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City of Tallahassee Removes Body Cam Videos Following Outcry From Victim's Family

A young brown-skinned man with a bright smile grins at the camera while sitting on stairs
Abigail Jackson
/
Used with permission
Malik Jackson's family wants him to be remembered in Black Lives Matter efforts.

The City of Tallahassee is pulling body camera video from three officer-involved shootings from its website. The videos, which are public record, will still be available by request.

The city commission'd decision to remove the videos came over objections from the city attorney. It also followed appeals from the family members of Malik Jackson who was stabbed and killed May 27 by Tony McDade. McDade was later shot and killed by a Tallahassee Police Officer.

Antonio Brown, Malik’s father, told the commission his family has been re-traumatized.

“What if it was your child on the video? What if it was your family member on the video. Would you then take it down?”

The city’s decision to publish the video, which was from a different crime scene, has also raised questions about whether it violates victim privacy rights under both state law and the Florida Constitution. The family and their attorneys have said the city didn’t tell them footage of Jackson in his dying moments, would be released.

Earlier in the commission hearing, city attorney Cassandra Jackson advised officials not to talk about the situation in advance of a potential lawsuit.

“As I often give you caution any time we have a pending claim or lawsuit, I would encourage you not to comment on this matter," she said.

An early effort by Commissioner Jeremy Matlow to hold a vote on removing the video failed for lack of a second. Later in the meeting, Commissioner Richardson said he wanted to consider removing the videos and a motion to do so was approved.