Police Bodycam Footage Of Jamee Johnson Shooting in Jacksonville, Florida
** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **
Jacksonville, Florida — The State Attorney’s Office Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida in Duval County has released its report and body camera video from the investigation into the officer-involved shooting of former FAMU student Jamee Johnson. The SAO has determined that the officer who shot Jamee Johnson back in December 2019 was justified in his use of force.
The officer-involved shooting took place at approximately 5:00 p.m. on December 14, 2019. On this date, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (“JSO”) Officer Josue Garriga (“Officer Garriga”) was deployed as part of a JSO initiative aimed at reducing violent crime. While working on this deployment initiative, Officer Garriga conducted a traffic stop of Jamee Johnson (“Johnson”) for driving without a seatbelt, a violation of Florida Statute section 316.614(4). After pulling Johnson over, Officer Garriga observed a strong odor of marijuana coming from Johnson’s car. Officer Garriga immediately noted that Johnson was nervous and making furtive movements. Officer Garriga asked Johnson to stop moving erratically and provide him with his identification. An inquiry pursuant to the traffic stop followed.
Officer Garriga asked whether Johnson had “anything” in his car, a routine question aimed at both officer safety and crime intervention. When Johnson offered that he had a firearm in the car, Officer Garriga asked Johnson to step out of his car. As Johnson stepped out of his car, Officer Garriga noted that Johnson had marijuana flakes on his shirt. Officer Garriga posed a series of questions to Johnson regarding the smell of marijuana and the marijuana flakes on his shirt. Johnson explained that the flakes were hemp. Officer Garriga next questioned Johnson about the firearm in the car. Johnson admitted that he did not have a concealed weapons permit and further explained that the firearm was not secured as required by law.
Officer Garriga asked that Johnson sit in the back of his patrol car while he obtained Johnson’s receipt for the firearm. Inexplicably, and for reasons we can only speculate, Johnson shoved Officer Garriga in the chest and jumped headfirst into his car toward the very gun he had just described to Officer Garriga. Officer Garriga dove after Johnson to prevent him from accessing the gun. During the struggle, Johnson placed the car in drive and crashed through a fence into a nearby yard, dragging Officer Garriga along the way. While Officer Garriga was inside the car struggling with Johnson, the struggle turned deadly when Johnson grasped his gun and lifted the gun toward Officer Garriga’s face. Officer Garriga immediately tried to hide behind Johnson’s head, to avoid being shot.
Officer Garriga pushed himself out of the car and, believing Johnson was armed, fired until Johnson no longer posed a threat. Johnson suffered multiple gunshot wounds and fell to the ground outside the car. Officer Garriga contemporaneously, and without time for reflection, told his backup officer, Officer Kristopher Graham, that Johnson “tried to grab his gun on me.” Johnson immediately responded, “I’m ready to give up.” Officer Garriga yelled at Johnson: “Don’t grab the gun.” Johnson immediately responded, “My hands are off it.” Officer Garriga and Officer Graham commanded Johnson not to move and continued to yell at Johnson, asking where the gun was located. Johnson replied, “It’s in the car...” Johnson’s admissions corroborated Officer Garriga’s recount that he was fighting Johnson for the gun.
Johnson suffered the following four gunshot wounds during the incident: a gunshot wound to the left side of the chest; a gunshot wound to the left side of the back; a gunshot wound on the posterior aspect of the right elbow; and a gunshot wound on the anterior and lateral aspects of the right hip. Johnson was transported to the hospital where he died in surgery from his wounds. The two gunshot wounds to the torso caused Johnson’s death. After thorough investigation, The State Attorney’s Office renders the legal opinion that Officer Garriga’s actions were lawful and justified as defined in applicable Florida law. They reached this opinion after a comprehensive review of the evidence and the consultation of an independent expert in the field of policing, including the use of force, police tactics, body-worn camera usage, and industry practices and standards.
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