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Monday, June 24, 2024

Two YouTube videos have surfaced detailing the Fest-weekend clash between partiers and Gainesville Police Department.

The above clip shows the attempted arrest of a costumed man who disobeyed officers.

 

The below clip opens with people attacking Officer Steve Jones as he kneels on top of Ryan Clarey.

The events linking these two videos are contested. According to GPD, Clarey tried to free the costumed man from being arrested. When the arresting officer, Jones, moved to arrest Clarey, he allegedly swung at the officer. Jones then Tasered Clarey.

Clarey contests that he never tried to hit Jones and that his actions did not warrant what he views as excessive Tasering, he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Following a Fest-weekend clash between house partiers and Gainesville Police Department on Halloween that led to five arrests, a local group has formed with a message: Drop all charges.

The Alachua Committee Against Brutality announced Tuesday at a press conference that it plans to help two of the five, Ryan Clarey and Douglas Demarest, fight the charges against them.

“We ask our fellow citizens not to fall for the divide-and-conquer tactics and the smoke-and-mirrors strategy that [GPD spokesman] Keith Kameg and GPD are deploying to try to cover up their culpability in this incident,” said committee spokesman James Schmidt.

Clarey was charged with violently resisting arrest and aiding an escape, while Demarest is charged with resisting without violence.

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The incident began as two GPD officers attempted to clear Northwest Eighth Street, which was crowded by partiers, according to Kameg.

The partygoers were drawn by a house show where bands were scheduled to play later that night, an event tied in spirit to Fest 8, a punk music festival.

As officers tried to clear the street using horns and sirens, one costumed partier refused to move, Kameg said in a Nov. 2 Alligator story.

While Officer Steve Jones was arresting the unidentified man, Ryan Clarey, 25, allegedly interfered by trying to free the man and telling him to run, according to a report.

Jones then moved to arrest Clarey, while the costumed partier escaped.

Clarey allegedly tried to punch Jones in the head, and the officer Tasered him and “took him to the ground,” according to the report.

About six people then attacked Jones with kicks, punches and thrown objects.

Two other officers called for backup and fought the attackers until 20 more units arrived, according to Kameg.

GPD and the committee are calling for witnesses to step forward.

GPD plans to make additional arrests if more of Jones' attackers can be identified based on the video, Kameg said.

The committee seeks witnesses to build its case, Schmidt said.

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