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Police Advisory Board asks for answers after a guns-drawn SWAT team raid for alleged white-collar crimes

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 12:23 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -People are asking for answers after the Gainesville Police Department’s SWAT team raided an office building with guns drawn for alleged white-collar crimes.

“I want us to talk about why they were treated like criminals. They are at work, and they were zip-tied for three hours,” said one of the members of the Gainesville Police Advisory Board during Wednesday’s meeting.

On June 2, Jason Hurst was working in his office at Colliers International along with his co-workers. In the blink of an eye, everything changed as members of the GPD SWAT team raided the building.

“It has to be investigated by this committee and the police department. It appears that something went wrong. There is a breakdown of what happened with it,” explained advisory board member Evelyn Foxx. “It has to be some corrective measures.”

Police were looking for evidence of trade secrets that former employees of Bosshardt Realty had potentially been sharing. However, Hurst isn’t a former employee of the real estate company or even one of the five people listed on the search warrant.

Craig Carter, who competes with Hurst in the real estate business, is coming to his defense.

“I ask as Mr. Hurst does. Please let’s find out what is going on. What escalated it to this level lets try not to make this mistake again. God help us if someone were to trip, someone would have got hurt. Can you imagine where we would be today,” said Carter. “That gentleman has two children and a wife, which is an amazing family.”

While officials with GPD couldn’t answer questions about the SWAT team’s response in this case because it is an ongoing investigation, members of the advisory council did ask about the department’s SWAT team response policy in general.

RELATED STORY: “It’s an injustice that our life is on the line for a white-collar crime”:GPD reviewing real estate office SWAT raid

Hurst said he has seen the SWAT team policies, and after reviewing them, he believes it confirms change needs to happen.

“Chief Tony Jones, I am on his radar. I am thankful for the advisory council led by Fareed Johnson. They have been very receptive and shown very genuine concern, which bodes well for what I’m looking for, which is justice for an injustice that took place on June 2,” explained Hurst.

He believes this incident is concerning to people in the area.

“If there was an injustice, I do want justice to be served because not only do the people at the office on that day desire it and want it, I desire and want it. The people of Gainesville need it. I don’t want anybody to be on the wrong side of these types of egregious events,” said Hurst.

Chief Tony Jones told TV20 at the meeting he cannot comment on this matter as there are multiple active investigations. However, he did inform members and the public that he will be back with more information once the investigations are complete.

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