Jacksonville Beach police used a Taser, a baton and four sets of handcuffs to arrest a man accused of punching a bouncer and walking out on his $235 bar tab on Sunday.
Facebook video of the takedown outside Surfer [the Bar] on 1st Street North is leading some beachgoers to question why the use of force was necessary in the first place, since Christopher Alan White did not appear combative when a Jacksonville Beach Police Department officer deployed the first Taser.
White pulled the prongs off the first Taser, seemingly unaffected.
“Stop doing that,” White can be heard saying in the video.
That comment led to a second Taser deployment from a second officer as well as an attempted headlock, from which White wriggled free.
“I’m not fighting,” said White as an officer beat his thigh with a baton.
White swatted at the officer during the beating.
A third officer deployed a third Taser, which brought White to the ground.
Jacksonville Beach resident Annsley Grantham said she’s disturbed about what led up to the first Taser being fired.
“He seemed pretty inebriated, so I don’t think it was necessary to tase him at all,” said Grantham.
The officer wrote in his report that he deployed that Taser because White refused to give him his hand to be cuffed.
Action News Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson said he does not believe that’s enough of a reason to use a Taser on someone.
“No, not when you have backup there and additional backup on the way. There’s not enough reason for you to Taser someone just because they won’t give you their hand, despite his size,” said Jefferson.
Action News Jax called the number listed on the police report as White’s cellphone number to get his side of the story. The man who picked up said he didn’t know who White was and hung up.
Jacksonville Beach police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Crumley said the department is doing a “standard use of force review.” None of the officers involved are on limited duty.
Court records in Putnam County, where White lives, show he has no prior criminal cases there, just traffic and civil cases.