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Witness video captures tense moments with FSU police outside restaurant

(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 11:37 PM EST
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By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

January 23, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) –

witness video from the scene has some in the community talking.

Thursday's edition of Eyewitness News at 11 featured a segment of the video that shows only a portion of what happened that night. It's unclear what led up to the confrontation between the officer and the man on the ground.

The video shows the officer pointing a gun at the man while yelling profanity multiple times as he ordered him to lay down. The man appears to resist those orders. A weapon appears to be visible throughout much of the clip.

WCTV shared the video with Professor Charles Menifield, Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark.

"The profanities were clearly inappropriate and not necessary," he said.

"I didn't feel like the officer was de-escalating the situation. I felt like the people on the sideline were feeding off it and behaving accordingly."

WCTV reached out to a number of local law enforcement experts. All declined to comment citing the ongoing investigation involving a local agency.

But it's accepted in that profession that while profanity isn't taught, it sometimes comes out in a tense situation.

Community activist Whitfield Leland says he tries to bridge gaps between police and the black community in Tallahassee. After this incident, he thinks "our goal is to learn from it."

"No harm, no foul. It was an incident that blew up. I think all of us are adults, all of us are grown. I think we look at this we learn from it," he said.

A spokesperson from FSU PD refused to answer whether or not the officer followed protocol, saying the completed investigation will reveal that answer.

Meanwhile, Tallahassee Police officers eventually arrived to assist the scene. TPD says no one was arrested after the incident, but the man who was confronted in that video has been accused of aggravated assault.

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