Madison Co. Sheriff Responds to Allegations of Officer Excessive Use of Force

Madison County Arrest Surveillance Video picture
Posted at 11:00 PM, Oct 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-12 20:01:45-04

MADISON CO., Fla. (WTXL) - We have an update now to a story we originally reported back in September regarding the arrest of a Tallahassee woman in Madison County.

The sheriff now reveals she had hundreds of stolen credit cards and other contraband in the vehicle.

According to Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart, Janetta Edwards stopped on the side of the road on Interstate 10 after a vehicle she had been traveling with, which was reported stolen, was pulled over.

An officer approached her vehicle, asked her for her ID and to step out of the car, explaining it's part of the investigation.

Surveillance video from the officer's vehicle shows for nearly 12 minutes, the officer asked Edwards to get out of the car, telling her she was being arrested for obstruction of justice, and then resisting arrest, but she refused. That's when the officer tased her with a dry taser.

Edwards claims it was racially motivated and the officer used excessive force.

Sheriff Stewart says surveillance video proves neither is true.

"The biggest part is the contraband, the drugs, the guns and all these things that she had in her car, and in my opinion, that's why she didn't want to get out of the vehicle. But sadly, this officer took way too much time with her, spent too much time trying to beg her to get out of the car, just to avoid situations like this. He went above and beyond and he's been portrayed as the bad guy."

A jury found Edwards not guilty of resisting arrest, but she could face possible federal charges. Sheriff Stewart says they discovered hundreds of credit cards and ledgers of other people's personal information, embossing machines and magnetic striping scanners.

The entire unedited surveillance video can be seen on our website,