APOPKA, Fla. - The City of Apopka has released full body camera video stemming from a noise complaint incident that ended with a man being tased and beaten by police officers.
Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson has defended his officers' actions, stating that the subject of an arrest, Jason Friend, was the first to strike an officer before they dragged him out of a vehicle in a residential area of the city.
Friend is suing the city, claiming his arrest was racially motivated and that the officers used excessive force when taking him into custody.
It happens fast, but from one angle in the video, you can see the moment authorities said Friend punches at the Apopka officer who is reaching into the car.
Friend was listening to music loudly in his car parked in the driveway, which prompted neighbors to call in a noise complaint. The body camera video shows how the rest played out with officers beating and tasing Friend
For weeks, we had only seen body camera video released to us by Friend’s attorneys. That video didn’t have an angle that showed Friend punching. When we spoke to Apopka’s mayor exclusively, he said there was more to the story.
"There’s a lot missing from the video that he’s showing, sure. He slapped one of our officers, then had one of our officers on the ground on top of him," said Mayor Nelson.
Hours later, Apopka Police released the body camera video.
Friend recently spoke out against Apopka Police.
"I didn’t hit, punch, kick any of them. I just never thought that this would have happened to me," said Friend.
"It shows that he was being, for no reason, approached by four from all sides. We don’t know that there was any striking. We know that there was a movement. We don’t know if it was a swat to get away from me," said Friend’s attorney Mark NeJame.
Mayor Nelson said Friend signed a document admitting to hitting an officer. The agreement he signed got the city to drop charges against Jason Friend.
"He’s already paid restitution to the city and signed a diversion agreement so I don’t understand how this is coming back up," said Mayor Nelson.
"For you, is signing that agreement an admission of guilt?" a FOX 35 reporter asked."Yes," said Nelson.
"I think the mayor should stick to real estate and stay out of law. The reality of it is that that’s not true. The reality of it is our client with PTSD did not want to go ahead with eth stress and anxiety of a false arrest and then go into trial," said NeJame.