WATCH: Lakeland PD Reviewing Video Showing Use of Force in Florida

LAKELAND, Florida – The Lakeland Police Department says it is reviewing a video that may show excessive force used against a 38-year-old man.

Lakeland PD says it has been made aware of a now-viral video on Tuesday showing what appears to be officers “in a struggle with a suspect” under the U.S. 98 North and Interstate 4 overpass.

Around 4:20 p.m., police said, Officer J.R. West spotted a man, later identified as Justin Abbott, sleeping under the overpass. By this time, a second officer, Officer Anthony, arrived to assist.

West asked Abbott to leave the area and gave him a trespass warning, given the “dangerous location,” according to a Lakeland police media release. According to the agency, Abbott refused to leave after several verbal demands, so both officers attempted to arrest him.

At that point, police said, Abbott began resisting.

Police said Abbott shoved Officer Anthony, who fell to the ground, toppling everyone. West deployed his Taser, but it was ineffective and Abbott continued to resist, police said.

They tried to deploy it again, and Officer Anthony saw Abbott grab Officer West’s Taser, according to the Lakeland Police Department. Officer Anthony struck Abbott “several times” before he was taken into custody.

The video appears to show officers using their fists and, at times, kicking Abbott.

Abbott was transported to Lakeland Regional Health, and was found to have “no treatable injuries.” Both officers had minor injuries during the incident.

Abbott faces charges including trespassing and resisting an arrest. Lakeland PD says it has seen the video circulating social media and the incident is being reviewed.

A Lakeland police spokesperson told FOX 13 there is no police video of the incident. Body cameras are not issued to officers. Occasionally, squad cars have dashcams, however, in this case, the spokesperson said there is none, either because the vehicle did not have it, or it was not recording during the incident.

“As with all use of force cases, a thorough administrative review is being conducted by the chain-of-command,” the agency said in a statement.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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