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J’ville cop attacked by hoodlums while responding to ‘shots fired’ call: ‘They beat his a** and I recorded it!’

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Correction: This report initially referenced the “fatal shooting” of George Floyd. This has since been corrected.

Street hoodlums in Jacksonville, Florida, attacked and tried to stomp out an armed police officer who’d been responding to a report of gunfire last Thursday.

Video footage from the scene showed the hoodlums scuffling with the responding officer, pushing him to the ground and then dousing him with punches, and all as a crowd of seemingly entertained bystanders watched.

Eventually, the officer managed to get himself back up, at which point the cameraman could be heard saying, “They beat his ass, and I recorded it!”

The video found its way to social media via the Twitter account below (*Graphic content):

It’s not clear whether the owner of the account is the cameraman.

In a statement to Action News Jax, a news brand representing both local stations WFOX and WJAX, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that the officer was fine and that an arrest had been made.

In a separate statement, Steve Zona, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Jacksonville branch, said that the scuffle began after “one of the people from the crowd actually attacked our police officer.”

Despite being armed with a rifle and facing what Zona argued was essentially a “potential active shooter situation,” the officer never opened fire.

“An arrest was made and this was ultimately quelled as it should have been,” safety expert Dale Carlson reportedly said.

“Carson and Zona both said while the situation escalated quickly, the proper protocols were followed,” according to Action News Jax.

Despite the evening’s unfortunate events, Zona maintained that the crowd of hoodlums wasn’t representative of the city as a whole.

“We have tremendous support here in the community, and I don’t think what happened to our police officer is a direct reflection of our community here in Jacksonville. I say it’s a direct reflection of the people there,” he said.

In tweets, Zona praised the officer for having run “towards danger, alone, to make sure some of the very people who attacked him would be safe.”

Look:

Meanwhile, others on Twitter noted how lucky the crowd was that the officer hadn’t opened fire on them, given as Florida is a “Stand Your Ground” state.

“The crowd is very fortunate. It’s Florida, a stand your ground state. He was attacked and had a legal right to shoot- and he didn’t,” one person tweeted.

“That cop had every right to shoot those people in self defense. That mob is lucky,” another person added.

Look:

Others argued that the cop was just as fortunate.

Look:

Disagreements aside, there was broad agreement that this shouldn’t happen — and that, sadly, this is happening all across the country.

Look:

Violent crime has been on the rise throughout the country ever since the death last summer of Minneapolis criminal suspect George Floyd.

The response by some lawmakers has been to call for the elimination of jails and the defunding of police. Crime has spiked particularly hard in localities where such policies have been pursued.

Last year one Jacksonville City Council member, Garrett Dennis, tried to freeze half of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s budget.

Dennis faced fierce opposition from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican.

“Curry and some council members framed the plan as a part of the national movement to defund the police, which is an approach to steer money from police budgets into social programs designed to alleviate the root causes of crime, and criticized it as ’embarrassing’ and ‘disgusting,'” as reported by The Florida Times-Union.

Vivek Saxena

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