Jupiter officer's attorney dismisses excessive force allegation after arrest video released

JUPITER, Fla. --  An attorney for Kevin Jacko, the Jupiter Police Department officer charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, said a videotape released by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office showed the charge against the veteran law enforcement officer wasn't warranted.

The videotape was recorded by the dashboard camera of a police cruiser and captured the arrest of Cody Blankenship, the Tequesta man who alleged Jacko had used excessive force against him.

"What you see on the videotape is something that doesn't seem to chime in with what my client, Kevin Jacko, has been charged with," Darren Shull, Jacko's attorney said. "It seems to be an arrest where a suspect is trying to get away, where he is struggling with the police officers, and the officers are trying to subdue him. And, as you can see in the videotape, it takes several officers to take Mr. Blankenship in control."

In September, Jacko turned himself in to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office after an investigation by the public corruption unit of the State Attorney's Office.

According to the  independent probe, investigators said Jacko used "deadly force" during the arrest.

Jacko has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

"I couldn't move because they were holding me down," Blankenship told police investigators in audio recording obtained by WPTV NewsChannel 5.  "I did my best to roll my face over to the other side, the right side of my face to the ground, and I see, he's holding the baton and he grabs it by the butt of the baton and he's ramming it into my eye."

Frank Kitzerow, Chief of the Jupiter Police Department, released the following statement:

"This is an on-going case currently being handled through the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office and Officer Jacko is entitled to due process. As with all pending criminal cases, our agency will conduct an internal investigation at the conclusion of the criminal case and details of our investigation will be released at the appropriate time."

Jacko is expected to return to court in January.

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