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Body camera video shows a confrontational exchange between Lake City councilman and police

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 12:01 AM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Lake City Police Officers pulled over Lake City Councilman Jake Hill on January 17th because officers said they couldn’t see his license plate due to a tinted back window.

Hill is coming under fire after the body camera video of the traffic stop was uploaded on YouTube. It appears to show him becoming hostile with the police officer. He was asked for his driver’s license or some form of identification but said he didn’t have any.

“I ain’t got one... no I ain’t got no driver’s license,” said Hill.

The officer asked Hill about his license status, but he stated again he does not have a license.

In the end, Hill was issued a $114 citation for failure to display his tag properly. TV20 tried to contact the councilman at his home to get his perspective about what happened that day. However, we were unable to reach him.

Public Information Officer for the Lake City Police Department, Sergeant Mike Lee, said Hill didn’t receive any special treatment because of his role in the city.

“There is no kind of laws that would allow for any type of different treatment for a council member over a regular citizen. We treat everybody the same. We treat everybody equally under the law,” said Sgt. Lee.

RELATED STORY: WATCH: Lake City Councilman under fire after heated exchange with police

One Lake City resident believes this situation was blown out of proportion.

“He was just frustrated,” said Chad Smythe. “You get a ticket, I understand. I think all of this was probably blown out of proportion. He was probably putting on a show.”

Other residents we spoke with off-camera said they believe Hill was harassed. A relative of the councilman even said police thought a different person was in the car.

While Hill only received one citation, Sgt. Lee said he could have been cited for other violations.

“Florida statute also requires a rear bumper on the vehicle that was missing from his vehicle. Florida law requires that any driver present their driver’s license on-demand to a police officer during a traffic stop as long as they have been lawfully stopped. Refusing to provide a driver’s license to include saying you don’t have one if you really do would also be a violation.”

Hill has paid the fee for the violation.

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