Miami-Dade retired corrections officer's friends challenge police version of killing, demand video
FDLE continues to investigate deputies decision to kill 26-year Miami-Dade County corrections veteran
MIAMI – Walter Clark said he just cant believe that his friend would shoot at law enforcement. He also wouldn't mention the Islamic State during a tense situation, he said.
His friend Earl Jackson, 59, was not that kind of guy, he said. The married father -- who retired from Miami-Dade Corrections, after serving for 26 years -- just would not do that, he said.
Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey said it all began when a Florida Highway Patrol trooper stopped to render aid to Jackson who seemed to be stranded. Jackson fired several rounds and fled into the woods, Forgey said.
"Just knowing Earl, it just does not make any sense," Clark said.
In search for clues, Clark said he filed a public records requests for the related dash-cam and body-cam video. Amid a lack of information, there are fears that Jackson's race may have played a role.
The story that Alachua County Sheriff's Office told in a news release said deputies were concerned that Jackson was linked to a terrorist organization. There were helicopters, SWAT vehicles, police dogs and several agencies looking for him. For a man like Jackson, that's just excessive, Clark said.
"After they say ISIS, everything else is green light," he said.
Jackson's car broke down on the side of northbound Interstate 75 near the town of Micanopy in Alachua County, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace said. Jackson was outside of the car on the ground and shot at him about three times before running away, he said.
The deputy who killed Jackson has not been identified. Marion County Sheriff's Office, one of the agencies involved, was testing out different body cameras, WCJB-TV reported in February. There may be video.
Miami-Dade Corrections Department Director Marydell Guevara said that since the deputies alleged Jackson shot at them, they are unable to provide honor guard services. Jackson retired in 2008.
"We are proud of him and will always support the family as best we can," Guevara said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement continued to investigate Thursday if the deputy or deputies who killed Jackson used excessive force. Their findings will be turned over to Alachua County state attorney Michele Lieberman.
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