JSO: Use of force increased in 2020, while incidents involving force decreased

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A newly released JSO report says officers’ use of force increased by 14% in 2020, though total incidents involving use of force went down by just under 4%.

There were 16 JSO police shootings in 2020, and 11 in 2019.

Nine of 2020′s police involved shootings in Jacksonville were deadly.

Three of those deadly shooting cases remain under investigation by the State Attorney’s Office, including the November shooting of 18-year-old Devon Gregory after a traffic stop.

Investigators say officers fired their guns after Gregory suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Months later, his aunt, Teanay Gregory, says their family is still processing the loss.

“He had a lot of really good things ahead of him. So, it’s hard. Really hard,” said Teanay.

As first reported by our radio news partners, 104.5 WOKV, the report says the number of incidents involving force went down from 2019 to 2020, while the application of force used by police increased by 14% over the same period.

Reading more into the report, it says 1,002 uses of force were reported in 2020.

In 2019 there were 878 uses of force reported in 553 incidents.

The report found officers used more force in 2020 than in the three previous years.

JSO Director, Mike Bruno, tells WOKV reporter Hannah Lee multiple uses of force can be included in one incident.

“That could be because multiple applications of force by one officer, if he gets there and it’s a hands-feet-fist because somebody is fighting and then it escalates to a taser. Those are two applications right there,” said Bruno.

For 19 minutes officers can be heard on body camera video trying to convince Gregory to show his hands, as Gregory is heard shouting for officers to leave him.

As the State Attorney’s Office reviews whether the shooting was justified, Gregory’s family says they have unanswered questions.

“What was the reason of that many shots?” said Teanay.