A Florida sheriff fired at an unarmed Black man on Monday who was rushing home after his daughter started having an asthma attack and has not been placed on leave as a result of the incident.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer J.C. Garcia shot at Brian Dennison after he reached his apartment complex in his car with his daughter, who was suffering from an asthma attack.
While the incident initially seemed like an unfortunate misunderstanding, the officer’s decision to leave a vital piece of information out of the police report seems questionable to some.
It all started when the officer spotted a vehicle speeding through a parking lot and running a stop sign, the police report explained, according to RT.com.
The police report added that the same vehicle also rushed the wrong way down a one-way street and nearly collided with another vehicle.
Officer Garcia said he also noticed that the vehicle was leaving from an ATM machine.
The five-year police veteran pursued Dennison with his sirens on but the worried father said he wasn’t paying any attention to the flashing lights.
“I seen a light, but at that moment in time I’m not paying attention to him,” Dennison said, according to a report posted on FilmingCops.com. “I’m paying attention to my child.”
Eventually both the officer and Dennison ended up at his apartment.
The mother of the young girl, Nacoya Ransom, said Dennison put his hands out the window to show he was unarmed but it didn’t stop the officer from firing.
Garcia fired at the 29-year-old father but allegedly diverted the shots after he realized he was unarmed.
That’s when Dennison reportedly explained to the officers that he was trying to get his 6-year-old daughter home because she was having an asthma attack.
By then, according to Ransom, the damage had already been done and the young girl had already been shaken up.
“She just thought that they were going to shoot her, and she was afraid for her dad,” Ransom told Jacksonville.com in reference to her daughter.
Dennison’s cousin overheard the shooting and told First Coast News that there was “really no reason” for the officer to fire at Dennison as he got out of the car.
Dennison’s daughter is okay but he has been arrested on misdemeanor charges including knowingly driving with a suspended license, RT.com reports.
His bail has been set at $2,000.
The officer will not be placed on leave.
Perhaps the most questionable thing about the incident, however, is the fact that the shooting was not included in the police report.
Eventually another report was filed that did include the shooting as the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office opened another investigation into the incident, although it does not seem that an explanation for the shooting was included on the second police report.
The department’s Cold Case Unit will be in charge of investigating the second report, according to First Coast News.
No one involved was injured as a result of the shooting.
As for the officer not being placed on leave, a spokesperson for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Melissa Bujeda, said putting an officer on leave is not always an immediate response to an incident.
“Being placed on leave is not automatic for every situation,” Bejuda told RT.com. “It is up to staff to determine what will be done. Each investigation is unique and investigated as such.”