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JSO releases bodycam footage from Jacksonville protests in May

12 different videos show arrests made

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has released body camera footage from protests during the last weekend in May.

News4Jax on Wednesday obtained the videos from the protests that happened during the weekend after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Jacksonville to demand justice for Floyd, and dozens were arrested over two days.

The Sheriff’s Office released 12 different videos showing the arrests made. State prosecutors have since dismissed charges for nearly all of the demonstrators arrested May 30 and 31.

Police wearing tactical gear face protesters on May 31 in Downtown Jacksonville.
Police wearing tactical gear face protesters on May 31 in Downtown Jacksonville. (Maggie Lorenz/WJXT)

One video shows several officers on the Main Street Bridge. A woman screams and a man next to a concrete median can be seen being taken to the ground by officers. Then, officers can be seen zip-tying the man’s hands behind his back.

Another video shows officers using zip-ties to take several other protesters into custody.

There’s also footage of a woman being arrested.

Officer: “You should have stayed In school."

Woman: “I came here to go to the library.”

Officer: "You’re apart of the problem, not the solution. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to jail. You have the right to remain silent.”

One body camera video even shows a man named Chad Hollett, who has a black eye, being questioned by police shortly after his arrest on the second day of demonstrations.

News4Jax spoke with him after a video taken by a witness showed what appeared to be an officer putting his arm around Hollett’s neck and another officer running and punching him in the face during his arrest.

The body camera video of force being used on Hollett hasn’t been released. His attorney, Mitch Stone, said he has sent several requests for the body camera video of that incident, and he receives hours' worth of other body camera video, but not that encounter.

“I sent a specific letter to Sheriff [Mike] Williams and copied Jason Gabriel, general counsel city of Jacksonville, and I said, ‘In the event that you’re withholding these videos for a reason, I need to know why, and in the event that you are not delivering to me, then you are violating the public records law, so hand them over or we’ll see you in court on that, as well,’” Stone said.

Stone said the police report shows body camera video exists of the arresting officer.

But the only other body camera video of Hollett that was released shows him sitting on the ground with other arrested protesters.

Hollett: “Do you even care what we’re protesting? Go ahead and say it. Go ahead and say it."

Officer: “It doesn’t matter what I care.”

Hollett: “Do you think it was wrong was that dude did to that man? You know, you’re an officer.”

Officer with the body camera: “Hey, stop engaging. Stop engaging.”

Hollett was among those whose charges were dropped, but Stone said they plan to sue JSO.

Stone said he was told that JSO will be releasing the body camera of video of the police using force on Hollett, but it’s unclear when he will get it.

News4Jax asked the State Attorney’s Office why that body camera video hasn’t been released, and it said it’s looking into News4Jax’s request.


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