Police investigate after video shows handcuffed Black man bloodied and bruised during Florida traffic stop

A traffic stop captured on video by a bystander shows a handcuffed Black man with swollen eyes and a bloody face sitting on the ground surrounded by officers outside a vehicle in northeast Florida, and the officers’ law enforcement agency says it has launched an internal review.

Force was used while taking 24-year-old Le’Keian Woods into custody on Friday, and the agency was conducting an administrative review of what happened to see if any policies were violated, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“The agency takes all allegations of inappropriate use of force by JSO officers seriously,” the sheriff’s office said.

Traffic Stop Beaten Man
This photo taken from cellphone video provided by Ruby Anderson shows Le’Keian Woods, with swollen eyes and a bloody face sitting on the ground surrounded by officers, as he’s taken into custody, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in northeast Florida. RUBY ANDERSON / AP

The sheriff’s office said it couldn’t comment any further because the incident was being investigated.

According to the family’s attorney, Woods was initially pulled over for a seatbelt violation, CBS affiliate WJAX-TV reported.

The video released by Woods’ attorney, Harry Daniels, shows at least three officers on top of Woods, who is chest-down on grass beside a car. At one point, an officer appears to slam Woods’ head into the ground. After he is handcuffed, Woods is propped up against an officer’s legs, seemingly unable to sit up on his own. Later, he struggles to stand up.

Daniels told The Associated Press on Sunday that after his arrest, Woods was taken to a hospital for treatment of a severe concussion. In a statement a day earlier, the attorney said his client was lucky to be alive.

“If this video of the officers repeatedly assaulting Le’Keian, slamming his head in the ground and tossing him around like a ragdoll while he’s handcuffed and defenseless isn’t enough to convince you that these officers need to be off the street, just look at Le’Keian’s face,” Daniels said. “He looks like he just went 12 rounds with a professional boxer.”

Online records show that Woods was being held in custody on Sunday on charges of armed traffic of methamphetamine, armed traffic of cocaine, armed possession of a controlled substance, resisting an officer with violence and violation of probation, among other charges.

On Sunday, family and community members gathered outside of JSO headquarters to protest the incident, WJAX-TV reported.

“I seen them kick my son, and slam his face to the ground, and I couldn’t believe it,” Woods’ mother Natassia Woods said, according to WJAX-TV. “I was like, I couldn’t believe they would do that to a person. Because if you kick a dog, or do something to an animal, you going down. So it’s okay to beat a human down like that, and there ain’t no pressure?”

The traffic stop comes more than a month after a white man wearing a mask and firing a weapon emblazoned with a swastika gunned down three Black people at a Dollar General store in a racist attack in a predominantly Black Jacksonville neighborhood.

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