A bystander’s video of a traffic stop in northeast Florida shows a shackled Black man with swollen eyes and a bloodied face sitting on the ground surrounded by cops outside a car, and the officers’ law enforcement agency says it has opened an internal investigation.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office stated in a statement that force was used to arrest Le’Keian Woods, 24, and that the office was conducting an administrative investigation to determine if any regulations were broken.
“The agency takes all allegations of inappropriate use of force by JSO officers seriously,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office declined to say more since the event was under investigation. Woods was first pulled over for a seatbelt violation, according to the family’s attorney.
According to the footage supplied by Woods’ attorney, Harry Daniels, at least three police are on top of Woods, who is lying chest-down on grass next to a vehicle. An cop appeared to smack Woods’ head on the ground at one moment.
Woods is shackled and pushed up on an officer’s knees, unable to sit up on his own. Later, he had difficulty standing.
Woods was brought to the hospital following his arrest for treatment of a serious concussion. The attorney had previously said that his client was fortunate to be alive.
“If this video of the officers repeatedly assaulting Le’Keian, slamming his head in the ground and tossing him around like a ragdoll while he’s handcuffed and defenseless isn’t enough to convince you that these officers need to be off the street, just look at Le’Keian’s face,” Daniels said. “He looks like he just went 12 rounds with a professional boxer.”
Woods was being detained in jail on Sunday on accusations of armed trafficking in methamphetamine, armed trafficking in cocaine, armed possession of a controlled drug, resisting an officer with violence, and probation violation, according to online records.
On Sunday, family and community people protested the event outside the JSO offices.
“I saw them kick my son and slam his face to the ground, and I couldn’t believe it,” Natassia Woods, Woods’ mother, told the reporters. “I couldn’t believe they would do that to a person.” Because kicking a dog or doing anything to an animal will get you killed. So it’s alright to beat up on a person like that, and there’s no pressure?”
The traffic stop came more than a month after a white man wearing a mask and armed with a swastika-emblazoned pistol killed down three Black individuals at a Dollar General store in a racist assault in a mostly Black Jacksonville area.