ANJ Investigates

Action News Jax Investigates: Bias profiling claims against the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating a traffic stop after a formal complaint was made.

Action News Jax first told you last week about traffic stop involving Braxton Smith that happened in late November.

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We have been pushing the Sheriff’s office for answers and information on the current policy since then.

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty reached out to JSO last week, asking how it tracks racial profiling complaints. Moriarty heard back from a spokesperson, this week, who said the agency posts bias-based profiling complaints on its transparency page. It can be found under the tab called “Open data report briefs.”

Each report gives the description of what would be a bias-based profiling incident. Then, it shows the number of complaints for that year and the disposition.

These are the five types of dispositions in each case:

  • Unfounded: The administrative investigation determined an allegation of misconduct was false or not supported by the facts.
  • Exonerated: The administrative investigation determined an incident involving alleged misconduct occurred, but the employee’s actions were lawful and proper.
  • Not Sustained: The administrative investigation determined there was insufficient evidence to either prove or disprove the allegation of misconduct.
  • Sustained: The administrative investigation determined there was a preponderance of evidence to prove the employee committed the alleged misconduct.
  • Policy Revision: The administrative investigation determined the action of the agency or the officer was consistent with agency policy, but the policy requires revision.

In 2021, the internal affairs unit received seven bias-based profiling complaints. Zero were sustained.

In 2020, there were 10 complaints. Zero were sustained.

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In 2019, there were four complaints. Zero were sustained.

In 2018, there were eight complaints. All eight were considered “unfounded” or “exonerated.”

In 2017, there were 10 complaints. All were given a disposition of “unfounded,” “not sustained,” or “exonerated.”

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There was not data for years prior to 2017.

Moriarty reached out to JSO asking if, based on the information given, that there was not a single disposition that was sustained between 2017 and 2021. We are waiting to hear back.

Action News Jax has also put in a formal request for those complaints.

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