Update: Polk County Sheriff Refusing to Return Cell Phone with Video of Police Abuse
This post and the video below were submitted by Michael Burns of Central Florida Cop Block, via the CopBlock.org Submissions page. This post is an update of an earlier post Michael had submitted concerning the arrest of a friend of his named Tommy Jackson and the subsequent refusal by the Polk County Sheriff’s Department to return Tommy’s cell phone.
According to Tommy, a video of him being assaulted by the deputies who arrested him was on that cell phone. Michael has requested that people call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and demand that Tommy’s property be returned. The number is included below.
Date of Incident: Sept. 24th
Department Involved: Polk County Sheriff
Department’s Phone No.: 863-298-6200
Back in Late July, inebriated Tommy was attempting to film police. While he was at a convenience store, the employee told him that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd’s Nephew was getting arrested. With CopBlock in mind, he went outside to begin recording.
According to Tommy, he was at a safe distance while recording, but an officer decided to tell him he couldn’t film and to back up. According to the woman Tommy was with and the lady working in the store, Tommy was walking backwards as the cop kept approaching. Witnesses say that the officer attempted to snatch the phone from Tommy’s hand and ended up grabbing his arm and forcing him back to a random spot that made the officer happy.
At this time, the officer went back to what he was doing and Tommy proceeded to call the non-emergency phone number to report that officer for battery. I arrived at the scene about five minutes before the officers decided to arrest Tommy for misusing 911. Once it was confirmed that he called the non-emergency number the officers decided he would still go to jail for obstruction.
There was some passive resistance and Tommy came really close to being tasered, but somehow the night ended with him going to Bartow Jail and not being tased. According to Tommy, he continued to give the officers a hard time on the way to jail and the officers pulled over and beat him. This is unconfirmed, however I’m not putting it past anyone with a badge.
…Fast Forward to Late September…
Tommy sat in jail for 60 days waiting for the case to be dismissed and it was. Upon release, his property bag was cut open and the person working in property said the phone had been checked out by the Polk County Sheriff for evidence, even though his charges were dropped. He has tried both calling and going to the station to retrieve his phone to no avail. The phone should have the video of the officer battering Tommy on it and the charges have been dismissed concerning any evidence that was alleged to be on the phone against Tommy. I have personally called and was told I would get an email concerning the whereabouts of the phone, however that never happened.
Please call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and ask them to release the phone of Tommy Jackson. He will attempt to go back Friday to pick it up. They are not denying they have it, they will just not return it!
The number to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is 863-298-6200
– Michael Burns
Below is the latest video of Tommy getting arrested.