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Why Kadarius Toney wasn’t arrested for having loaded AR-15 in his car

Police video shows a discussion over whether the promising Gators athlete violated open-carry laws.
Kadarius Toney (17) celebrates a long carry at the conclusion of the fourth quarter of the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [ MONICA HERNDON | Times ]
Published Aug. 1, 2018
Updated Aug. 1, 2018

Video released Wednesday by the Gainesville Police Department shows that officers considered arresting Gators athlete Kadarius Toney last week before determining that he didn't violate open-carry laws by having a loaded AR-15 in the backseat of his car.

"You can't keep an AR in the car like that," one officer tells Toney in the video, which you can watch here. 

Police said Toney's weapon was in the backseat, not concealed. But officers questioned whether the weapon was "on or about" him, which would have violated the state's open-carry law. They decided it was not, because it was in the backseat rather than, say, between his legs.

Toney told police he needed the weapon for protection from locals in Gainesville because "they be coming after us." The stop came after tension (and at least one fight) between some Gators and Gainesville residents, including Devante "Tay Bang" Zachery.

Police told Toney and teammate Brian Edwards that they needed to let Florida coaches and UF's director of student-athlete development, Vernell Brown, know about the incident.

"Vernell Brown wants to know about stuff like that," one officer tells another in the video.

Toney is one of the Gators' most promising athletes after seeing time at receiver, returner and wildcat quarterback as a true freshman last season.

UF opens preseason camp Friday.