Protest following SPD arrest video postponed due to inclement weather
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – UPDATE (6/27/21): Protest in Fredd Atkins Park was cancelled on Saturday due to inclement weather. Organizers say it has been postponed until Thursday, July 1st.
Several Sarasota community members, including the mother of a jailed man, are accusing two Sarasota Police officers of using excessive force during an arrest on Sunday.
ABC7 first learned about the incident after a viewer shared a Facebook Video with the station. That video was posted to a public Facebook Page and appears to capture the arrest.
Disclaimer: Language is unedited from this video, however, a phone number has been redacted. This video was published by India Riley on Facebook.
Signatures on the Probable Cause Affidavit show the arresting officers as Sarasota Police Officer Paul Gagnon and Officer John Clancy, Jr.
According to the report, the officers were executing a Manatee County warrant on Malcolm Jamal Johnson, 32, of Sarasota.
The report says officers came across Johnson at Fred Atkins Park, at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Martin Luther King Way in Sarasota.
ABC7 obtained body camera video from the arrest. It shows officers asking Johnson who he is. Once he confirmed his identity, officers told him to put his stuff down.
Disclaimer: These videos have been unedited and might contain explicit language. These videos are body camera footage from the Sarasota Police Department.
The body camera video then shows officers grabbing Johnson, saying he had a warrant out for his arrest. In the case report, the officers said Johnson began resisting.
The Facebook video doesn’t show the very beginning of the interaction between the officers and Johnson but picks up when the officers have Johnson on the ground.
In the Probable Cause Affidavit, one of the officers says that Johnson began to tense up during the arrest and said he “wrestled” with Johnson to get his hands behind his back.
After Johnson was subdued, the officers allegedly took him to the patrol car where he consented to a search.
Officers say Johnson admitted to concealing MDMA in his sock. Johnson was charged with resisting arrest and possession.
Johnson refused to allow the officers to document his injuries.
Through the department’s Public Information Office, Sarasota Police Chief James Rieser released the following statement to ABC7 on Tuesday night:
“This is an ongoing internal affairs investigation. As soon as the Office of the Chief of Police was notified, an internal affairs investigation began immediately. In the utmost sense of transparency, we are releasing the body-worn camera video.”
Sarasota Police Department posted the following tweet on Tuesday night:
ABC7 has reached out to several agencies for additional information and context. Those include:
- The Police Benevolent Association
- The Sarasota County Jail
- City of Sarasota Human Resources Office
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