Sheriff Waters implements transparency general order at JSO; 2 bodycam videos released

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sheriff T.K. Waters on Tuesday announced that for the first time in the history of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there is now a general order that requires transparency of the agency’s members.

General Order 505 will govern the release of information in criminal investigations of JSO staff, police shootings, the release of body-worn camera footage, in-custody deaths and more.

Under the new open date and transparency policy, bodycam video from police shootings will be released in 21 days, as long as it doesn’t hamper the investigation. Information on police shootings and in-custody deaths will be released within 48 hours.

READ: General Order 505

Waters said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that in his first month as sheriff, transparency “has been transformed from an aspirational goal to a policy requirement.”

“Trust is an element of creating an environment in which all Jacksonville citizens can thrive,” said Waters, who won a special election in November to the position of sheriff that followed the retirement of former Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams in June amid a residency scandal.

Waters added that the agency “will be as forward facing and transparent as permissible under the law.”

UNCUT: Press the play button directly below to watch the sheriff’s news conference on updates to JSO’s policies and procedures.

On the same day as the news conference, JSO released footage from two incidents involving police.

Bodycam video released from fatal shooting of suspected fentanyl dealer by JSO detectives

On Nov. 2, Matthew Dilworth, 50, was shot and killed by JSO narcotics detectives on Broadway Avenue near Edgewood Avenue North as they were trying to arrest him in connection with a fentanyl overdose death, police said.

According to police, JSO tried to pull Dilworth over, but he jumped out of the car near a strip mall on North Edgewood Avenue and ran off. Detectives said they chased him down nearby Cain Lane, where they ordered him to stop, but JSO said, instead of surrendering, the man pulled out a Glock handgun and fired at two detectives who were clearly marked as police officers.

JSO said the suspect missed but was able to briefly get away and hide out in a wooded area.

About 10 minutes later, JSO said, the suspect ran into two different detectives on Broadway Avenue and opened fire. Detectives returned fire, JSO said, and the suspect was struck and killed in the front yard of a home.

Four detectives were placed on administrative leave.

DISCLAIMER: The footage linked below contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is advised.

In the over 2 ½ minute bodycam video released Tuesday, a uniformed officer can be seen getting out of his car and approaching a house. A man in a red shirt can be seen in the backyard. In the video, an officer yells, and then gunshots are heard. The man can be seen running into a tree line behind the house.

In the video, it is quiet for a minute or so. Then another long volley of shots can be heard — not seen.

Dilworth was found dead.

Footage made public from exchange of gunfire with Jacksonville police

On Oct. 16, according to JSO, police traded shots with 34-year-old former convict John Henry Ervin at his home on Edgewood Avenue West near Moncrief Rad. No one was hit, and he eventually surrendered, police said.

Officers Mark Dorner and Joshua Patterson, both 3-year JSO veterans, were placed on administrative leave.

Ervin is awaiting trial on three charges of attempted murder of a police officer.

The bodycam footage released Tuesday is nearly 4 ½ minutes, and there are three video clips. In the first one, officers drive up and get out of a cruiser. About 10 seconds later, they hear gunshots. One yells, “oh s***,” and they take cover.

In the second video, officers are behind a cruiser. They see a man in the doorway of the home and are trying to determine if there are hostages. In the video, one officer, and then another, can be heard taking a single shot.

The third video is very similar. One officer can be seen firing a single shot, and the casing pops out onto the cruiser. Then another officer fires a single shot. They say the first one missed, but they can’t tell on the second one.

About the Authors:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.