JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of Michael Hughes joined their attorney, Marwan Porter on Tuesday in demanding the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office turn over body camera video after an officer-involved shooting killed the 32-year-old.
Officers responded to the Quality Inn on Youngerman Circle four separate times last Tuesday in reference to a domestic dispute before Hughes was shot and killed at the hands of police.
Dawn Johnson, Hughes’ girlfriend, called police for help with the domestic dispute.
“I never knew when I opened the door and called police for help, that this is what was going to happen,” Johnson said. “I never wanted my sons’ father to die.”
Hughes was a father of two.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Hughes stole one of the officer’s stun guns and used it against him before lunging at officers.
Porter said Hughes struggled from mental illness and it should’ve never gotten to that point.
“You have to understand where they’re coming from. You have to understand that everything isn’t clicking the way it’s supposed to be clicking. You have to be patient with them,” he said.
In a statement to Action News Jax, JSO said, “Upon being hired by JSO, and routinely throughout one’s career at JSO, training involving the mentally ill is not only provided, but is mandatory to continue to be certified as a law enforcement officer in Florida.”
Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said officers go through intense training.
“Muscle memory has a lot to do with this, and that’s why there’s so much police training. That way when you encounter a situation — your body seems to react in an appropriate way.”
Porter said JSO does not release body camera video quickly enough.
Following calls for transparency last year, the State Attorney’s Office stepped in to speed up the process.
In previous cases, sometimes video was not released for more than a year.
Now the SAO will tell JSO in 30 days whether it can turn over video of the incident.
Cox Media Group