TPD responds to concerns after video shows officer hitting DUI suspect during arrest

Watch the video in the player below (Credit: Dejah Jimenez)
Published: May. 17, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 3:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A video circulating on social media shows a Tallahassee Police Department officer appearing to hit someone several times with a baton during an arrest.

The eight-second video shot from a passing car was posted on Facebook Sunday night. It shows three officers surrounding a person on the ground in front of the Metro by T-Mobile store on West Tennessee Street.

Two of the officers appear to be trying to pin the person to the ground. The third officer, standing next to them, appears to hit the person at least three times in the leg. A loud smacking sound is heard with each hit.

One of the officers is heard shouting “Stop resisting! Get down! Stop resisting,” as the person struggles against being restrained.

According to TPD, officers got a call around 9:30 p.m. Sunday about someone driving erratically.

Responding officers located the car, which was stopped near the intersection of West Tennessee Street and High Road, and they found the driver asleep behind the wheel.

After pulling him out of the vehicle, the officers performed a field sobriety test on the man in front of the Metro by T-Mobile store on West Tennessee Street, TPD says.

Following the test, it was determined the man was drunk and driving over the legal limit, according to TPD.

TPD says the man resisted arrest, as he grabbed one of the officer’s vest and arm. Another officer showed up to help. The man kept one of his arms under his body and refused to remove it so he could avoid being handcuffed, TPD says.

A third officer with a baton responded to the scene and hit the man three times, according to Chief Deputy Maurice Holmes. The man finally gave up his arm and was promptly arrested, TPD says.

Jacques Kirkland, 26, faces charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest with violence.

TPD says the three officers involved will not be disciplined at this point, as they did not violate department policy. The department will present the video to its Citizens Review Board and Police Advisory Council. TPD says based on the scenario and what played out, all of the officers acted in accordance with the use of force policy.

Batons are used to gain compliance when a suspect resists arrest, according to Jones.

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