JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brittany Williams, a Jacksonville woman charged with battery and assault on an officer who opposes arrest, first spoke about the day seven months ago when she asked why a police officer was in her driveway and ended up in jail with two crimes.
“It was a Wednesday,” said Williams.
She and her husband Ausar Moore had a day to themselves.
“I was just about to put on my clay mask and take a bubbly bath and he made me one of my favorite dishes, tuna noodle casserole, he was in the kitchen and cooked for me because I should be, self-care because I’m a workaholic” , she said. “I will never forget.”
The couple’s R&R was about to end.
“Brittany, there’s an officer outside parked in the driveway and he’s been there for a while and I don’t know if you want to check it out,” Moore said.
“So I go outside and say, ‘Hello officer, can I help you? How can I help you? ‘Williams remembered. “He immediately started yelling at me and telling me things like, ‘I can be here when I want – that’s a public crowd. ‘Things that were absolutely ridiculous. I automatically felt threatened. “
Williams said she went back inside.
“I told him I would call 911 to report you.” He laughed at me and said, ‘Ha! They’ll just call me anyway. ‘”
Williams said she called for help.
According to the arrest report, before Williams called JSO, the officer told her he pulled back into the driveway thinking it was “a vacant property” and was “only checking emails while traffic was secured”. The report goes on to say that Williams told the officer to leave and then threw a spoon of an unknown green substance at him while he was in his car.
Cell phone video and police camera video capture the following moments.
When four more officers arrived, Moore yelled from the house, “Here they come. Here you come. “
You can hear the operator asking Williams if she would like to stay on the line. “Ma’am, do you want to call me on the phone?”
Williams and Moore speak to officers. The couple stood on their steps. The officers were in the driveway. The video shows an officer reaching closer to the couple.
Williams asked, “Why are you here and why are you grinning?”
The video shows the officer moving towards Williams and then walking up the stairs. Williams turns to get away and enters the foyer of the maisonette she owns. She is knocked down by the officer.
A lot of screaming can be heard in front of the camera.
“No stop. Please stop. This is my girl. Please. Stop it, brother,” Moore yells.
“Stand back. I will put you in jail too,” replied the officer.
After others continued to shout: “Stop it. Stop. Stop. Please brother this is my girl. Please brother don’t put her in jail. “
The officer said, “Now you’re going to jail.”
While handcuffed, Williams yelled, “You’re only crazy because I’m a black girl.”
Officer: “No, because you hit a law enforcement officer.”
Williams: I hit him? kicked him? “
Officer: “Get in! Kick someone one more time. “
The officer slams the door of the patrol car.
Williams was charged with battery and assault on an officer and resisted arrest. Williams has no criminal record, but faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years if convicted on both charges.
Her lawyers say they believe they will drop all charges against them after prosecutors review the evidence in the case.
Cameras capture the moment when the officer speaks to a possible witness who was not seen in front of the camera but said: “She did not kick you!”
The officer replied, “She kicked me while I was inside. Go anywhere unless you want to witness it. “
The arrest report says that while Williams was being taken into custody, a semi-automatic pistol fell from her person on the floor.
“I have the right to protect myself and have a gun in my house,” said Williams. “That was just a reason and an excuse to attack me. I also had a hidden gun license until recently because of this situation. If I wanted to wear it, I can do it legally. “
Williams let officers know she had a gun before she was taken into custody. The report said: “Headquarters stated that the applicant had advised her to have a gun and that the police would shoot if she came near her.”
Williams questions the use of force by the officers.
“They broke my teeth on the floor in front of the stairwell,” Williams explained.
News4Jax showed the video to Alex Piquero, a criminology professor and chair of the department of sociology at the University of Miami.
“I’ve seen a lot of strength,” said Piquero. “When you look at the video, you see a lot of empty space.”
News4Jax’s crime and security expert Ken Jefferson, a retired JSO officer with more than 24 years of experience, disagreed.
“In this case, I did not see excessive violence. An attempt was made to hold them back, ”Jefferson said.
Lashway asked both experts if they believed the police were acting in accordance with the department protocol.
“I can say they did some things that were in line and some things that were probably a little too much,” said Piqueros. “In arguments, Zachery, they get worse, they don’t get better. We saw that here. “
“You acted in accordance with the department protocol in making the arrest. They did not act in accordance with protocol, simply leave this area when prompted, ”Jefferson said.
Piquero often asked how law enforcement agencies should deal with such confrontations.
“I have always advised police chiefs and law enforcement agencies to stand before history and be as open and honest as possible and every step of the way.” Said Piquero.
Here is part of the conversation between officers that was taped on video with a police camera on the day of the incident.
One officer asked the arrest officer, “Why did you park here?” The officer replied, “Why not? I’m not on the street. “A laugh can be heard.
“Just make sure that when you are writing your story, there is no real example of this… I didn’t activate my camera immediately because I didn’t anticipate the citizen’s reaction. Law. I drove here very quickly, ”one officer explained to the other.
Williams said she was moved to an empty lot just a few feet from her home. She said they held her on the property for a while before they were sent to prison.
“There’s nothing illegal about that. The question is, was that appropriate? “Said Piquero.
Jefferson was asked if he thought racing played a role in this case.
“I don’t know. … I don’t know the officer’s mindset,” Jefferson said. “It just didn’t have to go that far. Would one officer go to a different type of neighborhood and sit in someone else’s driveway without permission? I can tell you the answer to that. The answer is most likely no. “
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office has refused to comment because it is an active criminal investigation.
News4Jax requested the emergency number and the files of the five officers involved in this case.
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