A Florida police officer with a history of controversial traffic stops was flagged by local prosecutors who say body cam footage contradicts his version of events, First Coast News reported.
Chief assistant state attorney to then-Jacksonville Undersheriff Pat Ivey sent out a March 2022 email pointing to “inconsistencies” in two unrelated cases in which Officer Justin Peppers claimed a suspect violently resisted him. But according to prosecutors, it was Peppers who was instigating the violence. “Officer in both cases appears to assert initial aggression, and then charges resisting with violence,” the email said.
After the email was forwarded to Internal Affairs, there is no indication that any investigation or discipline followed.
“He needs to be stopped,” said Shuronda Hester, whose case was flagged by prosecutors. “He almost had me a felony. He’s messing with people’s lives.”
First Coast News Crime and Safety Analyst Mark Baughman: “It looked like, at least according to what I viewed on the body cam, and what I read in the report, that Officer Peppers may have instigated or started the aggression. … that’s the concern: that he’s playing the aggressor here, and someone is not actually resisting at that point.”
In 2021, a couple Peppers stopped for excessive window tint three times in two months accused him of stalking and harassment, called 911 on him twice, and even obtained a restraining order against him.
Peppers was not disciplined in either cases.
Watch First Coast News’ report on the story below: