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City of Tallahassee Sued Over Body Cam Release Of Malik Jackson's Death

Malik Jackson's family wants him to be remembered in Black Lives Matter efforts.
Abigail Jackson
Used with permission
Malik Jackson's family wants him to be remembered in Black Lives Matter efforts.

Malik Jackson’s father is suing the City of Tallahassee for invasion of privacy and emotional distress after it released, on YouTube, body camera footage showing Jackson’s final moments. He was stabbed and killed earlier this year by Tony McDade who was later shot and killed by police. During a recent city commission meeting, Antonio Brown pleaded for the city to remove the video of his son.

“What if it was your child that was on the video? What if it was your family members that had to see this video? Would you then take it down?" Brown asked commissioners during a September 10 meeting.

The family has said they were told the body camera footage would be released, but not that it would feature Jackson. Local lawyers and the First Amendment Foundation raised concerns that posting Jackson’s video violates victim privacy rights enshrined in the state constitution and in state law.

The city commission voted to remove Jackson's footage along with two other body camera videos in separate officer involved shootings over the objections of legal counsel. They are still available by request. The city manager and city attorney have defended posting the video, saying it is public record.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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