Police Abuse

Florida Deputies Placed on Leave After Video Shows Them Beating, Tasing Suspect

Three deputies were placed on leave after the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office received the video.

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Three Florida deputies have been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates a harrowing video showing them tasing and beating a man during an arrest.

First Coast News reports that Florida Highway Patrol attempted to pull Christopher Butler over on the evening of December 29, 2019, for driving too slow and swerving on Interstate-95. Butler sped up and began to drive 80 miles per hour after the officers initiated the traffic stop. Deputies with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office (SJSO) also aided in the chase. After driving through two red lights, Butler pulled into a Winn Dixie parking lot in St. Augustine.

Butler braced himself against his vehicle when the officers attempted to pull him out. Reports say that he also kicked and punched the officers. Butler denies resisting arrest. He told Action News Jax that he was feeling unwell that night and only began speeding so that he could return the vehicle to his girlfriend.

Video taken by a bystander captures what happened after Butler was finally removed from his vehicle.

The video shows SJSO deputies ordering Butler to place his hands behind his back. One deputy shouts at Butler to get on his stomach and then tases him. Another deputy commands, "Get on your stomach, motherfucker! Now!"

Butler is seen lying on the ground crying out in pain while the deputies continue to tase him and shout at him. Butler slowly turns on his stomach.

The deputies then tell him to put his hands behind his back. The video then captures audio of what sounds like the deputies punching Butler.

(Warning: Images may be disturbing to viewers.)

Arrest records show that Butler was booked that night and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, fleeing an officer, resisting arrest, and battery.

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Charles Mulligan says the department learned of the video last Friday when a member of Butler's family brought it forward. The department reviewed the video and immediately launched an investigation into the incident.

Mulligan also confirmed that the officers were placed on administrative leave "shortly thereafter."

"At the sheriff's office, we take situations like this very seriously," Mulligan says. "The investigation is ongoing, so we're hoping to complete it as soon as possible so the sheriff can make a determination of the outcome."

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  1. I see he was not charged with running the two red lights.
    Plea bargain?

  2. High-speed chase, adrenaline pumping, combative suspect – you can’t expect a cop to just turn off the juice like flipping a switch any more than you could expect a boxer to stop punching when he hears the bell or a blitzing linebacker to pull up when he hears the whistle. It’s not like they’re professionals who can be trained to act professionally.

    1. Um…yeah you can. That’s what they get paid and trained to do. If they can’t they should be out of a job, and possibly in jail.

      1. Sorry my sarc meter is malfunctioning.

    2. So…Offsetting unsportsmanlike penalties, and replay the down?

    3. That gives me an idea—football with armed players!

  3. “At the sheriff’s office, we take situations like this very seriously,” Mulligan says. “It’s unconscionable that my deputies committed this act on video.”

    1. Funny how they qualified that, with “…….on video”.

  4. Occupation-force style policing.

    They never seem to try and encourage cooperation through any means aside from kicking the shit out out of the suspect.

    1. They are trained to have zero tolerance for noncompliance. As in initiate force immediately when someone fails to obey. No cooperation. Obey. Or else. No deescalation. Only escalation.

  5. This is what you clingers will get when your betters take over.

  6. Another sad example of a group exhibiting and acting on an autonomous psychology that is not otherwise present in an individual setting.

    Steinbeck ( via Jung) called this a phalanx. It’s very disturbing, dangerous and unpredictable and, worse, often light years removed from rationality.

    The TDS crowd of today is a manifestation of it in full bloom. Give them the power they lack but desperately seek, and we would witness social tasing run wild. Or worse.

  7. Wow, they even have an apologist/spokesperson named Mulligan!
    “Officer Mulligan will now explain why we should all just let this one little incident that happened to be caught on camera, slip down the memory hole”.

  8. Professionalism, motherfucker!

  9. They forget to yell “stop resisting!”

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