year-old Brian Dennison of Jacksonville was hurrying home with his six-year-old daughter to retrieve her asthma inhaler when he was pulled over by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Deputy J.C. Garcia. In his rush to get his daughter’s medicine, Dennison reportedly drove erratically and broke several traffic laws.
The deputy, immediately upon exiting his vehicle, drew his weapon and fired a shot into Dennison’s car. Nobody was hit.
Dennison was taken into custody for driving with a suspended license, but in the initial police report there was no mention of shots fired.
The JSO’s incident report does not mention Garcia shooting Dennison.
Mellissa Bujeda, spokeswoman for the JSO, said the shooting wasn’t listed in the initial report because it was a “separate investigation.”
One would think a small detail like a deputy discharging a firearm into a vehicle occupied by an unarmed black man and his 6-year-old daughter would be information warranting a mention in that officer’s report.
Dennison’s license was reportedly suspended for failing to pay a traffic ticket, an offense that clearly warrants the use of deadly force. Garcia was not disciplined or placed on leave after the incident. In fact, Assistant Chief Chris Butler fumbled his way through a press conference, making every excuse as to why Dennison deserved to be fired at, noting the good judgement of the Deputy for only firing once.
When asked how and when the deputy determined the driver was unarmed, he responded “there was some kind of movement in the vehicle,” and that the deputy’s decision to fire and his determination that the driver was unarmed was “simultaneous.”
In a state where tinted windows are the norm that sure is some darned fine police work. One can only wonder what story we’d be hearing had the bullet struck Dennison or his daughter. Perhaps the way she was holding her sippy cup made him fear for his life.
Here’s the video with the news report.