Video appears to show man's head slammed during JSO arrest

Questions raised after man's takedown on Jacksonville's Westside

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Questions are being raised about a Jacksonville police officer's actions while he and other officers were arresting a suspect following a standoff on the Westside.

The scene was near the intersection of Peter Rabbit Drive on Jacksonville's Westside. According to an officer, the man barricaded himself in a house and said he had a weapon.

Video of the arrest shows the man get down on the ground as officers swarm to arrest him. The man turns to his side and the man's head appears to be slammed on the ground by an officer wearing black gloves.

RAW VIDEO: Arrest after standoff in Westside neighborhood

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson took a look at the video.

"To jump on him and aggressively, push his head down was totally unnecessary," Jefferson said. "He was no threat to all those officers with all those guns."

Jefferson continued, "The only cause for concern that I saw was when he reached in his back pocket to try and pull something out. You can't play with that. When a suspect is reaching for something, when he's being told to put his hands up or his hands out, it is a cause for concern but they were on him so fast he wouldn't have had a chance to pull anything out of his pocket."

News4Jax reporter Jim Piggott has sent the video to Sheriff Mike Williams and is awaiting a response. Steve Zona, the head of Fraternal Order of Police in Jacksonville, tweeted:

“He pushed up from the ground during the arrest he didn’t give up.  On top of that you have zero idea what happened to lead all those officers to be there to make the arrest... I'll wait for the facts."

Zona then responded specifically to Jefferson's take, tweeting:

"Ken Jefferson I love you brother but I'll lay on the ground every day of the week & twice on Sunday & let you point a gun at me. I'll roll over, take a gun from my waist & shoot you every time. Action is quicker than reaction. We are taught this in the academy."

Jefferson said he called it as he saw it and they would have to agree to disagree.

Lawanna Watson lives in the area and said she watched the arrest happen feet from her window.

"That was too unfair. He didn't weigh by 120 pounds," Watson said. "It didn't take all that."

The man, who was not identified, had a warrant out for his arrest, the officer said. He said the man resisted arrest.

No weapon was located, the officer said. The Sheriff's Office did not provide additional details of the standoff.

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