Photo: Getty Images
  /  02.03.2022

A Black man is suing the city of Apopka, Florida and Orange County after being beaten by police officers in November of 2019. According to ABC 9, Jason Friend; a veteran and former law enforcement officer; said he was parked in his driveway, listening to music and mourning the recent loss of his mother when cops arrived.

Police say they were responding to a noise complaint about the music coming from Friend’s car. Officers claim the man was intoxicated and refused to respond to them. They also said Friend hit one of them in the arm and reached for what they thought was a gun.

However, Friend denies that any of this happened and instead claims police covered up the incident “from beginning to end.” Newly released body camera footage and a TikTok video filmed by a neighbor shows cops dragged Friend out of his car and began beating him on the road.

In the footage, the man can be heard crying out in pain and repeating, “I can’t breathe.”

The video also shows that officers tased Friend. In a police report, officers claimed the man punched them. However, his charges were later dropped.

Now, Friend is suing the city and county claiming intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring; negligent retention; and negligent training.

“Next thing I know I’m getting pounced on by four cops,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday (Feb. 2). “I sustained a brain injury that affects my short-time memory.”

According to Friend’s lawyer, the arresting officer involved, Nathaniel Tuck; is a member of the Proud Boys and left the police department while facing charges for storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Representatives for the City of Apopka and Orange County said they have not yet been served with the lawsuit and refused to comment on the complaint.

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