A Florida sheriff said this week that there was "absolutely no evidence" that a suspect was beaten by one of his deputies, but the man's family claimed that his bloody mug shot suggested that officials were lying.
Martin County Deputy William Jaques wrote in his arrest report that 31-year-old Jamell Adamson did not immediately pull over on Saturday when he tried to stop him over for expired tags. When Adamson did pull over, Jaques said that he tried to grab Adamson but the suspect pushed his arm away, and then he tried to flee.
The arrest report said that Jaques warned Adamson to stop before deploying his Taser. The deputy said that the severe bruising on Adamson's face was caused when he hit the ground after being shocked.
“He made it clear he wasn’t going to surrender peacefully," Sheriff William Snyder said on Monday. "So the deployment of that taser was 100% within our guidelines."
However, family members told WPBF that Jaques was seen beating Adamson.
“We have eyewitnesses. He was beating and beating him,” Adamson’s sister, Lahareesha Mays, insisted.
Mays also disputed evidence photos showing blood on the concrete where Adamson fell. She said that blood would have been splattered on a nearby wall if the deputy's story was true.
“He has a big gash on the back of his head, too,” Mays pointed out. “How did he get that?”
The sheriff said that investigators would test Jaques' baton for blood because the case was sensitive.
“In some of our fragile neighborhoods, tensions can run high very fast," Snyder noted. "There was substantial facial trauma, it was an incident with a white officer and a black suspect, so it had all the ingredients for misunderstanding. I thought it was important for the Sheriff’s Office to get out right away and explain what we have."
Watch the video below from WPTV, broadcast Aug. 24, 2015.