Jacksonville police officer arrested, accused of striking suspect with Taser

File photo (WJXT 2020)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A police officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has resigned after five years with the department. He’s accused of striking a suspect with a Taser during an arrest that followed a pursuit.

Undersheriff Pat Ivey, with the Sheriff’s Office, announced Friday afternoon that Matthew Alimurung is facing a charge of aggravated battery, a second-degree felony. The incident occurred on Mar. 29.

“The officer in question, while taking the subject into custody, used his Taser as an impact weapon on or about the head region and in the face region, which is outside of our policy,” Ivey explained.

Alimurung was taken into custody Friday. Ivey did not give a name of the suspect the officer was taking into custody. He said body camera footage appears to show Alimurung tried to spit on the suspect.

Additionally, Ivey said Alimurung is charged with falsifying an official document, specifically the one that was filled out to document the use of force. Ivey said it was not accurate and is contradicted by body camera footage.

Ivey said the body camera footage will be entered into evidence at some point, but it’s unknown when it might be released.

Records show Alimurung was one of six officers involved in a police shooting in March 2019. According to investigators, six JSO officers opened fire on Antonio Valentine, 32, a sexual battery suspect. Police said he was armed inside a truck parked at the Harvey’s Supermarket on Arlington Road and refused to get out. Officers broke two windows and Tasered him, to no effect. When he grabbed a gun, investigators said, police fired 21 shots. Valentine was hit seven times and the shooting was ruled justifiable by the State Attorney’s Office.

Alimurung has previous JSO Internal Affairs complaints for unnecessary force. He was cleared in all of them. Internal Affairs sustained a complaint of unbecoming conduct against him in 2017, and he was ordered to take de-escalation training.

This is the 11th JSO arrest in 2020. A total of four officers, five corrections officers and two civilian employees have been arrested.