MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Palmetto city commissioners heard from about a dozen people at Monday night’s meeting calling for justice for Breonte Johnson-Davis.

The 36-year-old Johnson-Davis died in police custody in November. He was shot with a taser multiple times.

What You Need To Know

  • Palmetto city commissioners heard from about a dozen people at Monday night’s meeting calling for justice for Breonte Johnson-Davis

  • Breonte Johnson-Davis, 36, died Nov. 1, 2023 after being taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital by Palmetto police after being shot multiple times with a Taser

  • PREVIOUS STORY: Palmetto police chief says probe into man's death finds officers not at fault

On Monday night, commissioners heard from speakers, including Johnson-Davis’s mother, about changes they want to see.

Speakers also told commissioners Johnson-Davis’s death could’ve been prevented and that they’re frustrated with city officials’ response.

Palmetto Police Chief Scott Tyler told reporters last week officers responded to reports of someone acting aggressively at a convenience store on Nov. 1.

Tyler said Johnson-Davis ran onto a cruiser and kept acting aggressively, leading to officers shooting him with a taser.

The chief said toxicology reports and an FDLE investigation found Johnson-Davis was on drugs and suffered a medical emergency.

Johnson-Davis died in the hospital a day later.

His death was ruled accidental, and FDLE found officers acted reasonably.

Speakers at the meeting disagreed, saying this was a mental health call and officers used unnecessary force. 

Johnson-Davis’s mother said she’s unhappy Palmetto’s mayor has been silent on her son’s death and she wants to see Tyler fired.

“No matter what Breonte was going through, he did not deserve to die,” said Tracey Washington, Breonte Johnson-Davis’ mother. “He was not armed. He was not combative or aggressive. See, right now, the community is going on a narrative that the chief painted and we’re supposed to abide by that. Not me. Not his mother.”

A number of speakers said they want to see Palmetto police adopt a program similar to St. Pete police’s “call program.”

It stands for “community assistance and life liaison.”

“The State Attorney’s office reviewed everything. Reviewed the medical examiner’s report, reviewed the toxicology reports,” said Tyler. “Reviewed the FDLE investigation and they have concluded that our officers acted reasonably, and their actions were justified that night. And they have concluded that our officers’ actions had nothing to do with his death.”

Dispatchers will send social workers to some calls to improve responses to some situations, including those involving a mental health crisis.