Kelli Wilson, a Black woman in Jacksonville, Fla,, claims that white cops beat and assaulted her after they saw her filming her husband’s arrest at a local convenience store. Wilson’s legal team says video of the incident supports her case, but authorities countered her allegations by saying she was interfering with the investigation.
Local television outlet NewsJax4 covered Wilson and her story, who was flanked by her lawyers during the station’s broadcast coverage. Wilson’s attorneys are confident that their client was not in the wrong but without audio in the clip, there could be further snags to come in the case.
In Kelli Wilson’s mind, all she did was record her husband’s arrest with her phone.
Police with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report the woman interfered with their investigation, and was only arrested after being warned more than once.
“I was beaten, and then falsely arrested, my phone was stolen, my car was taken. It was a traumatic experience. It was definitely an experience you never think you would be going through,” said Wilson.
The incident happened July 15, 2015, outside a Westside convenience store. Wilson found out her husband had been stopped by police, so she got a ride to the scene and tried to pickup their vehicle. She says she turned on her video recorder on her phone as she talked with police.
Wilson says she identified herself to police and asked if she could recover the vehicle. She says she acted politely until the confrontation that can be seen on the convenience store surveillance video. Wilson says an officer demanded her phone, so she asked “why?”
“He asked for it, he demanded it again, and I gave him the same, ‘Why do you want my phone? What do you need my phone for?’ He told me he would punch me in my face,” said Wilson. “I eventually got punched and beaten and the sergeant that was on the scene joined in the beating.”
Wilson’s attorneys maintain that the three police officers in question filed a false report against their client and that the video will sway a jury in their favor. A crime and safety analyst for NewsJax4 disagreed with the attorneys, but only because it couldn’t be determined truly what happened without audio.