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Florida man in viral arrest video is in ‘excruciating pain’ after police beating, lawyers say

Le’Keian Woods was beaten and Tasered by several Florida sheriff’s officers as he fled from a traffic stop Friday night.
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The 24-year-old Black man who was shown on police body camera footage after what his attorney said was a violent encounter with Jacksonville, Florida, sheriff’s officers after a traffic stop Friday is in “excruciating pain” at a hospital and suffering from severe injuries as a result of the beating. 

“I believe he has a ruptured kidney, migraine headaches and he’s hurting,” attorney Marwan Porter said of Le’Keian Woods at a news conference Tuesday. “He’s hurting really, really, really bad.”

Broderick Taylor, another attorney for the family, said Woods is unable to walk or eat without throwing up. “He still can’t see properly. His face is still completely purple. He can see that I’m there, that there’s a body there. But I don’t think he knows what I look like,” Taylor said.

Woods has been hospitalized since the incident Friday, in which, his attorneys said, officers chased and beat him after he fled from a traffic stop. Officers allege that they saw Woods engaged in a drug transaction and that he ran as they arrested two other people in the traffic stop, said Mike Shell, the chief of professional standards for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Body camera video showed detectives chasing Woods through a yard, a parking lot and a grassy area before they used a Taser stun gun on him.  

 Le’Keian Woods surrounded by officers as he's taken into custody
An image from cellphone video shows Le’Keian Woods surrounded by officers as he is taken into custody Friday in northeast Florida.Ruby Anderson via AP

The viral video showed Woods falling face first onto a paved street with one arm beneath him. Detectives are seen hitting him in his face, bloodying his jaw and kneeing him in the head while they yell for him to put his hands behind his back. The sheriff’s office acknowledged the controversial video in a statement on its website, alleging that the video created “the illusion of an inappropriate use of force.”

Sheriff T.K. Waters has acknowledged the officers’ use of force, but he said at a news conference Monday that “just because force is ugly does not mean it is unlawful or contrary to policy.”

Porter disagreed.

“If that’s true, getting a UFC beatdown for refusing to put your hand behind your back is consistent with JSO policies and procedures,” he said, referring to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “That’s problematic, and so we are here to hold everyone accountable.” 

Woods was eventually arrested on charges of armed trafficking in cocaine, armed possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, armed trafficking in amphetamine, tampering with evidence and resisting an officer, according to an arrest report.

Porter called several of the charges into question, noting that Woods should not face gun charges because the recovered handgun was not in Woods’ possession but was found in the pocket of another person arrested at the scene.  Porter added that the beating was an “unlawful use of force.” He said the family’s attorneys want to pursue misconduct charges.

Woods’ family did not speak at the news conference, but when Porter asked them whether they wanted the officers imprisoned, they responded, “Right! All of them!”

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