Newly released body cam footage shows former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer Matthew Alimurung repeatedly punching a DUI suspect in the face and head with the muzzle of his Taser.
The incident later led to the arrest and firing of Alimurung, First Coast News reports.
In the video, Alimurung punches the man while he is being restrained by other officers. As the man lays handcuffed on the ground, Alimurung spits on him.
According to First Coast News Crime Analyst Kim Varner who is a former JSO Taser instructor, Alimurung was "using some serious force" with the taser, "coming down at an angle, so the corner of that hard plastic would hit you in the head. That would definitely hurt.”
Varner observed that the suspect wasn’t aggressive to officers during the arrest, even showing his hands and apologizing.
“It appeared to me that he was trying to protect himself by covering up more so than resistant in my opinion. Resistant is when they just refuse. He's telling them 'OK officer, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I’m sorry.'”
“Using excessive force is one thing, but then to spit on the individual after you have them handcuffed, that's a whole ‘nother level,” Varner said. “That puts so much fuel on the fire to see him do that. … It even becomes almost a racial type thing, you know, a Black guy getting spit on by a white person.”
First Coast News reports that Alimurung’s discipline history shows four prior complaints of excessive force. He also received other complaints that landed him in formal “de-escalation” training.
Alimurung pleaded guilty to charges of felony battery and filing a false law enforcement report. He was sentenced him to a year of house arrest, one day in jail (which he already served) and 50 hours of community service.
Watch the video below:
The officer who had prior unnecessary force complaints is seen beating the suspect with his Taser www.youtube.com