JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville branch of the NAACP on Monday released a statement condemning the actions of a Jacksonville police officer who appears to repeatedly slam a man's head on pavement as he and other officers were arresting him in a video.
The statement reads, in part:
"The actions of this officer were unwarranted and completely unnecessary. We strongly condemn this behavior by any and all officers of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, who are all sworn to protect and serve our communities.
"It is clearly evident from the video footage that the suspect was no longer a threat to the numerous officers surrounding him."
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the incident will receive a standard review by the Response to Resistance Board. News4Jax has learned one officer involved had a body camera and has requested that video from the Sheriff's Office. The suspect, 47-year-old Todaryl Britt (pictured), was arrested on several outstanding charges and an additional charge of resisting arrest without violence. State records show he is a registered sex offender.
The NAACP's Jacksonville branch demanded the actions of the officer be thoroughly reviewed by both JSO and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The branch also demanded the officer be suspended without pay until the investigation is complete.
Isaiah Rumlin, head of the Jacksonville branch, told News4Jax on Tuesday he wants the state to intervene because he feels the officer's actions were unacceptable.
“Very disturbing,” Rumlin said. “After they got Mr. Britt, that’s when the excessive force started. They banged his head about four times I believe.”
Rumlin said he has not been in contact with Britt or his family. Rumlin added he has not talked to the sheriff about what happened, but he said the sheriff needs to come out and address this now before it becomes a bigger problem.
“It’s just getting out of hand and here we go again, with the same thing over and over again, “ Rumlin said. "I think, eventually, the community -- it’s going to get really tired of it and there is no telling what’s going to happen.”
That is one reason why Rumlin said he is contacting officials in Tallahassee, either FDLE or the state attorney general's office. Rumlin believes they need to look at this case and others in Jacksonville.
News4Jax contacted the Sheriff's Office again Tuesday. Undersheriff Pat Ivey said it would not be appropriate to comment at this point.
The state attorney’s office said it is waiting for JSO to review it and if JSO thinks there is a problem, then it will investigate.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a 24-year veteran of JSO, said last week, "To jump on him and aggressively, push his head down was totally unnecessary." That prompted the police union to respond, saying it’s too early in the investigation to make that call.