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'This is concerning': Activists call on DOJ to fire Lakeland Police Chief, 4 police officers

Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc. said a recent arrest qualifies as police brutality and believes the officers involved should be fired.

LAKELAND, Fla. — A group called on the Department of Justice to fire the Lakeland police chief and charge four Lakeland police officers. 

Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc. said the recent arrest of Antwan Glover is an example of police brutality that was racially motivated.

Glover recalled what happened the night of Dec. 18, 2022, on 9th Street in Lakeland.

"I did nothing wrong," Glover said.

Glover was arrested by the Lakeland Police Department. Glover said he was in his car talking with his daughter when he was approached by officers.

"[They] Asked me if I had marijuana in the car. I said 'yes, I have marijuana in the car,'" Glover said, also mentioning that he has a medical marijuana card. Officers stated in a police report they never saw that.

Glover's daughter started recording the encounter that quickly turned violent.

"I said, 'you can have my bag so you don’t grab my bag.' As I attempted to grab my bag off my neck, he tells me to stop resisting and grabs my wrist and we go down to the ground," Glover said. 

In the video Glover's daughter recorded, an officer with Lakeland Police is seen punching Glover.

"I continued to get punched, kneed, kicked in my side. You can see where the officer is punching me directly in my face," Glover recalled.

Glover was charged with resisting an officer, battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of having over 33 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. 

In the police report, officers said they stopped Glover because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

"This is absolutely appalling. This is concerning. There was no sufficient bounds for these officers to use this type of force," Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Restoration Polk Inc. Pastor Carl Soto said.

Soto wants the four officers in the video and the Lakeland police chief fired. 

"We are demanding accountability and the arrest of all four officers who knowingly deprived Mr. Glover of his civil rights," Soto said.

Soto said he wrote a letter to the Department of Justice to investigate the Lakeland Police Department.

10 Tampa Bay reached out to the DOJ and a spokesperson responded, "We are declining comment at this time."

A spokesperson with Lakeland Police said, "All incidents involving use of force are reviewed by the officer’s chain of command and the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) in accordance with our agency’s policies and procedures. It is not our policy to comment on any actions currently under review."

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