Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
First Coast

State Attorney Announces New Policy To Speed Up Video Release Of Police-Involved Shootings

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right).
Ryan Benk
/
WJCT News
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams (left) and State Attorney Melissa Nelson (right) are pictured in this file photo..

The Northeast Florida State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday it’s going to release body camera footage faster after police-involved shootings in Jacksonville.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson said the change will reinforce transparency, integrity, and accountability of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. 

The new policy reduces investigation time - from incident to preliminary review - to 21 days. Previously, it could take several months. 

After that, prosecutors will tell police within 30 days whether the public release of the body cam video is acceptable.

"We had historically waited until the conclusion of an investigation before this evidence would be made public," Nelson told WJCT News partner News4Jax. "This is obviously self imposed. This is not prescribed by rule or statute but a policy that we think is important and responsive to the public."

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office began using body-worn cameras in 2018, but no footage from a police shooting was released until this June.  That was in the case of 33-year-old Frankie Feliciano, who an officer shot and killed in July of 2019 as he was threatening a man in a wheelchar with a knife.

The new body camera policy is effective immediately.

Correction: This story originally stated, incorrectly, that the first footage from a police involved shooting in Jacksonville was released in July. That body cam footage, which showed police shooting and killing 22-year-old FAMU student Jamee Johnson during a traffic stop in December of 2019, was the second to be released in Jacksonville. We regret the error.

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.