Picture this. A sergeant with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) calls another police officer to a local gas station because his vehicle is big enough to transport two brothers who’d just been arrested. When officer Timothy James arrived to lend a helping hand to his fellow boy in blue, he decided he’d give a knuckle sandwich to one of the teenaged suspects in the back of his squad car.
He repeatedly punched one of the arrested and handcuffed teens, a 17-year-old child, in the face. According to the reports, James climbed into the back seat of his patrol car, where the teens were waiting and handcuffed, and began punching one of the brothers in the face. The sergeant saw it all from his own patrol car and then, like a good cop is supposed to do, he arrested James.
Jesus Campos, the eldest brother, said, “I hope my brother’s all right,” and added, “I never thought this would happen to my brothers.” As of this story’s publication, he still did not know how his brother was doing, following the reported attack.
The damning part of this story is that it’s not the first time James has been arrested by his own police force. It’s the second time — inside a month. But that’s not all. In fact, this model cop has already killed a pedestrian with his squad car too. And while JCSO is prohibited from discussing his priors, investigative reporters with First Coast News uncovered his personnel file, which reveal the officer’s sordid work history.
On at least 10 different occasions, James has been in violation of departmental policy. Killing pedestrians and beating handcuffed kids is not the upper limit of this cop’s corrupt ability. In April, he’s alleged to have spit on and abused a mentally ill man at UF Health, the University of Florida hospital.
Undersheriff Pat Ivey, all but confirmed James to be at the center of the investigation which occured at the hospital by discussing the incident which took place at the hospital in the same press conference as the one which addressed James’ arrest.
In May, James hit and killed a pedestrian and was ordered to undergo counseling. Attorney John Phillip is representing the victim’s family and openly wondered when informed of James’ arrest if he was “psychologically cleared” to return to duty.
Officer Timothy James has been charged with “Battery” in the beating incident, but has not been fired, which would be standard procedure for most occupations and professions wherein an employee assaulted someone while on the job. Instead, he’s on paid administrative leave, stripped of his officer’s privileges, and has been relegated to desk duty should he desire to work while the investigation takes place.
In all, James has been involved in disciplinary actions on at least 10 separate occasions from violations of the department’s social media rules to a firearms violation. It’s unclear if the latest abuse of power/excessive force battery charge will be enough to end his career or if he’ll be allowed return to the profession which has, so far, permitted him to abuse the citizenry with impunity.
James’ case highlights what we at TFTP have concluded. Police officers routinely abuse their authority, often kidnapping, caging, and killing innocent civilians in the line of duty. Rarely do they see prosecution.
Instead, like James, they’re given “administrative leave” which simply allows them to have a paid vacation long enough to be hired at another department or retire before facing consequences. We call these officers “Gypsy Cops.”
They travel from one department to the other abusing people, never answering for their crimes. To the sergeant who arrested James, we salute you.