JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The loved ones of a man shot to death by Jacksonville police last week at an Argyle Forest hotel and the family’s attorney spoke Tuesday, demanding a transparent investigation and the release of all videos of the incident out there.
Attorney Marwan Porter and his loved ones told a news conference that 32-year-old Michael Hughes was the father of two young children and a good person who had a mental illness.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Hughes was shot and killed on March 30 by Officer JH Wing at the Quality Inn on Youngerman Circle after Hughes took control of the officer’s Taser and stunned him.
The Sheriff’s Office said both Wing and another officer who responded to the hotel were carrying a body video camera. Porter also said he understands that in addition to the body cameras, there were dashboard cameras and hotel surveillance, which is why he and the family are asking for all images to be released.
There was a domestic dispute between Hughes and his girlfriend at the hotel on March 30, and according to JSO Chief of Investigations TK Waters, officers were called to the hotel multiple times, the first time around 6:30 a.m. and the last time shortly after. after 12:30 pm
That time, according to Waters, Hughes made his way back to the room after he had left earlier, and when two officers arrived, Hughes refused to leave. Waters said officers tried to stop Hughes and that there was a more than 60-second fight with one of the officers, during which time Hughes yelled that he was going to kill him. Hughes’s girlfriend, Dawn Johnson, disputed at Tuesday’s press conference that Hughes yelled, “I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you.”
According to Waters, Hughes took control of Wing’s Taser and stunned it once and then the officer fired multiple shots. Hughes pounced on the officer again and the officer fired several more shots, Waters said.
When Hughes collapsed, Waters said, the officer handcuffed him and performed CPR until rescue personnel arrived and determined he was dead.
“Right now, I don’t know how to deal with anything. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was never supposed to be like this. I miss him so much, ”Hughes’s girlfriend said. “We had our problems, we argued, things were frustrating, but I loved that man and he loved me.”
Hughes’s father, Timothy Hughes, said his oldest son was shot in the head, chest, stomach and buttocks.
“Why did the police take the pictures of the motels and the backup pictures of the motels? I want to see them. I want to see what they did to my son, ”he said. “I would also like to know why the police have two tasers, two pepper spray and two batons, but they could not arrest a black man without violence and without weapons. I’d like to know why they couldn’t arrest a black man, having all those things under their arsenal. These are things that I would like to know, and I like to see the pictures of my son was alive, from the moment he was alive until the moment he lay down on the floor.
Johnson demanded to know “why did they have to shoot him so many times?”
“I feel guilty because I called the police for help,” he said.
Porter insisted that Hughes was not a violent man, but that “he had an argument with his girlfriend and now he’s dead.” Porter said a non-violent domestic dispute “should not be a death sentence.”
The family’s lawyer said that if all the evidence is released and it appears that the police acted legally, the family will accept this, but if they discover that the officers acted inappropriately, they will seek justice in court.
Wing, who has been with JSO for two years, suffered minor injuries in the incident. He was put on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure. The second officer did not fire his weapon.
JSO sent News4Jax the following statement regarding Tuesday’s press conference:
“As you know, Chief Waters shared the information available shortly after the incident. This remains an active investigation, both within JSO and externally through the State Attorney’s Office. There has been no new information available for release at this time, as such we would respectfully decline an interview. “
Porter said he has already requested access to all surveillance video and has yet to receive a response from the agency.
This was the third shooting involved by police in Jacksonville in 2021 and the second that ended in death.
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