground and the officers that were there had come and came on my back and I was trying to tell them they were hurting me and adjust myself," Kirkland said.

TPD said the officers' actions were justified under their use of force policy.

Kirkland failed a sobriety test after being pulled over. Police said he was found asleep behind the wheel outside of a business on Tennessee Street.

TPD said after Kirkland failed the test, he was then asked to take a breathalyzer and refused. That's when officers put him under arrest.

They said he grabbed an officer's ballistic vest and refused to give them his other hand, which was underneath him and that's when things escalated.

TPD answers to Deputy City Manager Cynthia Barber, who said she's seen the bodycam footage and also believes officers were justified.

"It was active resistance, the bottom line was the young man did not want to be handcuffed he made every effort not to do so including at some point holding a female officer's shirt and vest in his grasp also kicking," Barber said.

That body cam video and store surveillance were set to go to the Citizens Police Review Board and TPD's Citizens Advisory Committee for review.