Man sues Apopka, claiming police beat him with excessive force

Just-released body camera video shows the moment Jason Friend was pulled out of his car by Apopka Police and then beaten. 

Neighbors also recorded it and later posted a video to TikTok as Friend was punched repeatedly. You can see officers tase the man. Now Jason Friend is suing the city of Apopka and Orange County. 

"What can I say? It hurts. My face was so messed up. It’s a big cover-up from beginning to end," said Friend.

Friend is a former officer himself, from Maryland. He now lives in Apopka. He says he was sitting in his car in his driveway on this night in November 2019, right around Thanksgiving, listening to music and grieving his mother who recently died. 

This beating is what happened after neighbors called police to complain about the loud music coming from his car. 

"My 13-year-old child was in my house. My wife was in the house. If they would have rolled up and just asked hey go knock on the door. There’s no victim. There’s no crime. It’s a noise complaint," said Friend. 

Now he’s suing, claiming intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, negligent retention, and negligent training. 

The arrest report tells a different story. One of the officers says Friend hit them multiple times during the incident, which forced them to tase him.

Friend says it never should have come to this. "Next thing I know I’m getting pounced on by four cops.  I sustained a brain injury that affects my short time memory." 

In a statement, Apopka Police did acknowledge the TikTok video but said the city has not yet seen served with the lawsuit. They would not comment on pending litigation.

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