Volusia County deputy fighting for his job back after being fired for putting man in chokehold while off duty

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Volusia County deputy is fighting to get his job back after being caught on camera putting a man in a chokehold while off duty.

The incident involving Sgt. Jacob Kraker happened this summer at the peak of tension surrounding use of force, specifically neck restraints and chokeholds, following the death of George Floyd.

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Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray got ahold of video of the incident and reports that shows the deputy went against all his training in a heated moment at the Sanctuary of Westport apartments in July

An internal affairs report describes Kraker as working as a courtesy officer at the complex tasked with vacating people from the pool area when it was closed.

In an interview after the incident, Kraker admits to officers on scene that he tackled a man, but surveillance video revealed more showing the moment things got heated, and eventually, the seven-year deputy puts the 21-year-old in a chokehold, which is considered a dangerous form of deadly force.

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The young man admitted he had too much to drink, but Volusia County deputies are not trained to use chokeholds, as the move is not authorized within the agency.

Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, The Florida Police Chief’s Association recommended banning chokeholds outright within all Florida law enforcement agencies.

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Internal affairs leaders wrote that the chokehold was the worst thing Kraker could have done in the situation, noting he chased the man down and grabbed him in a headlock instead of gaining distance and waiting for uniformed officers or deputies to get there to handle it, putting himself in a position that was extremely dangerous.

Kraker is appealing his firing.

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Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.