A rally was held on the steps of the Sheriff's Office headquarters in Jacksonville on Sunday (October 1) after video of the arrest of Le'Keian Woods went viral, according to The Florida-Times Union.
On Friday (September 29), Woods' arrest was captured on cellphone video by a bystander and several officers kneeling and standing over him. As the footage continues, one officer picks Woods up and slams him into the ground.
When the video resumes, Woods is seen with a bloody face and is badly bruised. While the video doesn’t show Woods being struck by the police, his family claims that he was punched in the face by officers, which left his face injured. Harry Daniels, one of Woods’ lawyers, said he was being treated for a concussion.
Woods is currently being held on charges of “armed drug trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting an officer with violence.”
Dexter Van Harris, another attorney who represented Woods during a hearing on Sunday morning, said that the judge found no probable cause on two of the six charges levied against his client, and his bail is around $170,000.
Woods' mother, Natassia Woods, told the crowd that it’s been hard to get information from officials about the health of her son.
“I’m at a point now that I just want answers for my son," Woods told the crowd. "I want justice for my son. No one should be beaten like that.”
She also shared that her son had no idea that was beaten so badly during a difficult phone conversation they had.
"When he called me from the jail, he said, 'Mama, what happened to me?'" she said.
"He didn't even know he got beat [sic] like that. He didn't even know that stuff had happened to him. He did not know that he had got beaten that bad,” she continued.
On Saturday (Sept. 30), the Sheriff's Office released a statement saying it is opening a full investigation into the incident.
"The agency takes all allegations of inappropriate use of force by JSO officers seriously. As such, this incident is now under administrative review to determine if the involved officers violated any JSO policy,” the statement read. “Because the matter is currently under investigation, the agency cannot comment further about the incident until the investigation is completed.”
In response to the incident, the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, the advocacy group that organized the demonstration, has demanded that officers involved in the altercation be held accountable, to bring an end to the gang unit in the department, and the creation of a safety committee where community members review public safety policies.
“Why can’t the city have an institution that can hear the voices of the community in a controlled way that can affect policy in a positive way," Michael Sampson, a member of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee said.
In addition to his most recent run-in with the police, in 2018, Woods was arrested and charged with a second-degree murder charge when his roommate was fatally shot in an attempted robbery at an apartment in Tallahassee.
Woods’ next appearance in court is scheduled for October 24.