JSO officers fired at by gang member; no national media outcry


Photo: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Dept. (1-16-15)

If a suspect or person of interest is shot by policemen, the shooting often makes the front page regardless of the city. On January 16 the reverse occurred in Jacksonville. While the case was covered by Northeast Florida’s only daily newspaper in the metro section’s ‘Law and Order’ column, it didn’t make the front page. It should have, because it’s a case where despite violence, no one died. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office statement said:

“[O]fficers were at River Oaks Apartments in the 11200 block of Harts Road attempting to serve a search warrant.  Upon approaching the apartment in question, they observed an individual getting into a vehicle known to frequent the apartment.  As officers approached, the suspect reached into his waistband area and attempted to pull out a firearm.  The officers recognized the actions taken by the suspect.  The suspect fought with officers as they tried to disarm him.  During the struggle, the suspect was able to get one shot off that fortunately missed all parties involved.  The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and charged with multiple counts of attempted murder on the officers.

Upon serving the search warrant, multiple individuals were located inside the apartment and subsequently arrested on various charges stemming from the search to include drugs and weapons violations.”

A JSO spokesman described the gun (shown above) as a “machine gun pistol.” During the scuffle, the shot the suspect fired went into the ground. JSO spokesman Tom Hackney said there was a flash suppressor on the end. Police had identified themselves and there was also an official vehicle on the premises, so there should have been no confusion on the suspect’s part about who was approaching him.

JSO said the man who was arrested was a ‘known gang member’ of the 1000 Block Gang, a local group.

The daily newspaper in NE Florida identified the suspect as Jonathan Lavon Campbell. The JSO inmate database described Campbell as a 25 year old black male, 6 ft. 1 inch tall who is facing attempted murder charges.

The officers had every right to fire at the suspect, but managed to take him in with no loss of life. That outcome didn’t make the national 24/7 news pundit cycle. It should have, because such arrests happen far more frequently than arrests resulting in the death of a suspect.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 26, 2015)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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One Response to JSO officers fired at by gang member; no national media outcry

  1. Pingback: Hat tip: Jax sheriff’s office again shows restraint amid danger | DAY ON THE DAY

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